Search Results for: pets in crisis
- 1st July, 2019 | by dvconnect
10 facts about our Pets In Crisis Program
- The Pets In Crisis Program exists to care for pets whose families are escaping domestic violence.
- A lot of refuges do not accept pets, so many people decide to stay in a domestic violence situation for fear of what might happen to their pet if they leave. Sadly, our counsellors regularly speak to people whose intimate partners use violence or threats of it towards their pets – in order to frighten and control them into staying.
- Established in 2005, the Program is a collaboration between DVConnect and the RSPCA Queensland.
- Each pet is given safe accommodation, food, and in most cases veterinary care.
- The Program cares for almost 300 pets each year.
- BUT, last financial year we were forced to turn away 2-3 pets every week because we don’t have enough funding or safe accommodation to care for them.
- Pets can stay in the program for up to 28 days.
- Any pet is accepted, provided there is a suitable place for them to be cared for.
- Each pet is given a thorough health check by an RSPCA veterinarian. Sadly though, a lot of pets from domestic violence situations haven’t received the medical care they should have in their lives. This means more vet care is needed, which means more costs.
- The minimum cost to operate the Pets In Crisis Program is $150,000. This increases when the number of animals needing help increases.
- To access this program, you must speak with the DVConnect team. Please call anytime on 1800 811 811, they are available to chat 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you, or someone you know is experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence, DVConnect can help you find a pathway to safety, away from violence. The DVConnect helplines are:
- Womensline 1800 811 811, available 24/7
- Mensline 1800 600 636 available from 9am – midnight, 7 days
- Sexual Assault Helpline 1800 010 120, available from 7.30am – 11.30pm, 7 days.
- For more visit www.DVConnect.org.
For more, contact
- 14th January, 2022 | by dvconnect
DVConnect is a free and confidential Service that can help any person in Queensland who is feeling unsafe at home because of domestic, family or intimate partner violence. Through our Mensline we can also assist men wanting to make changes to their abusive behaviours.
We also help people who have experienced sexual assault or abuse at any point in their lives through our Sexual Assault Helpline.
In the last Financial Year:
- DVConnect received 1 call every 5 minutes
- We supported 3,000+ young people into emergency accommodation
- 41% of people who accessed our services were from Regional, Rural & Outer Regional areas across Queensland
- Calls to our Sexual Assault Helpline increased by 13% from the last Financial Year
- Nearly 300 pets were supported through our Pets in Crisis Program with the RSPCA QLD
- We received 7000+ referrals to Mensline from the Police
- And provided 3,000 men with counselling
- Another 3,500 men received information from our Service
If you are thinking about calling our Service but are not sure if we are the right Service for you, we have connections across Queensland and Australia and our counsellors are happy to point you in the right direction.
- 14th January, 2022 | by dvconnect
By supporting the work of DVConnect, you give every person who asks us for help, a path to safety. There are many ways you can support our work no matter who you are. Find a way from the list below:
Show your support, it's free
- If someone tells you they have experienced violence or abuse, please believe and support them.
- Share our social media posts to help spread the word that violence and abuse is never acceptable. Sharing a post will also tell your friends that you are a safe person and there are specialist services like DVConnect that can help. You never know when someone on your friend’s list may need it.
- Look out for signs of non-physical abuse and know where you can refer a family member or friend for support.
- Download the Be there app to recognise abuse, shape your approach and support the person you care about in a way that is safe for everyone.
- Call DVConnect for advice to support someone you care about who may be experiencing domestic, family or sexual violence.
- Don’t give people who use violence a free pass. Speak out if you hear excuses for violence or victim blaming.
- Challenge stereotypes and call out sexist attitudes like ‘jokes’ that are derogatory towards females.
- You can help people within the LGBTQ+ community to be safe from violence by amplifying the LGBTQ DV Awareness Foundation’s messages, and participating in LGBTQ DV Awareness Day on May 28 every year.
Take action in the workplace
- If you are a leader in your workplace, contact us about how you can play a role in ending domestic and family violence.
