All people actively participate as valued members of an inclusive society.
Kyeema Support Services Inc’s mission is to:
* Support and empower individuals to make choices to enrich their lives.
* Deliver quality services driven by the goals and needs of clients and families and underpinned by strong ethical standards.
* Act with respect, integrity and transparency.
* Demonstrate strong organisational leadership and advocacy.
* Empower staff and volunteers to achieve their full potential
* Promote community partnerships.
* Remain proactive and responsive to change.
Kyeema supports around 90 individuals and their families across the Glenelg Shire, and has been operating since the late ’60’s when a small group of committed people advocated for service for their sons and daughters.
Over the years Kyeema has broadened and developed services in response to peoples’ needs. We continue to listen and respond to individuals and families.
The following was written by Mrs Glenice Porter, one of the prime movers in the establishment of Kyeema Support Services Inc.
“For six years, the Portland Red Cross ladies transported children from Portland and the surrounding district to Hamilton, to attend the Mulleraterong Day Training Centre. This was done by private car, until the numbers requiring schooling grew and a bus was purchased to travel twice weekly to Hamilton. In 1966, it was decided to try and start a Centre in Portland as these children needed much more than two days training per week and the long trip to Hamilton was very tiring for them”.
- On August 19th 1966 a Public meeting was held in the Portland Town Hall with Cr Mibus as Mayor of the town of Portland chairing. From this meeting, a Provisional Committee of ten (10) people was established.
- At the first meeting of this Committee, it was resolved that a competition to find a name for the Centre was held amongst the local schools.
- From over two hundred (200) entries the name “Kyeema”, an aboriginal word meaning “dawn” was selected.
- The Kyeema Centre opened in June 1967 in the Portland Guide Hall. These temporary premises were used until funds could be raised to build on the land the Portland Town Council gave for this project.
- On 23 November 1969 the new building was built on land donated by the Portland Town Council at the corner of Lalor Street and Bridgewater Road and was officially opened by the Hon. Malcolm Fraser. This facility provided services to children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
- In the mid to late ‘80’s; a significant change to include children in the education sector was mooted by the Ministry of Education. This culminated in the children with disabilities, then attending Kyeema, moving to the mainstream schools.
- In early 1990’s the children were relocated to the Special Developmental School at Bundarra Primary School campus, with a later name change to Portland Bay School.
Activities across four specific sectors are now offered to adults with disabilities: Independent Living, Respite, Day Programs and Supported Employment programs. Respite is also offered to families with children via the Children’s Breakaway Days, School Holiday Programs, Teenage Recreation and Respite and overnight respite.
Kyeema Support Services Inc, presently employs approximately seventy staff (this includes full time, part time and casual staff) who support around ninety clients.