Tide Talks: Celia Newlands, Community Manager

How long have you lived in Wynnum?

I’ve lived in Wynnum since we moved to Australia from Scotland in 2011. We got a rental property for 3 weeks when we first arrived on Cedar Street, to get an idea of where we wanted to live either up or down the coast, within travelling distance of the CBD, and we never left Wynnum!

What was it about Wynnum that made you want to make it home?

The sense of community that I felt here was instant – settling with two young kids into a new country, knowing almost no-one, was tougher than I expected. I felt like I’d found ‘my people’ when I came here, and still do! From the helpful ladies in the chemist on Edith Street when I needed band-aids on day 2 (I have a very accident-prone son…), to the outstanding hospitality in the cafes when I needed air-con ‘directed straight onto my face please’ for the first 6 months we were here, and the incredible friends I’ve made who have become like family to me – they have all made me feel at home.

What is your favourite cafe in Wynnum?

Oh, I can’t pick a favourite! Tolerance, for the ‘banter’ and their hot chips, Dramanti for their variety of coffee, and Pierre’s Golden Chicken for their healthy, tasty lunch options (they don’t just do chicken you know 😉 ) 

What is your favourite shop in Wynnum?

Torn between Little Gnome and Cultivate – both run by spectacular, amazing women whom I admire.

Tell us how you became a Community Manager?

It was a little bit by accident… I’d joined a local networking group, and was struggling to attend their evening events. I asked if they’d consider a morning event and ended up running it for them for about 2 years! I realised there was a gap for something more concentrated on collaboration than just an hour once a month, and created flexible workspaces for us to network while we got work done

You are not only a Community Manager, tell us about your other business.

I provide insights from decades of management experience to my clients, to effectively improve how they run their business and to live a more balanced life . The people who joined me in the flexible workspaces were primarily those who were looking for a community to work within, and through this, I was able to demonstrate to them the power of collaboration. Our community now has a huge pool of talented specialists, from Marketing & Graphic Design, through Leadership Coaching and Change Management, to Psychology, Finance and Insurance – to name a few! We love to find projects we can work on together, and being able to help our individual clients with so much more than we could achieve alone. As a drop-in ‘General Manager’, I partner with business owners by giving insights from all levels within their organization, and we establish small changes, or connect them to our collaborative community, to ensure better business stability and growth.  We are about to move from our current site, and join you in the amazing and iconic Mt Carmel Centre building (just across the road from where we are currently).

What is your dream project?

I love working with businesses who have similar values to me, and who are passionate about what they do. I mostly work with local businesses, as I firmly believe that we should all strive to find suppliers within our community before we spend our money further afield. Spending local enhances the economy and builds a better community for us all to live in – and I really do love where I live. So my dream project would be a local business who is struggling trying to wear all the Management Hats – Operations, Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Finance and Human Resources. I come in and either find them support to wear the hats that are weighing heavy on them (not within their own expertise), or try to find simple changes they can make to be able to take the hats off and have a break sometimes. I encourage people to find ways to balance their lives better.

What has been your career highlight thus far?

Seeing growth in people I work with – either business growth or career growth – those are the moments that get me out of bed every day – I’ve worked with people who thought they had made it as far up the ladder as they could. And helped them see the potential in themselves until they’ve surpassed not only their own expectations, but mine too. 

What inspires/motivates you?

Community, Collaboration and Balance – and my family and close friends.

What is your favourite quote?

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style” ― Maya Angelou

Do you have any hidden secret talents?

I studied Rock Music after I left school, as a singer…

Tell us how you find having a Wynnum-based business?

What’s not to love?! Working in an office that’s less than 5 minutes from my home, and a block from the beauty of the ocean – and surrounded by coffee shops, the friendliest wine bar in the world (you know I’m right!), and a variety of shops so you’re never stuck for gifts or treats.

What’s next for you?

The freedom to take my consultancy business to the next level, by moving my business – and our team of talented specialists, into the Mt Carmel Centre – ensuring the business community we have still has access to flexible workspaces, and entrusting them to a new Community Manager who I know loves this area as much as I do!

Tide Talks features local personalities and small businesses in the Wynnum-Manly area of Brisbane’s Bayside. We want to show off the eclectic mix of entrepreneurs, creatives and change-makers that make the area so appealing! If this reminds you of someone, please get in touch at hello@dotdashevents.com.au or contact us.

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