The City of Stirling has welcomed the Western Australian Government’s $22.6 million investment in rebuilding the Stirling Women’s Centre, with the facility set to celebrate its 45th year of service in 2024.
Speaking at the ‘16 Days in WA’ breakfast, Western Australian Premier, Roger Cook, announced a $72.6 million commitment to fund new crisis beds and primary prevention, intervention, education and recovery initiatives to combat family and domestic violence.
Saturday 25 November 2023 marked the start of the campaign’s seventh iteration, which will end on Sunday 10 December 2023, International Human Rights Day.
The funding for the Stirling Women’s Centre, a crisis accommodation centre for women and children experiencing domestic violence currently provided by the city, will see its capacity more than triple, expanding from five rooms in a communal facility to 16 new independent units.
City of Stirling Mayor, Mark Irwin, thanked the Premier and the Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister, Sabine Winton, for their support of this critical service.
“The city has worked closely with the State Government and today’s announcement continues a long history of partnership and collaboration in the delivery of services to countless families in our community,” Mr Irwin said.
“Our history with the Stirling Women’s Centre goes back almost 45 years, when it became the first purpose-built crisis accommodation centre for women and children experiencing domestic violence.
“The significant funding announced today will triple the centre’s capacity, which we know is crucial given the persistence and devastating impact family and domestic violence continues to have on our community.
“The city has been advocating and collaborating with the Department of Communities for close to ten years on the need for an eventual replacement of the Stirling Women’s Centre. It led to a business case to support the redevelopment in August 2022, after a period of extremely high demand for service in 2021.
“An Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2018 report into family domestic and sexual violence in Australia identified half of all women experienced sexual harassment since the age of 15, and that 86 per cent of victims of sexual assault were women.
“The State Government has committed more than $300 million into new family and domestic violence initiatives since 2017, including funding for the Naala Djookan Healing Centre which opened in December 2020.”
The Western Australian Government also announced a funding extension earlier in 2023 for the Naala Djookan Healing Centre, of which the city is the lead agency of ten consortium partners.