Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

New safe house opened in Alice Springs

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Indigenous Health - Member for Lingiari
    The Hon Malandirri McCarthy MLA, NT Minister for Children and Families

The Australian and Northern Territory Governments today opened a new women’s safe place in Alice Springs to provide emergency accommodation for large families escaping family and domestic violence.

The Alice Springs Women’s Transitional House will cater for up to two large families and will be managed by the Alice Springs Women’s Shelter.

It will mean a mother and all her children can be together in one place, reducing strain on families at a time when they are already under considerable pressure. Up until now, it has been difficult for large families to be accommodated together in safe and secure accommodation in Alice Springs.

Breaking the cycle of domestic violence is fundamental to building strong families and healthy communities where people can live without the destructive consequences of violence.

Safe places are helping improve the safety of women and children through the establishment of safe places for women and cooling off shelters for men. Over 80 local people are currently employed at the new safe places on a full-time or casual basis.

And more employment opportunities will be available following the signing of a $765,000 contract between the Australian Government and Greening Australia.

Greening Australia is currently working with safe place communities to develop a landscaping design and plan for 17 of the 22 safe places sites across the NT.

A key focus of this project is the delivery of training and employment in the community, particularly for young people in the community.

Since January this year, 19 of the 22 planned new safe places have begun operating across remote communities in the Northern Territory as part of a Northern Territory Emergency Response measure delivered jointly by the Australian and Northern Territory Governments.

Of the 22 safe places, 13 are women’s safe places and nine are men’s cooling off shelters.

In that time, over 90 women and children have sought refuge and respite at these safe places.

Safe houses are also helping communities better understand what causes violence in the community and how to deal with it as well as helping women teach the next generation about how to prevent family violence.

The men’s cooling off shelters provide a safe place for men which offer family violence education and programs on dealing with alcohol.

Safe places opened this year include: Ngukurr (women’s and men’s), Lajamanu (women’s), Nguiu (women’s and men’s), Apatula (men’s), Kalkarindji (women’s), Peppimenarti (women’s), Maningrida (women’s), Hermannsburg (women’s), Yarralin (women’s), Ramingining (women’s and men’s), Ti Tree (women’s), Pmara Jutunta (men’s), Yuendumu (men’s), Beswick (men’s) and the Transitional house in Alice Springs (women’s).