Diverse community . . . New Waitaki Migrant Support and Newcomers Network co-ordinator Paula Eatherley (centre) was welcomed to the role at a meet and share event last week. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

After moving to the Waitaki district 20 years ago, Paula Eatherley is looking forward to helping others settle in.

Mrs Eatherley, who is originally from Yorkshire in England, has taken over as Waitaki’s Migrant Support and Newcomers Network co› ordinator. She has replaced Christine Dorsey, who left the role in March after 10 years.

Mrs Eatherley, who is employed by the Waitaki Multicultural Council, said she was excited to be providing support for the diverse range of people in the Waitaki district.

‘‘It’s getting to know everybody and seeing how I can support them to feel as settled as I do in the Waitaki district,’’ she said.

‘‘Right from the word go, I’ve loved living here. It’s got so much to offer.

‘‘So it’s just helping people to see what’s available and what support there is in the community.’’

There were many community groups and organisations willing to help, and Mrs Eatherley wanted to help connect newcomers and migrants with them.

In 2000, Mrs Eatherley moved to New Zealand and settled in Oamaru in 2002, with her Kiwi husband, Neville Harrex.

She worked as an agriculture teacher at St Kevin’s College for 20 years, and believed her schooling background could help her in her new role.

‘‘The diversity in the schools has increased enormously. Being a migrant myself, I’ve met lots of people from diverse backgrounds.’’

Mrs Eatherley was welcomed to the role last week with a function involving the migrants meet and share group.

She was excited about meeting all the migrants and newcomers to the area and looked forward to working alongside them.