- If you have concerns for a colleague, ask them if they are okay. Let them know you are here for them. Watch this video from MATE which shows how one person can make a big difference.
- Workplace giving programs are a great way to donate from your pre-tax income, reducing your taxable income whilst helping QLDers. Learn more.
- If you are a staff member, ask your workplace what training and domestic and family violence polices exist, and how well they are working.
- Go the extra mile and book DFV training with our expert team. Email or find out more at Workplace Training
Participate in important dates & events (here's a few)
- 8 March every year: International Women’s Day
- April every year: Sexual Assault Awareness Month
- May every year: Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month
- 1 May every year: National Day to remember those who have lost their lives as a result of domestic and family violence.
- First Wednesday of May every year: Candle Lighting Vigil to remember those who have lost their lives as a result of domestic violence.
- 17 May every year: IDAHOBIT
- 27 May – 3 June: National Reconciliation Week
- 28 May every year is the LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Day
- First week of June every year: NAIDOC Week
- 4 August every year: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day
- 27 August every year: Wear it Purple Day
- October every year: Sexual Violence Awareness month.
- 25 November every year: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
- 25 November – 10 December: Orange the world – 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence
- 3 December: International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Support Bella's Sanctuary
Bella’s Sanctuary is a safe place for women and their children to heal and rebuild after violence, providing independent, medium-term accommodation for up to five families at a time.
Bella’s Sanctuary is an Australia-first, made possible by Mirvac, Halcyon, DVConnect and 90 local Gold Coast businesses. Funded 100% by the corporate sector, then donated to not-for-profit DVConnect, we now own and manage the operation of Bella’s Sanctuary.
Mirvac and Halcyon hope that other developers and builders will use Bella’s Sanctuary as a template and recreate similar accommodation for people who have experienced domestic and family violence around the country.
You can find out more about how Halcyon executive Marie Cone came up with the idea for Bella’s Sanctuary in the video below.
Why Bella’s Sanctuary is needed
Bella’s Sanctuary was created because of the lack of affordable housing options on the Gold Coast and across Queensland. An affordable housing option, close to supports, was desperately needed to give women and their children a fresh start.
Bella’s Sanctuary is a safe place for women and their children to reside in for up to 12 months after they leave refuge. It aims to assist women to transition into independent housing (either private rentals or public housing), while supporting the women who live there to be close to family, schools and work on the Gold Coast.
What it’s like to live at Bella’s Sanctuary
Take a look inside Bella’s Sanctuary in the video below.
Bella’s Sanctuary has 5 units comprising of 2 one-bedroom units, including 1 unit accommodating tenants with disabilities, 2 two-bedroom units and 1 three-bedroom unit. Each unit has its own kitchenette, living area and courtyard. Bella’s Sanctuary also has a communal kitchen, living room, laundry, play area, garage, administration office 24/7 security camera system, an alarm, as well as keypad entry on all doors and gates.
A tenant at Bella’s Sanctuary shared with us how she found her experience living at Bella’s with her young son. You can read about it below.
“Bella’s felt like a major turning point in my life. Bella’s was different to refuge because I could make it our home. I also loved that I had space to be alone with Harry* (her son) but could be around other tenants or staff when I needed help or some company. Re-learning my independence was one of the best things that time at Bella’s gave me. I also can’t imagine how hard it would have been to get my first rental if I didn’t have Bella’s in my rental history. Bella’s changed my life and gave me time which was something Harry* and I really needed to get back up on our feet.”
*Names have been changed
How you can support Bella’s Sanctuary
Ever since we welcomed the first family to Bella’s Sanctuary in 2019, we have relied on generous community donations to keep Bella’s doors open.
As the not-for-profit owners and operators of Bella’s Sanctuary, every year we have to raise over $80,000 to continue to provide this safe home for women and their children.
Every donation helps. Please consider supporting Bella’s Sanctuary with a once-off, regular donation, or End of Financial Year donation.
Thank you for keeping Bella’s Sanctuary’s doors open and for helping women and children in Queensland who have experienced domestic and family violence.
