Yumaro had a wonderful day on Friday 16th November with the official opening of their Living Complex. Attending the opening were Eurobodalla's Mayor, Liz Innes, the Hon. Andrew Constance MP and a representative from Ann Sudmalis MP, Federal Member for Gilmore attended along with Yumaro staff, clients, family, friends and carers. The Opening began with Yumaro's CEO, Mark Brantingham renaming, the Apartments, 'Yumaro Living' which was formally known as Yumaro Independent Living Complex.
Well-respected Walbunga elder Eileen Carberry performed the welcome to our country which was made all the more special as she is a carer and teaches art classes at Yumaro. Yumaro's CEO, Mark Brantingham said, "It is a very exciting day for us (Yumaro) and for all the families whose children may be living here." "Yumaro has six apartments, two are 2 bedroom apartments with four single bedroom apartments. Yumaro also offers Respite (short-term) accommodation with the now official name of 'Gillett House' due to all the dedication of John and his wife Brenda over the years.
Above John Gillett celebrated by the naming of 'Gillett House'
In his opening speech Mark added, "This amazing project has come together over a period of time. The design and construction has been done to meet the requirements of the NDIS, called the Special Disability Accommodation and is Platinum Certified under the Liveable Housing Australian Guidelines. Katrina Scobie was the Architect and Contract Administrator who designed Yumaro Living and John Aust was the builder and they both did a fantastic job -Thank you Katrina and John."
Above: CEO Mark Brantingham with architect Katrina Scobie
"Many Disability Enterprises, who have had years of experience with their own Living Complexes have helped Yumaro develop along the way. We wish to thank Tulgeen's CEO, Jen Russell in Bega and Heather from Greenacres in Wollongong." Regarding Banksia Village's assistance and guidance, Mark said, "They were really helpful in the financial and modelling department as Yumaro came up with a Model which is a bit like a Retirement Village Model for our Living Apartments so people who can't get funding through the NDIS can actually buy in, in the same fashion as a Retirement Village Model. This is another unique part of what Yumaro has done and this particular Model doesn't really exist in Australia yet so it's a brand new thing for Yumaro and for Australia." Greg Malavey, Committee President, said, "The board had a vision of creating not only accommodation but a village that gave people a place to live independently and an opportunity to have somebody always there, a friend who they could have a coffee with or a BBQ and have a full life that they could possibly have -This is what our dream was, to build Yumaro Living." Yumaro's CEO, Mark Brantingham said of Andrew Constance, MP "Andrew has been a great advocate for this sector for a long time and we really appreciate him giving up some of his time to Open Yumaro Living." Andrew Constance, MP voiced his solid approval for the Yumaro Living and its potential residences adding, "Projects like this don't just happen unless there are incredible people in the background, making things happen which has been a long term commitment especially when it comes to John and Brenda Gillett's dedication. "Reflecting on how disability services in Australia has changed and when I became the Disability Services' Minister, I knew that the state based system wasn't working so then came the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Yes, there was a massive increase of funds but what is worth reflecting on is that this is about giving the people living with a disability their fundamental human right in our community which is to basically choose the life that they want, not dictated by the government but they have control over the way they wish to live. "This project is incredibly important and special for our community so congratulations and thank you to Mark and his team at Yumaro and the Committee and all the best for the future." Eurobodalla's Mayor, Liz Innes, said in her speech "It makes us all as a community that little bit stronger and when I look around and see the things that Yumaro has achieved just in the short period that I have known you all, it is incredible astounding. We are all so very grateful for the efforts that the Yumaro family makes day in and day out. Well done to everyone!" The finale was the official cutting of the red ribbon which was cut by John and Brenda Gillett, joined by Yumaro CEO, Mark Brantingham, Liz Innes, Mayor, 'Wool Bunga Tribe' Elder, Eileen Carberry, Hon. Andrew Constance MP and Yumaro's Committee President, Greg Malavey.
Yumaro wishes to thank everyone involved for their time and devotion on this project and for making it a part of our community. Let's continue 'Improving Lives Together!"