Construction begins on $8.7 million East Metro Women’s Refuge
Construction has commenced on a new purpose-built women’s refuge facility in Perth’s east that will assist women escaping family and domestic violence.
Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk today turned the first sod of the $8.7 million project that will deliver 10 crisis accommodation rooms, as well as supported transitional accommodation units to support an additional 18 women.
The start of construction represents the culmination of more than four years of planning and collaborative work between the Department of Communities and specialist refuge service provider Zonta House Refuge Association.
Construction of the facility will be led by Western Australian building company Swan Group. The contemporary design created by Whitehaus Architects includes environmentally sustainable, safe and culturally appropriate spaces. There will also a generous landscaped outdoor area to help foster wellbeing.
The refuge will accommodate women with complex issues and provide survivors with wraparound support services, including access to specialist mental health services to help reduce the rate of women returning to crisis centres.
It will work to increase the economic independence of survivors and support them to get their lives back on track.
The turning of the first sod at the East Metropolitan Women’s Refuge coincides with the State Government’s 16 Days in WA campaign, and project completion is anticipated in 2023.
16 Days in WA promotes community awareness and challenges views that can prevent victims of family and domestic violence from seeking help or assistance. It also seeks to put an end to behaviours that allow victim-blaming to go unchecked.
More information on the State Government’s 16 Days in WA campaign, including a campaign kit with 16 ways to take action, is available online.
“The East Metropolitan Women’s Refuge will significantly increase family and domestic violence accommodation capacity in Perth’s eastern suburbs.
“New purpose-built refuge facilities go a long way to ensuring women escaping violence are offered a safe space and treated with dignity and respect, so I have no doubt that this facility will make a real difference to the lives of victims.
“I would like to thank Zonta House Refuge Association and its CEO Kelda Oppermann for their ongoing partnership and passion for this important project.
“The State Government looks forward to working with Swan Group to deliver a crucial infrastructure project that will help to keep women safe and support them as they rebuild their lives.
“Too many women and children are impacted by family and domestic violence in Western Australia, so for this year’s 16 Days in WA campaign we’re asking everyone ‘Don’t be silent when you see violence’ to help stop violence before it begins.” said Minister for Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Simone McGurk.
“This new refuge will provide a vital service in Perth’s eastern suburbs for women fleeing domestic violence who are in need of accommodation, so it’s great to see the build under way.
“I’m proud to be part of a Government that continues to invest in additional supports for victims of family and domestic violence.
“New purpose-built facilities that are linked with specialist wraparound services that help women rebuild their independence are key to breaking the cycle of violence.
“I look forward to working with my Government colleagues and Zonta House Refuge Association, which has a great track record of delivering refuge support services, to deliver this important community facility.” said Cannington MLA Bill Johnston.