Surprise Win for Support Service

12 September 2023

No one was more surprised than Yumba Bimbi that it was crowned the 2023 Central Highlands Business of the Year.

The local support service for people with disability won the trophy at last Saturday’s (9 September) Central Highlands Business Excellence Awards after receiving the CQUniversity Not-for-Profit Award earlier in the night.

The Awards’ independent judging panel found Yumba Bimbi Support Services to be an outstanding, professionally-run business that possesses a strong sense of community and the necessary elements for sustainability and expansion.

CEO Rachel Freeman says there were many strong contenders for the top gong, so she was shocked to hear her organisation’s name called out.

“To win Business of the Year is really quite unbelievable but as a leader of a team that is so deeply committed to the vision and the purpose and the values of our organisation, it’s a really wonderful feeling that their hard work is acknowledged,” she says.

Ms Freeman says the win is likely to surprise the public too because of the perception that not-for-profits are not businesses.

“We have a national quality framework that insists we have some serious business systems in place with respect to industrial relations, human resources, risk management, strategic planning, and operational planning,” she says.

“So, I think people would be surprised to learn that a not-for-profit organisation like Yumba Bimbi has that really high level of business intelligence and systems in place.”

Serenity Dental won the Emerald Today People’s Choice Award, a category that attracted more than 70 nominations and 5,700 votes from the public.

The full list of winners and photos from the event can be seen at

Maraboon Veterinary Surgery and TNC Cranes were inducted into the Awards’ Hall of Fame for winning categories in the biennial Awards on three separate occasions.

The Awards, first held in 2013, are an initiative of the Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC) in collaboration with a range of business, industry, and government partners.

“Congratulations to all of this year’s winners but also to the finalists,” CHDC CEO Peter Dowling says.

“All of them can be proud of the effort and passion they poured into the entry process and take heart that they reached the final stages of what is a hotly-contested awards program.”