Homes for Queenslanders: New housing for First Nations women and children now open

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Public Works The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon
Homes for Queenslanders: New housing for First Nations women and children now open

  • New, purpose-built accommodation precinct on Brisbane’s southside for First Nations women and children experiencing, or at risk of experiencing homelessness
  • Precinct includes 33 modern homes, yarning circle, children’s play area and community hub
  • Part of Homes for Queenslanders plan to deliver 53,500 social homes by 2046

A purpose-built accommodation precinct for First Nations women and children experiencing homelessness is complete on Brisbane’s southside as part of the Miles Government’s Homes for Queenslanders big build.

A mix of seven studio, eight one-bedroom (including one unit for an overnight support worker) and 18 two-bedroom homes – have been delivered through a partnership between the Miles Government and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS) Brisbane.

The complex has been named Mari-Mari-Ba, which in the Yagarabul language means ‘Butterfly Place’.

It comes after the government launched new actions earlier this year through its Homes for Queenslanders plan to help close the gap on First Nations housing.

The new accommodation is a much-needed addition to the community, helping to reduce housing instability and providing safe, affordable and culturally appropriate housing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children.

The ground-level homes include three Platinum and nine Gold level homes under Livable Housing Guidelines, meaning they are suitable for people with mobility aids such as walkers and wheelchairs.

Shared spaces have also been incorporated into the precinct, including a yarning circle, children’s play area, barbeque areas and communal hub.

As stated by Housing Minister Meaghan Scanlon:

“This particular site has a long and important history of providing a safe place to call home for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children.

“This new project means that young First Nations families will have a safe place to call home and have a community, while also having access to support from organisations like ATSICHS.

“It’s a stark contrast to David Crisafulli and the LNP who wiped millions in Indigenous community funding.

“The LNP think our Homes for Queenslanders plan is too much and that means cuts. Will he again cut vital funding for our First Nations communities?”

As stated by Toohey MP, Peter Russo:

“This facility has been transformed and will provide a safe and secure home for First Nations women and children who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

“These new homes will provide privacy, stability and independence for residents as they plan their next steps for the future.

“An all-inclusive hub will offer social and cultural support services in the community.”

As stated by ATSICHS Brisbane CEO Renee Blackman:

“This new accommodation is a much-needed addition to the community, helping to reduce housing instability and providing safe, affordable and culturally appropriate housing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children,” she said.

“The name Mari-Mari-Ba, meaning ‘butterfly place’ in the Yuggera language group, symbolises hope and transformation, reflecting our mission to provide a peaceful, supportive environment for women and children who have experienced hardships and homelessness.”

As stated by Ngunnawal woman Dani McClelland, a student who moved into the complex after four months in a women’s shelter:

“I’ve really enjoyed my time here so much. What I’ve noticed in the community is it seems like a huge safe space, where everyone feels safe and happy, which is amazing,” she said.

“The team have helped identify the goals I have with culture and the goals I have with my life, and they’ve supported me so much through it all. My case worker Reen is lovely, always checking in and making sure I’m okay.

“It’s a very supportive community.”

/Public Release. View in full here.