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 operated from several properties on the Tomaree Peninsula throughout the mid-eighties; initially meeting in the private offices of the then Board members, and eventually leasing an empty shop in the first stage of Salamander Bay Shopping Centre.
In 1988, NEWEC leased a property in Yacaaba Street, Nelson Bay and converted the premises into a computer and workplace training centre.
By the early 1990s, the then State Government’s position had changed and funding agreements for enterprises such as NEWEC were wound back. Federal and State vocational training programs were being outsourced exclusively to approved Church and private training agencies, which meant that NEWEC had to adapt to the new landscape or fold.
As a direct result of the change in Government policy, a decision was made by the then Board of Directors to look at alternative opportunities which could keep the enterprise operating.
A group of associates, led by Mr. David Sams and Ms. Jacqui Hallam traveled to a 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.
In 1993, Cr Innes Creighton from Port Stephens Council took up the cause and negotiated a tenancy agreement with Port Stephens Council for the land at 360 Soldiers Point Road, Salamander Bay (where we have been ever since).
This decision would eventually revolutionise the Tomaree Peninsula’s perception of waste and would lead to what is now known as Salamander Bay Recycling; which is considered by many, as one of Australia’s finest Community Recycling Enterprises (CREs).
Since its inception, the organisation has diverted many thousands of tonnes of material from landfill; we provide employment for nine local people and donate thousands of dollars each year to local community groups and good causes.
By combining a very popular social outlet with a unique retailing experience for many on the Tomaree Peninsula has meant that Salamander Bay Recycling has grown to become a viable alternative to conventional retail.
We work closely with various NGOs as well as Governmental departments where we provide a venue and work opportunities for the unemployed and supervision services for low-level offenders who are able to complete their community service work orders in a positive and reaffirming environment.