Community Hall in Tanilba Bay Transformed by Two Tradies in One Month

Left to Right: Geraldine Moran CEO Centre for Hope, Komatsu’s Todd Hutton and Scott Curtis, Victoria Grey and Natasha Reece from The Smith Family, and Daniel Ebbin from ITEC Youth


TWO builders with a dream to renovate a derelict hall in Tanilba Bay have seen their vision realised after only eight weeks thanks to the generosity of local residents and tradespeople within the Hunter.

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The derelict hall had been the main operating space for Centre for Hope for the last two years but when COVID-19 set in, normal means of community support ceased.

Todd Hutton and Scott Curtis pitched an idea to renovate the hall to their employer Komatsu, as part of the Live Your Dream program, granting $10,000 to reinvigorate the space.

Last Thursday the volunteers who had worked on the hall, which is known as ‘The Drop’, came together to celebrate the final product.

The former girl guides hall is now a usable space for younger children and their parents thanks to the efforts of the wider community.

Natasha Reece, Project Manager for The Smith Family’s Communities for Children initiative, coordinated the various arms which made the endeavour possible and said, “I’ve never seen as much support from the business sector as this.”

She said not only was it a great collaboration but the renovation provided “a space which answers the calls of the community.”

“This project allowed a range of services to connect back in with the community including Safer Children who’ve been using this space,” she said.

“It allowed them to reconnect with the children who generally weren’t receptive to the tele-practice which took the place of face-to-face work during COVID-19.”

Centre for Hope CEO Geraldine Moran said to Todd and Scott they don’t yet know the significant impact their donation and time will have upon the community.

She said, “what Scott and Todd dreamt as part of their Komatsu employment but then what they initiated and what they created is something even greater than what they expected.”

“The bricks and the mortar are beautiful and provides the space, but the heart that [they] put into this provides something for young people that you won’t expect,” she said.

Scott acknowledged the great community support but said, “It wasn’t just Todd and I it was a massive effort.”

“If it was just the $10,000 [from komatsu], Todd and I would’ve been done in a couple of days, the money would’ve been spent,” he said.

With the renovations completed, ‘The Drop’ will now provide a space for professionals and community workers to connect with children and youth in the area.




Before and After shots of ‘The Drop’ (supplied)

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