Donate here: https://www.dvconnect.org/fundraising/donate/
- 2019 Winner of the Excellence in Social Responsibility, The Urban Developer Awards
- 2019 Winner of the Excellence in Industry Leadership, The Urban Developer Awards
- 2019 Development of the Year, Social Infrastructure (Finalist) The Urban Developer Awards
- 2019 Winner of the Business Category through developer Halcyon at the Gold Coast City Council Safer Suburbs Award
- 2019 Winner of the Creating Change Award, Gold Coast Women In Business Awards, Marie Cone of Halcyon who originally created the idea of Bella’s Sanctuary
- 2020 Halcyon was inducted into the Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Honour Roll for their significant role in building Bella’s Sanctuary.
- 2020 Mirvac Residential was inducted into the Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Honour Roll for their role in building Bella’s Sanctuary.
- 2020 Marie Cone was inducted into the Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Honour Roll for her outstanding contribution to helping Queensland women and children who have experienced domestic and family violence.
Help Pets in Crisis
No person should have to stay in an unsafe relationship for fear of what will happen to their pet if they leave. Our Pets in Crisis program with the RSPCA Queensland provides safe accommodation, food and vet care to 300 pets every year whose families have escaped domestic and family violence.
All kinds of pets have been supported through the Pets in Crisis Program including cats, dogs, horses and guinea pigs. The Program is a lifeline, providing peace of mind to women and their children that their pet will be safe and reunited with them soon.
Find out more about how DVConnect and the RSPCA Queensland work together to support pets and their families in the video below.
Why Pets in Crisis is needed
We know that pet abuse, including the threat of pet abuse, can be used to create fear and exert control in domestic and family violence. According to a recent study, 70% of women fleeing domestic violence reported experiencing pet abuse.
Another reason Pets in Crisis is essential is because most refuges in Queensland do not allow pets. The Pets in Crisis Program creates a path to safety for both women and their animals.
How to access Pets in Crisis for your pet
Call DVConnect on 1800 811 811 so that our specialist counsellors can explore your options with you.
How you can help
Furry Survivor Stories
Beanie & Frankie’s Furry Survivor Story
Beanie and Frankie’s* Mum Iris* was delighted to have her two furry babies back in her care after she left hospital. Iris unfortunately found herself admitted into hospital after her ex-partner had physically assaulted her so badly that she was knocked unconscious. Her neighbours had heard Iris arguing with a male and the dogs barking excessively, so they had called the Police, which is when she was found and taken to hospital by an ambulance. Iris expressed her gratitude to the foster carers who looked after Beanie and Frankie for many reasons. One reason in particular was that their foster carers had given them regular professional pet grooming hair cuts. Iris said that when she lived with her ex-partner she was not able to access any of their finances, even though she had a full time job. (This is called Financial Abuse). Her abuser didn’t allow her to spend money on Beanie and Frankie, other than food so professional pet grooming would have been out of the question. When Beanie and Frankie were first admitted into the Pets In Crisis program they received all the vaccinations and medications required to safeguard them from potentially serious and sometimes fatal diseases. They were desexed and they were microchipped.
Millie’s Furry Survivor Story
Millie needed the Pets In Crisis Program foster care accommodation for 2 months. When she first arrived she also needed veterinary attention in the form of her C5 (Kennel Cough) injection, her heart worm injection, as well as flea and tick medication. She was then placed in a foster care home with another dog, of similar size and age to her. Millie’s reunion with her family was an emotional one. It represented a new beginning and a new life with her family that would be free from violence. Millie’s Mum told the Pets in Crisis Program volunteers that “she didn’t know if she could leave the violent situation she used to be in because she was scared about what would happen to her precious girl Millie.” She went on to add that she is so grateful for this program.
