Marika Wallis says it was faith in God's plan that drove her to pack up her home in Melbourne and move to Gunnedah to head up the Salvation Army.
She moved to Gunnedah in early September to fill a position left vacant when Richard and Gaye Day were re-posted to South Australia in July.
Ms Wallis is two months away from being commissioned as an officer - a lifelong journey after growing up in the Salvation Army. Her father managed a family store in Glen Innes and her mother helped in the welfare program.
She isn't a stranger to Gunnedah, though, having worked as a Salvos financial counsellor in the area from 2013-2017. Previously, she worked in Glen Innes and Inverell, delivering the No Interest Loans scheme.
The mother of two applied to become an officer in 2017 and to her surprise was accepted into the training course in Melbourne - "it was a moment I'll never forget" - moving to Victoria in early 2018.
Ms Wallis said she was drawn to what the Salvos stands for because "it resonates with me and my beliefs".
She was approached about the vacant position in Gunnedah a few months ago and said it was "a God thing". Her brother is already an officer.
"They decided to release me early out of training ... It's a huge thing for them to actually let me go early ... It's a huge privilege," she said.
"Initially, I was actually quite shocked because I thought I would continue my training until the end of the year ... I sensed ... there was a community that needed me and that community happened to be in Gunnedah."
"I think it's just a real faith thing. It's my belief this is what I'm meant to do and what I'm called to be and I just take the first step and trust in God."
The newcomer said she took up the reins in Gunnedah on September 22 and is slowly becoming familiar with Salvos programs, community groups and fellow residents.
"It's really early days yet," Ms Wallis said.
"I'm just taking one step at a time and meeting one person at a time. I'm getting to know people.
"Find out where the needs are in the community and then working with people to address the needs that this community faces."
There was no handover period with the Days, but she's not daunted - "my faith actually gives me the strength".
"I love God. I want to share him with the world," Ms Wallis said.
"I'm looking forward to partnering with the community ... I like collaboration. I'm big on community," she said.
"We can achieve more together to empower people and transform lives."