In 1983 Denise Delphin OAM found herself living in the recently built public housing estate now known as Rocherlea.
She was given the opportunity to move into one of the 400 houses constructed at the time and was looking for a way to connect with the newly formed community.
A short stroll down the street led her to the local neighbourhood house. It was the first time she had come into contact with it.
Ms Delphin decided to volunteer, and now 37 years later, her time with the neighbourhood house community is coming to an end.
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"I think it was time ... it is something that had been on my mind for a little bit. That maybe it was time to step back. I believe that with all the stuff that I have worked on over quite a few years that I am leaving this place in a really good space," she said.
Over her 37 year journey with the community centre Ms Delphin has held many titles. About a year after starting at the house at Rocherlea as a volunteer, she became a committee member. Then five years later she became the coordinator of the house.
Ms Delphin remained coordinator when the Rocherlea and Mowbray neighbourhood houses merged in 1994, before becoming the centre manager and program coordinator in 1999.
In 2018 she took up the role of general manager and was responsible for sites across Rocherlea, Newnham and Mowbray, including the men's and community shed.
The one constant throughout Ms Delphin's many roles has been her connection to the community. When looking back on her career two poignant moments stood out to her.
They both involved delivery first's to the community of Rocherlea back in the eighties and nineties. One was the first time they ran a school holidays Vacation Care program and all the children in Rocherlea at the time came along
"There were kids everywhere and the community rallied around to support the Neighbourhood House deliver the activities," Denise said.
Then there was the first real community event the house held. It was carols by candlelight on a block of land on Lilydale Road.
"The community worked really hard to get the event together. We had it all lined up with choirs and school groups and food and all sorts of things," she said.
"It was a beautiful, beautiful night but once again it was the first big event and, I think, we had 700 people there."
Ms Delphin's colleagues at the community centre can't imagine life without her. She was there when they all started their careers. This includes youth worker Georgia Axton, wellbeing officer Fakington Wilde, and IT officer Dwayne Cowie.
"Denise means everything. She's been here 37 years," Mr Cowie said. "She is apart of the centre. It is who she is and it is what the centre is." "She is every part of the centre isn't she," Mr Wilde added. Ms Axton described Ms Delphin as the mother of the Northern suburbs.
"I can't understand what it will be like without Denise here," Mr Wilde said. But all three agreed that she could best be described as the heart and soul of the Northern community.
Northern Suburbs Community Centre president Hugh Mckenzie said everyone wished Ms Dephin well on whatever adventure she would tackle next. He thanked her for her years of service to the community. That 37 years has produced a number of things that will remain in the wake of Denise's departure.
The new community centre on George Town Road and the Men and Community shed at Rocherlea will stand as a testament to Ms Delphin's tireless service.
Although the journey is coming to a close, she is adamant that she will be back at some point to bring it all full circle. For now, she is off to Western Australia to spend time with family and friends.
"Its the next part of my journey and I'm going to be heading off on a few adventures," she said. "It has been my honour and privilege to have worked alongside and with the community of the northern suburbs of Launceston."
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