Message from CEO June 2018

The continued Victorian government support of our work supporting women and children escaping family violence is welcome news. This support will enable our 24/7 crisis care to continue and expand. We will also be able to extend our specialist children’s work, which responds to the experiences of children in their own right. It will now be available seven days per week.

Our earliest attempts to operate a 24/7 safe house started years ago with a largely volunteer workforce. In those early pioneering efforts, women staying at our safe house had to leave the house at midday and then return at 4pm; the service was operating on a $55,000 one-off grant. In 2008 we began a ‘round the clock’ service which has been a continual challenge to fund. But we were determined to keeping it going, as we knew how important it was for women and children leaving violent situations at 3am to arrive at a welcoming safe haven instead of an impersonal hotel room — or to spend the night, as so many have, in a car with their children.

Up until this year our capacity to operate 24/7 has been wholly dependent on our own efforts in fundraising, goodwill and philanthropy.It could not have happened without the generosity of donors and the phenomenal fundraising efforts of our 24/7 Special Event Committee for over 10 years. 

I can’t say how grateful we are to this committee for their hard work, perseverance and focus. Their commitment and passion have never flagged. They have donated their time, skills and energy, and recruited new supporters. As well, they increased awareness of the issues surrounding family violence and have been wonderful ambassadors for women and children who are in distress, and for the work of McAuley in general.

It is also a tribute to all who have worked so hard over the last decade, whether as staff, donors, Board members or volunteers, to enable this essential work to continue, despite the precarious funding environment. Thank you to all for the amazing support which has helped thousands of women and their children have a chance to heal, rest and recover in a safe environment.

(Pictured above and below, some of our 24/7 committee and events over the past decade in which they and others have kept our 24/7 service open).