Roxanna’s Furry Survivor Story
Roxanna* is a little Maltese cross weighing only 4kg. Roxanna and her mum had been living with domestic and family violence. Roxanna’s Mum made the courageous decision to leave her abusive partner and needed somewhere safe for Roxanne to go while she fled to safety herself. She called the DVConnect Womensline and Roxanna was admitted into the Pets In Crisis Program. After a tearful goodbye with her Mum, Roxanna headed to the RSPCA Wacol Animal Hospital where she was given a clean bill of health. That night would have been a very scary one for little Roxanna but the vet staff kept a close eye on her and tried to alleviate her nervousness.
The next day Roxanna was the perfect patient as she had her desex surgery. Over the next two days, little Roxanna waited for her behavioral assessment. But she was very anxious and refused to eat. The stress of the shelter environment was just too much for her. That’s when we needed a staff member to step up and agree to take her home straight away. No more time in the kennels for this sweet girl. This is how Roxanna ended up being placed with a loving foster carer named Anna*. Anna said “When I first brought her inside my house, she wasn’t very confident. She was a little unsure of the resident cats and Chihuahua. She had to be hand-fed roast chicken to get her to eat. But she took an instant shine to my partner. Stuck to her like glue! Over the passing weeks, we saw a great transformation in Roxanna. She was outgoing and playful. She even tried to entice my very sedate Chihuahua into games. She was cheeky and funny. And she was eating like a horse! I think she settled into my place really well. Roxanna’s mum ended up needing another 28 days of emergency boarding. But I didn’t mind. I loved caring for this little madam. When it was time to bring her back to the RSPCA Queensland so that her mum could collect her, there were definitely a lot of mixed feelings. When I saw the reunion between Roxanna and her mum, I knew that this was working out exactly as it should. Roxanna’s mum was so happy and so grateful to us for caring for her girl. She grabbed my hand and kept saying “thank you, thank you so much”. Roxanna was ecstatic to see her mum again, her little body squirmed in excitement and her tail wagged uncontrollably. It truly made this whole process worthwhile.”
Missy’s Furry Survivor Story
Sharon* and her children were subjected to domestic violence and abuse. Sharon reached out to DVConnect and expressed she wanted assistance to leave a violent household. Sharon and her children were assisted into safe house accommodation. Naturally Sharon was anxious about leaving Missy, the family dog, with RSPCA Queensland, and was concerned about how Missy would cope with the change in environment. RSPCA Queensland reassured Sharon that Missy would be well cared for through a kind and professional service, and they would be reunited in 28 days. Missy was taken into RSPCA Queensland care and supported by animal attendants and vet clinics to have a physical exam, vaccinations and to be de-wormed. Missy was de-sexed and cleared to proceed to the behavioural assessment stage. In the behavioural assessment stage she was cleared for safety handling, separation anxiety and given the tick that meant she was suitable for foster. While assessment took place, Missy was given twice daily walks and cuddles to ensure she received regular exercise and human connection. Missy was placed with foster carers John and Jenny. John and Jenny were aware she was a Pets In Crisis dog and she had been exposed to a violent environment. Missy’s foster carers were patient as she settled into a routine of regular walks. John and Jenny regularly provided updates to Sharon about how Missy was settling confidently into her new routine. Missy’s stay with John and Jenny was extended by 28 days because of Sharon’s need for more time. Missy was in foster care for 2 months and the family reunion with Missy, Sharon and Sharon’s children was emotional because it represented a new beginning as a family. Sharon was grateful and said to John and Jenny, ‘Thank you so much for looking after my girl. I don’t know what I would have done without this program’.
