New Maranoa women’s shelter helps women and children escape violence

A new women’s shelter in the Maranoa funded by the Palaszczuk Government is helping more women and children affected by domestic and family violence in the south-west region.

And the shelter, the seventh funded since the election of the Palaszczuk Government, has received another boost under a new partnership agreement between the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Save the Children and Australia’s CEO challenge.

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Di Farmer said the new shelter would make sure women and children who make the courageous decision to flee violent homes had the support they needed and a safe place to go.

“This shelter provides self-contained units for small or larger families that will not only put a roof over the head of women and children but will provide them with professional specialist support,” Ms Farmer said.

“This includes help to secure more stable accommodation, emotional support, access to other services, ongoing risk assessment and safety planning.

“Save the Children has done a fantastic job working in the south-west region and we are delighted to provide them with $560,000 per annum to help them run the new shelter and mobile support service.”

Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said the project was delivered by local company Allwood Building Services and created many local employment opportunities during construction.

“The Palaszczuk Government is firmly focused on creating regional jobs in places like the Maranoa, and our successful Buy Queensland procurement policy continues to deliver on that commitment,” Mr de Brenni said.

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“Twenty-six jobs were supported during the construction of this project, including electricians, painters, plasterers, plumbers, joiners and carpenters, as well as three apprentices.

“A lot of effort went into co-designing the shelter, with crisis support agencies and community groups helping come up with the most practical and family-friendly layout.

“Women and children who use the shelter will have access to modern and secure amenities, including a private kitchen, dining and living areas, and a shared play space, and can live in safety when they seek shelter from domestic and family violence.”

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said his department signed a partnership agreement in October.

“Under the agreement, DAF will partner with Save the Children to support the refuge by raising funds; donating items such as play equipment, stationery, sun safe hats, clothing, bed linen and other assistance to help clients engage with the local community for sports or hobbies,” Mr Furner said.

“This two-year partnership, one of CEO Challenge’s first partnerships between a regional area and a statewide organisation, provides a wonderful opportunity for DAF staff to make a positive difference to the lives of others.”

Mr Furner said every contribution to the shelter would help to provide quality support and stability for women and children who have left violent homes.

“I know from first-hand experience the devastating effects of domestic violence and, with Christmas fast approaching, I encourage the department’s staff to dig deep to make a difference to families who will need support,” Mr Furner said.

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Save the Children Australia Team Leader Tracey Biehn said Save the Children welcomed the partnership with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

“Save the Children has been running domestic violence refuges in Queensland for more than 30 years and is committed to supporting women and their children who are fleeing domestic or family violence,” Ms Biehn said.

“We are excited about working with the department to help make the lives of women and children affected by domestic and family violence a little brighter.”

DAF Director-General Dr Beth Woods said the department took its social responsibility seriously and was delighted to partner with the Save the Children refuge and Australia’s CEO Challenge.

“DAF is committed to increasing the knowledge and skills of its staff to identify and respond to domestic and family violence,” Dr Woods said.

“About 650 DAF managers and supervisors are undertaking domestic and family violence training to help them recognise if one of their team is experiencing domestic and family violence and know how to respond appropriately.

“In May this year, 56 DAF staff registered for the Darkness to Daylight Challenge and raised more than $4200 to help support Australia’s CEO Challenge’s work to increase awareness of the impact of domestic and family violence on the community.”

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