Andrea Mia Women’s Refuge doubles in size one year after opening

Hannah CrossSound Telegraph
One of the new units at the Andrea Mia Women's Refuge.
Camera IconOne of the new units at the Andrea Mia Women's Refuge. Credit: Hannah Cross/Sound Telegraph

Kwinana and Rockingham community organisations are continuing the fight to have their voices heard and support those experiencing domestic or family violence as the fifth annual 16 Days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women campaign began on Thursday.

Local women’s refuge the Lucy Saw Centre Association doubled the size of its Kwinana centre, the Andrea Mia Women’s Refuge, with the opening of six new units on Friday.

Minister for Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Simone McGurk attended the opening alongside Baldivis MP Reece Whitby and Lucy Saw Centre Association founder Anne Moore.

Ms McGurk said the south metro area was identified as one area that could “benefit from increased capacity for crisis accommodation”.

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Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk at the launch the 2021 16 Days in WA campaign and make an announcement about support for victims of family and domestic violence.
Camera IconPrevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk. Credit: Andrew Ritchie/The West Australian

“The Andrea Mia Women’s Refuge opens 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and provides a safe space for survivors to break free from the cycle of violence and begin working to get their lives back on track,” Ms McGurk said.

“You can have larger families here . . . that’s important. It’s just not been the case in some of the older women’s refuges.”

The refuge, which opened just 12 months ago, also has a dedicated space for pets as well as a pet fostering program.

The Kwinana refuge is named after Andrea Pickett, a mother of 13 whose 2009 murder by her estranged husband led to significant changes in the WA family and domestic violence system after an inquest found government agencies had failed to put a plan in place to prevent her tragic death.

Ms Moore said the funding would make a huge difference to women seeking refuge in the area.

“It was just such a welcome amount of funding that was able to do this, because otherwise we’d be six units short and that meant that six women couldn’t get the help that they needed,” said Ms Moore.

Rockingham community members also gathered last Wednesday to raise awareness about domestic and family violence.

Hosted by the Rockingham Kwinana Safe Family Alliance and the City of Rockingham, the Domestic and Family Violence Remembrance Event provided a space to remember those lost to and impacted by domestic and family violence.

About 70 people attended the event and Rockingham Mayor Deb Hamblin said the City was continuing its work in supporting those impacted by domestic and family violence.

“The City helps to create sector networks such as the RKSFA and maintains an active involvement in these networks by partnering to support the implementation of programs, events and initiatives,” Cr Hamblin said.

Sixteen Days in WA runs from November 25 to December 10.

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