Marble’s Furry Survivor Story
Chen* contacted the Womensline seeking information about what services DVConnect provides and how DVConnect might assist someone in her situation. Chen had been in a relationship with an abusive partner for 7 years and she had previously been in contact with the Womensline for counselling, support and information. On this most recent occasion, Chen contacted Womensline seeking immediate assistance to get to safety. When identifying potential difficulties and needs in sourcing safe accommodation, Chen stated that she had a 4 year old staffy cross dog named Marble*, that she could not leave at home. In fact, part of the abuse that Chen’s partner had inflicted on her included tormenting Marble. Chen revealed that the idea of leaving Marble behind had been a huge barrier in her previously accessing DVConnect services beyond counselling and support, and Chen’s partner had directly threatened to harm or kill Marble if Chen ever left the relationship. The Womensline Counsellor that Chen spoke with discussed the Pets in Crisis program that DVConnect has available for women and their pets who have experienced domestic or family violence. Although initially reluctant to part from Marble for any extended period of time, Chen self-identified that whilst safety was a priority, assistance through the Pets in Crisis program was the best thing for herself and Marble, and knowing that DVConnect is partnered with reputable organisations through this program including the RSPCA Queensland, Chen decided to enter Marble into the program. On the same day that Chen contacted the Womensline, she had an appointment at a nearby RSPCA that participates in the Pets in Crisis program. Chen signed all documents that ensured Marble would be safe in foster care over a period of a month and then Chen was assisted to emergency motel accommodation and also refuge.
Follow us on social media to stay up to date on how you can get involved
- 17th March, 2020 | by DVConnectHR
The Principles that guide us
- Domestic, family and sexual violence is one of the most prevalent, pervasive and serious human rights violations.
- Everyone has the right to be respected and live without fear from violence.
- The use of violence is a choice and people need to be held responsible and accountable for their behaviour.
- We operate from an intersectional feminist framework, acknowledging that domestic and family violence is gender-based violence, predominantly perpetrated by men against women.
- It is critical that we continue to learn from and include diverse voices of survivors and culturally diverse communities when seeking to prevent violence.
- We provide inclusive services that are evidence-based and trauma informed.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People know best what their communities need and want.
- We acknowledge and respect the abilities, strengths, goals and needs of people living with disability.
- We are committed to working collaboratively as part of a broader system.
- Our governance will be robust, ethical and transparent.
Our aim is for all relationships to be free from domestic, family and sexual violence.
Creating pathways for a life free from violence and fear.
Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect, Empowerment.
Our Services and Programs
Sexual Assault Helpline
Pets in Crisis
We are grateful to all of our partners who help us help more Queenslanders impacted by domestic, family and sexual violence. Without them, we couldn’t do what we do. Some of our partners are Bank of Queensland, Rotary Brisbane West, QSuper, Halcyon, Mirvac, RSPCA Queensland, Maurice Blackburn, Queensland Rail, Fair World Foundation, Barbie Banks, Milton Common and Cheer Up Inc.
QSuper have been partners of DVConnect since 2016. QSuper have generously provided funding for one full time crisis counsellor every year since 2016. Their volunteer team also give up their time every year to help organise and execute the Candle Lighting Vigil held on Remembrance Day. They also hold Domestic Violence morning teas to raise additional funds for those affected by domestic and family violence.
Halcyon and Mirvac have been partners of DVConnect since 2018 when a collaboration was formed to build a 5 unit, $1.5 million dollar bridging-accommodation facility. Lifestyle community developers Halcyon and listed property group Mirvac, along with over 90 of their suppliers donated their time, labour and materials to build the facility. The facility comprises 2 one-bedroom units, 2 two-bedroom units and 1 three-bedroom unit. Each unit has its own kitchenette, living area and courtyard. The facility also has a communal kitchen and living room, a play area, garage, a dedicated office space for DVConnect support services, as well as an alarm, state-of-the-art security camera survellience and keypad entry on all doors and gates.
The RSPCA Queensland has been a partner of DVConnect since 2005. The RSPCA Queensland care for almost 250 animals as part of the Pets In Crisis Program. These animals are in desperate need of accommodation because their family have escaped domestic and family violence situations. While their family go to emergency accommodation or a refuge, often animals are not permitted there. The RSPCA Queensland provides much needed veterinary care, as well as accommodation for up to 30 days. The equates to almost 7500 care days plus veterinary care.
