Developers team up to build haven for DV survivors

Lifestyle developer Halcyon and listed property group Mirvac, in conjunction with DV Connect, have collaborated to deliver Queensland’s first purpose-built bridging accommodation facility to provide support for victims of domestic violence.

The facility, a safe haven to be based at an unpublicised location on the northern Gold Coast, will be launched by the Hon Di Farmer, Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence on Wednesday 12th December.

Distress over the Gold Coast’s escalating rate of domestic violence and murder prompted Halcyon project director Marie Cone to bring to life the city’s first purpose-built bridging accomodation for women and their children.

The bridging accommodation will comprise two one-bedroom, two two-bedroom and one three-bedroom units 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.

Halcyon and Mirvac will work in conjunction with DV Connect to provide a safe, stable and comfortable environment for women with children exiting domestic violence situations, within which they can create new life plans and, where relevant, re-enter the workplace with confidence.

DV Connect board of directors chair Shaan Ross-Smith said 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,” said Ms Ross-Smith.

“Such support 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.”

Halcyon joint managing director Dr Bevan Geissmann said the DV Connect facility presented the perfect opportunity for Halcyon to lend a helping hand to the community.

“We’re really pleased to be playing a small role in a community initiative that will support so many families,” Dr Geissmann said.

“Victims can get government-funded crisis accommodation at a hotel or motel for two or three days but so often these women are then forced to go home, and they’re stuck in that terrible situation, so this DV Connect facility will provide an effective alternative.”

Committed to making the bridging accomodation a reality, Mirvac generously donated land to DV Connect for the facility.
“Mirvac were very, very impressed by the concept and jumped on board,” Dr Geissmann said.

Now both companies, with the generous help of their sub-contractors and suppliers, have commenced construction on the DV Connect facility.

Mirvac human resources head Kristen Sweeney said 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,” said Ms Sweeney.
“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.”

DV Connect is funded largely by the Queensland Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women and is the only state-wide telephone service offering a free crisis hotline for anyone affected by domestic or family violence. DV Connect’s crisis hotline is 1800 811 811.