Lucca Settanni and Daniel Giesen (back) and Ella O’Brien, with Barbara Yule at Gympie’s Child and Family Hub.
Lucca Settanni and Daniel Giesen (back) and Ella O’Brien, with Barbara Yule at Gympie’s Child and Family Hub. Renee Pilcher

‘Of the people... for the people'

THE past decade has been the longest three years in Barbara Yule's career.

When Barbara took up the position of Child and Family Hub co-ordinator for three years in 2002, little did she realise she would still be doing the job a decade later.

Leaving her teaching position at Early Special Education, Barbara was initially based in the old Tafe building, opposite Goldfields Plaza.

"There were a few ups and downs getting the service to support parents and children at the then limited hours child care centre.

"When that building was sold by the then government as 'surplus to needs' we had several groups sharing the venue.

"When the council purchased the former Central Pre-School building in 2008 and leased it to Community Place, it had been derelict for two years.

"Now, after being here for three and a half years, we have been able to create a warm, friendly family venue where parents can obtain information and resources as well as phone and in-person referrals," she said.

"This has been because of the tremendous community support the Cooloola Family and Community Development Committee has received, with the building provided, paint donated and gardens built by Skilling Queensland, through Gympie Landcare."

As Barbara contemplates her imminent retirement, the changeover to the new hub co-ordinator will happen next month, when Andre Beattie is introduced to the role.

"I just feel so privileged to have been able to play this role for so long, considering it was only going to be for the initial three years," Barbara said yesterday.

"I feel indebted to so many people for assisting me in my career.

"And being able to see children and families benefit from that shared knowledge has been very gratifying to me and I really want to thank all the parents and children and my colleagues for giving me the opportunity.

"The Hub building is required to be used for early childhood activities and we now have seven new groups sharing the building regularly, including the Sunshine Coast Family Contact Centre, play groups, the Toy Library, nursing mothers, a speech therapist and the Young Women's Network using the space at various times."

Gympie Times


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