Maurice Blackburn Women’s Network announced their partnership with DVConnect on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2019 to coincide with their 100 year of fighting fair. Maurice Blackburn Women’s Network are committed to together with DVConnect to end domestic, family and sexual violence. The law firm have always been committed to social justice and were instrumental in contributing to some of Australia’s most influential legal decisions, including equal pay for women. They are providing DVConnect with a variety of professional services pro bono. In addition, the Maurice Blackburn’s Equity Team have donated $10,000 cash. Maurice Blackburn employees also volunteer at DVConnect events and hold fundraising activities.
Queensland Rail have been partners of DVConnect since 2010. Queensland Rail have generously provided Queenslanders escaping domestic violence through DVConnect with complimentary long-haul train travel. There are many occasions where it is not safe for a person to stay in the town or city they resided in when they were experiencing domestic violence.
Queensland Country Women’s Association have been partners with DVConnect since 2011. Country Women’s Association have been generously providing DVConnect with care packs for those escaping domestic and family violence.
Board of Directors
DVConnect is governed by a Board of Directors whose primary purpose is to provide strong governance and strategic framework. This governance will guide and support the management team in the development and financing of the organisations activities.
The Directors also act as a reference point for specific issues that require expertise beyond the core capability of the organisations’ professionals. The Directors undertake duties and obligations as required by the Corporations Act, the Service Agreement and other funding service delivery guidelines issued by the Department of Communities.
For previous Directors, please view the Annual Reports.
Fiona Maxwell, ACTING CHAIR
Appointed Director 18 September 2017. Appointed Acting Chair 4 May 2022 and leading the new Chair recruitment process.
Fiona Maxwell’s career has spanned the non-profit, government and university sectors in Australia and the USA. Prior to becoming CEO of Brisbane Powerhouse, Fiona was Queensland Manager for Philanthropy Australia, establishing the Brisbane office and supporting philanthropists and non-profits alike to grow the sector. Fiona has extensive experience building strong relationships with stakeholders in various industries including the service industry, internet start-up sector and philanthropic sector.
Fiona holds a Bachelor of Arts from Queensland University of Technology, a Masters from the University of New South Wales and recently completed the Executive Program for Non-profit Leaders at Stanford University.
Enid Hughes, DEPUTY CHAIR
Appointed Deputy Chair 21 August 2017
Enid is a strategic thinker and experienced management consultant bringing to the table broad executive capabilities across; business strategy, HR management, project management, brand management, organisational change and information technology. Her experience covers the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Enid is focused on performance; with a passion for business transformation through technology and organisational change.
Enid is an advocate of women at all levels and in all walks of life and is an active mentor.
Enid holds a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Applied Science (Computing).
Linda Dreghorn, SECRETARY
Appointed Secretary 22 February 2015. Appointed Director 20 July 2010
Linda Dreghorn is currently Company Secretary for Green Cross Australia, and Manager, Business Performance – Governance at Arts Queensland. Previous roles include Company Secretary and Legal Counsel for Major Brisbane Festivals Pty Ltd, General Manager of Brisbane Festival 2006, Secretary and Director of the Secretariat of the Queensland Law Society Inc., Co-ordinator of Due Diligence for SunWater’s acquisition of major water infrastructure and Lecturer in Law at the Queensland University of Technology.
Linda has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland, a Graduate Diploma in Company Secretarial Studies and is a graduate of the ACID Company Directors’ course.
Ben Bjarnesen, DIRECTOR
Appointed Director 19 August 2019
Ben Bjarnesen is a 2016 Churchill Fellow, who has conducted international research on how Police forces and support services can best respond to domestic violence incidents in LGBTI communities. He is a training facilitator for the Queensland AIDS Council Domestic Violence Awareness Training and is involved with various other not for profit organisations. Ben is a guest lecturer and key note speaker both internationally and across Australia on the topic of domestic violence in LGBTI communities. He is a member of the Queensland Government’s LGBTI Roundtable, which facilitates government engagement with LGBTI communities and provides a mechanism for communities to highlight issues, challenges and opportunities with Queensland government agencies.
