Name: Natasha Collins
Introducing Natasha Collins
Position: Information Services Assistant
(Image source: PMFRC)
Tell us more about your role at the PMFRC and the programs that you are involved in.
I am one of the first people the member and their family speaks with at the PMFRC. I clear members in and out of the Garrison, and provide information on all of the different programs and services they can access with us and the community. A few members may also recognize me from when I conduct briefings at their unit.
Are you looking to register for child care? Perhaps you want to volunteer, learn a new language, or you just really need to speak to someone regarding your mental health — I can help by connecting you with the right people right away. With COVID being at the forefront at the moment, we are still here to help in any way we can and you are able to see me face-to-face via Zoom for some one-on one-information sessions.
How long have you worked for the PMFRC?
I started working at the PMFRC back in November 2019 — so I’ve just passed my one year mark! However, I also worked here for a few years as a casual many moons ago.
Tell me about your background (experience, education, etc.).
My family actually moved around a lot when I was young, oddly enough not for military reasons, so I have lived in many different cities throughout my life. I even attended one school for 3 days! Living in all these different cities gives you the chance to see and experience so many new and exciting things. For this reason, I think I have adapted to the unexpectedness of the military lifestyle so well.
As for education, I completed a Medical Transcription program through Algonquin College a couple years ago and just last month I completed the online Indigenous Canada course with the University of Alberta. Now, the Indigenous Canada course was not a credited course, but I took it so that I may have a better understanding of how the lives of Indigenous peoples have been impacted today and throughout history. I found it to be very insightful.
What can people expect to see when they first meet you?
Well I would typically say a smile, as I am a very happy person and love to greet people with happiness, but wearing a mask temporarily changes what you can see. So in turn, I will say bright eyes that indicate I am smiling, and with the happiness one would have when seeing an old friend.
What is your favourite part about working for the PMFRC?
My favourite part is meeting all the different members and their families that come in. I truly love to help people and if I can help you in anyway — be it by providing information on how to register for any of our (or our community partners') programs, providing information on what needs to be changed when you come from another province/country, helping you get to know the area, or just providing random information — it truly makes my day.
What is your greatest accomplishment or proudest moment working for the PMFRC?
I would have to say when I speak with a client who I know must just be having one of the worst days that they can have, and then by the end of our conversation they are as happy as a clam. I know that at this point whatever our conversation was about, it has truly made them feel better, and that's all I can hope for.
Where are you from and what brought you to Petawawa? How long have you lived here?
I am originally from Moncton, NB so I am a little ways from my hometown, but who here isn't? I moved here with my husband in 2010 and have been here ever since. This is actually the longest I have ever lived in one place.
What advice do you have for families transitioning to Petawawa?
Whatever you happen to hear about living here, whether it be good or bad, take it with a grain of salt. Take part in different events and programs that the town offers, even if it is something you're typically not interested in. You really just have to go out and make the town your own. Reach out and meet new people— we offer great programs that help you do just that! There may be some things that you miss from the last place you lived that we don't have here, and that's okay! Come talk to me and I'll help you find something just as good.
What is your favourite thing about living in the area?
How chatty strangers can be! I love it. It's nice to go out and meet new people who just strike up random conversations. And of course I love it when I see people that I knew years ago from living in a different city. It never ceases to amaze me how small the world can be.
What is your favourite thing to do in the winter?
As much as the snow can drive people crazy, you can also have so much fun with it. Sledding down the hill at the Petawawa Golf Course is definitely a favourite. I also really enjoy walking with my family to the Tim Hortons on Base, getting a hot chocolate and then walking home while looking at all the Christmas lights people set up; there is just something so relaxing about it.
Black Bear Beach! This is my favourite place to be in the summer. The beach is amazing, and even though you're still on Base it feels like you're somewhere else entirely.
Leave us with a few words of wisdom -- what is your favourite quote?
I'm always changing my favourite quote. It's honestly a mood thing. For now though, since I'm a total bookworm mine has to do with books: 'Life is like a book: Some chapters are sad, some happy, and some exciting. But if you never turn the page, you will never know what the next chapter holds.'