NEW ERA: Brenda Sypher, Jennie Purvis, Bev Bettinzoli, Di Alexander and Ryan Harnden at the title transfer for Yumba Bimbi.
NEW ERA: Brenda Sypher, Jennie Purvis, Bev Bettinzoli, Di Alexander and Ryan Harnden at the title transfer for Yumba Bimbi. Photo: Contributed

Title handover is a gift to families

OFFERING disability respite services for families in central Queensland, Yumba Bimbi holds a special place in the heart of many locals.

Now, 17 years after it opened, the title of the property located in Emerald has been transferred from Rio Tinto to Central Highlands and Western Queensland Family Support Association. As the only respite centre between Rockhampton and Longreach providing disability services to families in rural and isolated areas, Yumba Bimbi is an integral part of the community.

The centre that provides a home away from home currently has a client base of 75 people and 25 employees.

At a morning tea to mark the title handover, mother Jennie Purvis said the evolution of the centre had "truly changed lives” for clients, for parent carers, for siblings and staff.

"I want to emphasise that Rio Tinto's gift was so much more than enabling the use of bricks and mortar,” she said.

"For parents and carers each day is a challenge.

"When isolation, lack of services, lack of acceptance, personal frustration and loneliness impact these families in rural areas and small towns, life becomes even tougher.

"Yumba Bimbi has been a light on the horizon.”

Rio Tinto Kestrel general manager operations Ryan Harnden said the handover of the title had been a long time in the making.

"We are delighted the property is now in the hands of an extremely worthy local organisation that will continue to support the needs of families in our region for many years to come,” he said.

The Central Highlands and Western Queensland Family Support Association was incorporated in 2000 after securing recurrent funding.