Ben is an operational Police officer and has served in metropolitan Brisbane and outback Queensland, including the regional town of Roma where he spearheaded the development and implementation of the community support group, “Anything but Straight.” This group provides support, education and referral services to LGBTI clients and in 2011 Ben was nominated for the Young Australian of the Year Award for this initiative. Ben is the Regional Coordinator (Brisbane Region) of the Queensland Police Service LGBTI Liaison Officer Program and in 2017 was named as one of the top 50 most influential and inspiring LGBTI Australians by Cosmopolitan Magazine. In 2020, Ben founded the LGBTIQ Domestic Violence Awareness Day, which is held on 28 May every year.
Ben was inducted into the Queensland Government’s inaugural Domestic & Family Violence Prevention Honour Roll in 2020.
Ben holds a Diploma of Public Safety (Policing), as well as Certificate III Security Operations.
Muna Ibrahim, DIRECTOR
Appointed Director 19 August 2019
Muna Ibrahim is currently working as Disability Services Manager as well as Coordinator of Community Action for Multicultural Society (CAMS). She has been with Islamic Women’s Association of Australia (IWAA) since 1992 in various roles: volunteer Treasurer on board of Management Committee, became employed as Settlement Officer in 1995 (10 years) but at the same time job shared coordination of disability services (2 years), Home and Community Care Coordinator (7 years), Coordinator of Aged Care for people with Dementia project (1 year). Muna was Office Coordinator for 4 years until 2011 and this role included human resource coordination, workplace health and safety officer and newsletter editor. She was also involved as researcher into domestic and family violence in the Arabic speaking Muslim Community (2 different projects), presenting information sessions and cross cultural training to organisations, hospital, schools. Muna has volunteered in doorknock appeals for Leukaemia Foundation & Heart Foundations and she is a Justice of the Peace. Muna speaks Arabic, English, Hindi/Urdu and is learning AUSLAN.
Muna holds an Advanced Diploma of Management (HR), as well as an Associate Diploma of Business (Computing).
Matthew Jones, DIRECTOR
Appointed Director 16 September 2019
Matthew Jones is a Torres Strait Islander from Darnley Island, he is a Chartered Accountant and as the ninth Indigenous Australian to be accepted as a full member of Chartered Accountants – Australia and New Zealand. He has worked in public practice specialising in reconstruction and recovery as well as in a risk management role for a financier.
Matthew holds a Bachelor of International Business and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Griffith University and is completing his Masters of Business Administration at the University of Queensland. His focus lies within the small to medium sized business sector concentrating on process improvement and sustainable organisational growth.
Naomi Meade, DIRECTOR
Appointed Director in 18 November 2019
Naomi Meade is an employment law and employee relations specialist, with experience in both the public and private sector. Currently, Naomi is a Human Resource Manager at QIC, a government owned investment company. Previously she worked as the Queensland and Northern Territory Manager for employment relations case management at Qantas and as a practicing solicitor in workplace law with Crown Law in the Dept of Justice and Attorney General. She started her legal career as a family law solicitor, working in private practice, at the Women’s Legal Service, and at the Family Court of Australia as a Legal Associate in the appellate division.
Naomi holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), a Bachelor of Business (BIntBus) Law. She also holds a Graduate Diploma Practical Legal Training, Law.
Our Funding Bodies
Department of Justice and Attorney-General, Queensland Government (funds Womensline, Mensline, Sexual Assault Helpline), Medibank funds 1800RESPECT, alongside the Australian Government Department of Social Services.
DVConnect Client Charter
All relationships should be free from domestic, family and sexual violence
What you can expect from DVConnect:
- You will be believed.
- You will be treated with respect and dignity.
- That your safety and the safety of other family members is our first priority.
- Your needs will be responded to in a professional, flexible and empowering manner.
- You will receive a personalised service that recognises your individual circumstances, needs and respects your choices.
- You have the right to provide feedback or ask questions on any aspect of your contact with DVConnect.
- We will treat your personal and confidential information sensitively and responsibly.
DVConnect recognizes your right to:
- To live without fear of violence.
- To have access to an environment free from violence.
- To be assisted to recognise and respond to your safety needs.
