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.