Building Safety For All

29th July 2019

A unique partnership provides refuge for at-risk Queensland families.

The Gold Coast is getting Queensland’s first purpose-built bridging accommodation for domestic violence victims to use as a safe haven to rebuild their lives, thanks to a collaboration between Mirvac, DV Connect and Halcyon Developers. 

The $1.5 million facility – to be built in an undisclosed location – will help some of the thousands of Queensland women placed in motels annually to escape domestic violence.

The collaboration is part of Mirvac’s ongoing commitment to supporting people impacted by domestic and family violence.

DV Connect is a not-for-profit organisation, which offers free, professional and non-judgemental telephone support to anyone living in Queensland. It also arranges practical assistance such as counselling, intervention, transport and emergency accommodation for Queensland women and their children who are in danger from a violent partner or family member.

The DVConnect Womensline takes around 8,000 calls every month from Queensland women in fear of, or in immediate threat of, danger. On average, it helps more than 600 women and often more than 500 children to be moved to safety every month.

Launched by Di Farmer, Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence in December, 2018, the bridging accommodation will comprise two one-bedroom, two two-bedroom and one three-bedroom unit, each with their own kitchenette, living area and courtyard. It will also have a communal kitchen and living room, a play area and a residence for the onsite manager.

DV Connect board of directors chair Shaan Ross-Smith says the not-for-profit organisation placed 4,000 women and children in Queensland motels last year alone because all shelters were at capacity.

“We’re so privileged to have community-minded enterprises such as Halcyon and Mirvac that have the capacity and the desire to be a force for change in the communities in which they operate,” says Ms Ross-Smith.

“A facility such as this will not only support Gold Coast women, but women and children all across Queensland who can be placed here in a safe area to help rebuild their lives.”

Mirvac Human Resources head Kristen Sweeney says tackling domestic violence requires the attention and efforts of everyone in the community and Mirvac was pleased to lend a helping hand. 

“As a White Ribbon Workplace, Mirvac is committed to creating a culture of respect, where violence in all forms will never be tolerated,” Ms Sweeney says. “Domestic violence is a serious, prevalent and preventable issue in Australia. 

“Donating this land to help support families experiencing domestic violence is another example of how Mirvac can help make a real difference and play an important role in a community response.”

 
Woman With Hand on Woman's Shoulder “Domestic violence is a serious, prevalent and preventable issue in Australia." - Kristen Sweeney, Mirvac Human Resources Head