Access and Equity
- To obtain a respectful and inclusive service regardless of your cultural or linguistic background, age, sexual preference, gender identity, disability, mental health issue, economic status or other affiliation or individual difference; or the fact that you have children.
- To have your specific needs recognised and responded to.
- Access a suitably qualified interpreter of your choice, if available.
- To receive information that is accurate, timely, relevant and easy to understand.
- To be empowered to make informed decisions and to be supported to follow through with decisions made.
- You can change your mind or withdraw from our service at any time.
- To have the confidentiality policy of the service explained to you.
- To give informed consent before your information is shared with any other person or agency, unless required by law.
- To have your records kept secure.
- To easily access accurate information on other services that may be able to assist you.
- To have services that are involved in responding to people affected by domestic, family or sexual violence, work professionally and with each other to assist you.
- To be assisted to advocate for your rights and/or the rights of your children.
- To have information on the prevention of domestic and family violence promoted in the community.
- To be provided with information regarding behaviour change programs, where a program is available and appropriate.
- To have access to professional, experienced and skilled workers.
- To give constructive feedback on the service received and contribute ideas on the improvement of the service.
- To have access to an effectively managed and administered service.
- To be able to make a complaint about any service received and to have the issues responded to and resolved in good faith.
How you can help us to assist you:
- Provide us with all requested information about your circumstances
- Tell us if you have special needs
- Let us know if you need an interpreter
- Treat our counsellors with courtesy and respect
Giving feedback or making a complaint:
DVConnect is focused on providing you with excellent client service and values feedback on the quality and responsiveness of our service. If you are not happy with our service or have ideas on how we can improve we would like to hear from you via email to or calling 07 3156 2323. Importantly, you will not be disadvantaged in being provided a service by making a complaint.
Please feel free to mention any concerns to the counsellor dealing with your case, or if you prefer, ask to speak with a Team Leader or Manager. If they are not on duty at the time of your call – they will return your call at the next available opportunity.
You may also put your feedback or complaint in writing noted “In Confidence” to the Chief Executive Officer, PO Box 10575 Adelaide Street, Brisbane 4000. DVConnect takes client feedback and complaints very seriously and will investigate appropriately. From initial contact we will keep you informed of the progress and outcome of any investigation or changes made as a result of your feedback.
Whistle Blower Policy
For more information on the below policies, please contact us at
DVConnect operates within the Information Privacy Act 2009
Callers may remain anonymous if they are not requiring a service beyond counselling, safety planning or referral information.
In instances where a caller to Womensline is requiring an emergency evacuation or crisis accommodation, DVConnect will be required to collect personal information. Without this information DVConnect is unable to facilitate safety planning.
Information collected by DVConnect will only be used for the purpose for which it was collected.
All records and electronic data are protected from unauthorised use.
Client information will not be disclosed or shared without the caller’s consent unless required by law and/or the policies of this organisation.
Reasonable access to information that the caller has provided to DVConnect will be made available to the caller upon receipt of a written request that also includes proof of identity.
A Queensland telephone crisis service for women in need of support, advice and assistance as a result of domestic and family violence was established by the Department of Communities Crisis Care program. The telephone number 1800 811 811 has been operational since 1980.
DVConnect commenced operating the Womensline and Mensline.
The Domestic Violence Act Amendment included elder abuse and informal care relationships which broadened the scope of delivery through the funded services of the sector.
DVConnect received funding for the Sexual Assault Helpline.
Annually, DVConnect takes in excess of 100,000 calls across all lines and provides crisis intervention across a number of key services. Womensline receives 1 call for help every 7 minutes (across a 24 hour period). This is in the form of emergency telephone support, evacuation and crisis accommodation placement for families affected by abusive relationships, counselling for men, women and victims of sexual assault, education and support for men, community education and care for pets of families experiencing domestic and family violence.
DVConnect operates under a framework of a gendered analysis of domestic and family violence. A gendered analysis is supported by research, evidence and data, and indicates that domestic and family violence is most often perpetrated by men against women; and that perpetrators of this violence are fully responsible for their actions.