Supporting the local domestic and family violence response is firmly on Noosa Council’s agenda, says Mayor Clare Stewart.
Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart and Cr Amelia Lorentson (pictured right), at the recent meeting with the Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Council.
Recently, on the eve of the 16-Days-of-Activism-Against-Gender-Based-Violence initiative, Mayor Stewart and Councillors briefed the State’s Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Council on the ways Noosa Council is assisting.
“The Shine Houses are one of Noosa’s longest running and most successful domestic violence support initiatives,” Mayor Stewart said.
“For more than a decade the houses have provided those who are fleeing violent family and domestic situations with transitional accommodation and access to support services to help them establish their independence, deal with trauma and get back on their feet.
“Back then, Council provided land for their construction and just recently we provided a further land parcel, and secured funding from the state, to assist in the construction of another house, which I’m pleased to say is now up and running.”
In a similar model, Council recently approved Youturn Youth Support’s use of Council land at Tewantin for two ‘tiny homes’, which will soon provide young people in crisis with transitional accommodation.
“There aren’t always a lot of options for young people over 16 who are fleeing violent family and domestic situations and we know that too often they end up on the streets or couch surfing,” says Youturn CEO, Dr Tanya Bell.
“This pilot program aims to change that by providing stable and supported accommodation for young people, plus access to services to help them become independent, gain employment and get out of the cycle of going back to violent home environments where they risk either becoming perpetrators themselves or ongoing victims.”
Council’s Community Services Director, Kerri Contini, says partnering with local support organisations to respond to domestic and family violence issues locally is a model that works well.
“For Council, it’s not about taking over that space, but doing whatever we can to ensure our local not-for-profits that specialise in domestic and family violence support, have the help they need to make a difference.”
Council’s Community Development team facilitates the Northern Sunshine Coast Social Services Network, which brings together around 25 agencies that work with vulnerable people.
The agencies take part in bi-monthly meetings to coordinate partnerships and share information, which all helps improve domestic and family violence service delivery.
“Community, too, has a part to play,” the Mayor said, “as we saw earlier this year with the inaugural Mingle with the Mayor Charity Ball, coordinated by WomenKind Australia Inc.
“It raised over a quarter-of-a-million dollars to dramatically increase access to specialist DFV counselling services in Cooroy and Noosa.”
Community Alliance Grants are another way Council supports local charities, many of which are working hard to help those impacted by domestic violence, including The Salvation Army, Sunny Kids, St Vincent de Paul and Youturn.