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The Lady Musgrave Trust

From Nowhere To Go to Know Where To Go: The Lady Musgrave Trust and Small Steps 4 Hannah launch online Handy Guide for Queensland women in need

By | Blog, Homelessness, News | No Comments

The Lady Musgrave Trust, Queensland’s oldest charity and champion for homeless women, has partnered with Small Steps 4 Hannah to launch an online information and service directory for Queensland women in need.

Speaking at The Lady Musgrave Trust’s 14th Annual Forum for Women and Homelessness, held at QUT Gardens Point Campus, Small Steps 4 Hannah Founders Sue and Lloyd Clarke said the online Handy Guide will connect women with the support and services they need to escape domestic violence and find safety.

The murder of Sue and Lloyd’s daughter Hannah Clarke, and their grandchildren Aaliyah, Laianah and Trey, shocked the world in February 2020 and has become a ‘line in the sand’ moment for domestic violence in Australia.

“If Hannah had something like the online Handy Guide, it would have been so helpful for her,” Sue Clarke told attendees at the Forum.

“She didn’t know where to go. She didn’t know where to look. She didn’t know what to do… if she’d have had access to a one-stop shop like this website, it would have been invaluable.”

The Lady Musgrave Trust, which helps Queensland women and their children get back on their feet and find safe and secure housing, has been producing physical copies of The Handy Guide since 2009.

In that time, it has become an indispensable service directory for at-risk women and their children, and an important resource for governments, hospitals and not-for-profit organisations.

The Trust received funding from theSmall Steps 4 Hannah Foundation and the Queensland Community Foundation, which contributed to the costs of developing an online version of the Handy Guide – making this essential resource even more readily available and accessible.

Louise Kelly, President of The Lady Musgrave Trust, said the online Handy Guide will provide help for women when they need it most.

“The online Handy Guide will provide knowledge, and therefore power, to women who may have thought they had lost their power and had nowhere to go,” Ms Kelly said. “And that will make women safer.”

Ms Kelly said The Lady Musgrave Trust will continue to print and distribute physical copies of the Handy Guide.

“It will continue to evolve alongside the online version,” she said. “Regardless of if you’re using the online version or the hard copy, we want this to be an accessible platform for women to be connected to the services they need.”

Held to coincide with Homelessness Week (1-7 August), The Lady Musgrave Trust’s Annual Forum for Women and Homelessness brings together representatives from the Queensland Government and organisations across the homelessness sector to collaborate on making Queensland the country’s safest state for women.

The theme of this year’s event, held in person and viewable live online, was ‘The pathway to homelessness for women in Queensland – a story of coercive control, violence and systemic disadvantage’.

“We weren’t aware of coercive control,” Sue Clarke said. “We saw the consequences, we saw the damage it did, but we didn’t know it had a name. We wanted to help start the conversation, and help everyone to understand what coercive control was.”

At any one time there are more than 10,000 women in Queensland who are experiencing homelessness, a number that is believed to be underreported.

Domestic and family violence is the primary reason women and children seek specialist homelessness services, which is why The Lady Musgrave Trust remains active after 137 years in helping find women and their children a home to shelter and live their lives in security and safety.

“On the one hand, it’s wonderful that The Lady Musgrave Trust is 137 years old and still going strong,” The Lady Musgrave Trust CEO Victoria Parker told attendees at today’s forum.

“On the other hand, it’s a tragedy that The Trust is still necessary.”

The online Handy Guide, created by The Lady Musgrave Trust with support from Small Steps 4 Hannah and Queensland Community Foundation, can be viewed now at

Donate to The Lady Musgrave Trust at

Karen speaking at the Forum

Karen Lyon Reid retires after six years as the head of The Lady Musgrave Trust

By | Blog, News

After more than half a decade of service, our CEO Karen Lyon Reid has retired from The Lady Musgrave Trust.

Karen served as CEO of The Lady Musgrave Trust for the past six years, and was on the board prior to that. We would like to recognise and thank Karen for her service and commitment to fighting women’s homelessness and improving the lives of young women in Queensland.

“Karen has been an exceptional leader of The Lady Musgrave Trust for many years, first as a Director and then as CEO,” The Lady Musgrave Trust President Louise Kelly says. “She has put her heart and soul into ensuring that The Lady Musgrave Trust is able to continue providing accommodation and services to women in QLD who are at risk of homelessness.

We acknowledge Karen’s leadership and commitment to helping women in need. During this time she has been a true guardian of the legacy of The Lady Musgrave Trust.

Over this six years, the Trust has:

  • Purchased 11 units to provide accommodation for women and their children in crisis
  • Produced and distributed 60,000+ Handy Guides for Queensland women in need
  • Secured funding for, developed and distributed The Handy Guide for Older Women
  • Secured funding for and began developing a Handy Guide for women experiencing domestic and family violence
  • Secured funding for and worked towards the digitisation of the Handy Guides for multiple audiences
  • Managed annual fundraising events, as well as the Annual Forum for Women and Homelessness, which pivoted to a national online event in 2021

Karen at the Cocktail Party with Keystone representative

Karen’s work was driven by the impact The Lady Musgrave Trust could have on women in the community.

“It has been a pleasure continually developing the Trust, along with the Board, to make a difference to a woman’s life,” she says. “To change their path, so they can lead a healthier and happier life.”

“I would like to thank all of those who supported myself and the Trust over the years and those who worked closely with me to achieve what we did.”

Stepping into the role as CEO is Victoria Parker. Before joining the Lady Musgrave Trust, Victoria managed her own consultancy specialising in social impact and community engagement, with a particular focus on community, family, and housing-related clients. Over the last five years Victoria has played a leadership role in several flagship community-focused projects, including Logan Together – one of Australia’s largest child and family development programs.

Victoria has until recently served as the Chair of the Lady Bowen Trust, a charitable trust that helps Queenslanders find safe and stable housing. She is looking forward to pouring her skills, experience, and energy into achieving the vision of The Lady Musgrave Trust.

While we are sad to see Karen go, we wish her the best for her next chapter, and we’re sure she’ll bring the same winning approach to her future endeavours that she brought to The Lady Musgrave Trust.

LMT and Small Steps for Hannah

“The Lady Musgrave Trust thank Karen for her service and wish her all the best in her retirement,” Louise says.

Thank you, Karen.