New Women’s Shelter in Pittwater Receives Capital Funding

A new women’s shelter in Pittwater is set to provide a vital sanctuary for victims of domestic violence, thanks to a $6 million capital funding grant.

The official announcement of this much-needed support was made by NSW Minister for Women, Seniors, Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Jodie Harrison, on 27 July at Winnererremy Bay, Mona Vale. She identified Pittwater as the chosen location of the new premises.

Minister Harrison underscored the importance of providing comprehensive assistance to victims of domestic violence, stating, “Domestic and family violence, in fact, violence of any sort has no place in our society at all, and we should not ever put up with it. Sadly, in the last 12 months, we’ve seen 34,000 incidents of domestic and family violence assaults reported to NSW Police.

“We know that those figures are definitely under-reported. We know that victims of family and domestic violence are frequently not likely to report to police for various reasons. As a community, we need to do everything we possibly can to put a stop to it.

“Part of supporting victim-survivors is to ensure that they have somewhere to go when they are leaving a violent relationship. A safe place for them to go and to be supported is incredibly important.”

This $6m initiative forms part of the program “Core and Cluster” of the NSW government. More than just providing a safe place to stay, the women’s shelter initiative focuses on independent living, reclaiming dignity, and on-site services for those in need.

The initiative has garnered strong community support, particularly from the Northern Beaches Women’s Shelter, led by Chair Rosy Sullivan and Manager Narelle Hand. The Chair expressed gratitude for the funding, highlighting the desperate need to expand refuge services in the area.

For over a decade, the Northern Beaches Women’s Shelter has been providing assistance to women without custodial care of their children. This expansion, Ms Sullivan said, presents a unique opportunity to address the needs of women and children in the region.

“13 years of fund-raising, philanthropic foundations that have been with us all the way through this journey since opening our doors in November 2010. That a property can be identified, and purchased, and then moved into this Core and Cluster program, is going to take it to a whole new level of possibility. We will hopefully address some of the needs that we have, in terms of not having to turn so many women away on a monthly basis.

“We’ve had the architects, the designers, the fire and safety people who have been working with the property pro-bono, in terms of getting this property ready to then take on the next stage, to be able to offer the Core and Cluster model through this fabulous new property.

“Generosity of spirit can go so far in terms of making this a really valuable project, and a project that will benefit the women who are in such dire need of somewhere to heal, somewhere to be safe, somewhere where they can regroup their own minds, their own family, their own being in terms of returning to be a valuable, respected, and happy member of whatever community they choose to be a part of,” said Ms Sullivan.

Construction of one of the two women’s shelters to be delivered under the program has already begun in the Pittwater site, with completion expected by December 2023. 

Published 17-August-2023