Our Story

What began as an unincorporated body known as the Not Everybody Works Employment Centre (NEWEC) became incorporated on the 9th September, 1983.

Its objects, amongst others identified in the Memorandum of Association lodged under the Companies (NSW) Code and with the Commission in Sydney on the 17th February 1984 were in part:

  • To assist persons out-of-work or in need of re-training or vocational or personal development by providing skill-orientated courses, learning environments and support facilities.
  • To render help and assistance in all forms of public relief and/or emergency aid and to make donations for charitable causes.
  • To seek out and identify social needs in the community.
  • To encourage an increased involvement of people and organisations in the area, in solution of problems affecting the community and to attempt to work in conjunction with any regional planning bodies concerned with the Tomaree Peninsula.

NEWEC traded out of several properties on the Tomaree Peninsula; initially meeting in the private offices of Directors and then an empty shop in the first stage of Salamander Bay Shopping Centre.

NEWEC offered training in workplace activities such as computer operation and other much-needed back-to-work activities for the unemployed.

In 1988 NEWEC leased a property in Yacaaba Street and converted the premises into a computer and workplace training centre.

In the early 1990s, the then Government position changed and funding agreements for enterprises such as NEWEC were revoked; the Government then moved to outsource that type of vocational training to approved Church and private training agencies, which meant that NEWEC had to change or fold.

As a result of the change in Government policy, a decision was made by the then Board of Directors to look at alternative opportunities which could have kept the enterprise operating.

A group of associates led by Mr. David Sams and Ms. Jacqui Hallam travelled to the waste and refuse plant on the outskirts of Forster-Tuncurry and returned with an idea to try and emulate what was being done at that facility.

This decision would eventually revolutionise the Tomaree Peninsula’s perception of waste and lead to the development of Salamander Bay Recycling which is one of Australia’s finest Community Recycling Enterprises (CREs).

In 1993, Cr Innes Creighton from Port Stephens Council took up the cause and negotiated the tenancy agreement which we still have with Port Stephens Council for the land at 360 Soldiers Point Road, Salamander Bay.

Since its inception, Salamander Bay Recycling has diverted thousands of tonnes of material from landfill; we provide employment for nine local people and a much-needed social outlet and retailing experience for many others on the Tomaree Peninsula.

We work closely with agencies such as Joblink+, Jobfind Australia, Salvation Army Employment Plus, and the Department of Correctional Services by providing a venue and work opportunities for the unemployed as well as supervision services for low-level offenders so that they can complete their community service work orders.

Although the organisation has adapted to many changes in Government policies, it has grown exponentially over the years and continues to meet the purposes of its Charter to the present time.