40 years caring for those impacted by domestic and family violence

Image: Celebrating 40 years (left to right: Julie Hathaway, Liz Martin, Carol Willis, Carolyn Brooks, Nichole Overall and Narelle Sargent)

For 40 years Molonglo Support Services Ltd (Molonglo), a not for profit charity, has provided critical support services to those impacted by domestic and family violence and homelessness in Queanbeyan and the surrounding area.

“On the 4 March 2020, we will be marking our 40th Anniversary by launching a card designed by local artist Carolyn Brooks, to increase much needed funds so Molonglo can continue to provide essential services to its increasing number of clients”, said Molonglo Board Chair, Narelle Sargent.  In addition, Molonglo will be holding a number of awareness and fundraising activities throughout 2020 to raise much needed funds to support victims of domestic and family violence and people who are homeless.

Support services provided by Molonglo are Louisa Domestic Violence Service, Your Place Housing Support Service, South Eastern Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service and crisis and transitional accommodation in Queanbeyan.

Molonglo started as a safe place for women and children to escape abuse occurring in the home.  In 1979, Louisa Women’s and Children’s Services was founded by a group of women living in the local area who were inspired by the ideas of feminism and women’s rights that began to take hold in the late sixties and into the seventies. The refuge was named after Louisa Lawson, Australia’s first female journalist and mother to poet and writer Henry Lawson.  The new centre, at its current location, was officially opened by Louisa’s granddaughter in 1998.

A former client said “I was broken both physically and mentally. I did not know where to go for assistance and support. I was referred to Louisa Domestic Violence Service. They provided me with a safe place to stay and ongoing support to both myself and children. Without this assistance I don’t know where I would be today. Thank you”.

Nichole Overall, the inaugural Patron since November 2019, says it’s a great honour to be associated with Molonglo. “These are critical services within our community, accommodating and supporting people affected by domestic violence or who are experiencing homelessness,” she says. “In addition, supporting people through the legal system  in such trying and stressful times is of vital importance to those suffering in this way.”  “I’m pleased to be able to help in whatever small way I can, at the least, generating greater community awareness about not just the service but the ongoing impact of domestic violence on our local families and what can be done about it.”

Janette Dale, Executive Officer says “there have been many adaptive changes since the organisation was established and Molonglo has been flexible in meeting the needs of our community.  Nonetheless, providing services to those who have experienced abuse, homelessness and poverty is just as relevant and challenging today as it was then”.