Jobs Australia Enterprises Ltd (JAE) have been assisting people in the New England and North West for over 31 years. This includes over 2000 people per year seeking employment and over 2300 Pacific Islanders in seasonal work.
Through this work, JAE recognised there are times in Gunnedah where women have relied on the good nature of accommodation businesses to take in victims of domestic violence and that this has often been very short term and due to the lack of a suitable alternative, these victims have found themselves back in the violent environment from which they escaped.
This further exposes them and their children to violence.
The JAE board and particularly the CEO Nigel Barlow and Deputy CEO Gavin Kay had a vision to assist women, children and their pets to escape domestic violence and provide them with crisis accommodation in the Gunnedah community and surrounds.
Having the crisis accommodation available right here in Gunnedah became a priority to provide a safe haven and a better outcomes for victims of domestic violence. Victims of domestic violence often do not leave the household for a number of reasons including not having a safe, supportive environment for themselves and their children to go to at short notice.
To bring this vision to fruition for the Gunnedah community, Jobs Australia Enterprises purchased a property that was demolished in 2020. With a grant from Stronger Country Communities, a new, purpose built crisis accommodation that will be known as Allawah Cottage will be completed in 2021.
The house has been designed to ensure the highest level of safety for our community’s most vulnerable women and children. Thanks to the strong support of the Gunnedah community and over 500 signatures and 25 letters of support, sponsors, grants and now the annual McLean Care Allawah Cottage Charity Ball, all funds raised will go toward running the crisis accommodation year after year.