L-R Mark Woolley (SS4H Chair), Lloyd Clarke (Hannah’s Father), Karen Lyon Reid (LMT CEO), Louise Kelly (LMT President)
Queensland’s oldest charity, The Lady Musgrave Trust, is teaming up with one of its youngest, The Small Steps 4 Hannah Foundation, to ensure that women in Queensland will have a helping hand at their fingertips, anywhere and anytime.
Small Steps 4 Hannah, established in memory of Hannah Clarke and her children, has donated $60,000 to help The Lady Musgrave Trust digitise its popular Handy Guides for Homeless Women.
The murder of Hannah Clarke and her children Aaliyah, Laianah and Trey in February 2020 was a ‘line in the sand’ moment for domestic violence in Australia. In their quest to honour their memory, the Clarke family established the Small Steps 4 Hannah Foundation to help ensure no family should have to endure their pain again.
“Our grants support victims of domestic violence and coercive control to create a safer, informed community that promotes respect and the confidence to act,” said Mark Woolley, Chair of the Small Steps 4 Hannah Foundation.
“We look to partner with organisations and projects that share our mission to halt domestic violence, whether that be through support services or education programs.”
The latest project to receive the support of the Small Steps 4 Hannah Foundation is The Lady Musgrave Trust’s Handy Guides for Homeless Women, which will be transformed from their current hard copy formats and include a portal dedicated to family and domestic violence content and services. The new products will be distributed to thousands of organisations and women statewide each year – and launched in early 2022.
“The opportunity to work with The Lady Musgrave Trust means together we can meet the very real needs of victims, survivors and at-risk people by expanding The Handy Guide and granting many women access to information and resources to help their situation,” Mr Woolley said.
“With our funding, The Lady Musgrave Trust can grow to ultimately reduce the severity and frequency of domestic violence.”
Mr Woolley said the electronic directory will assist women at risk of family and domestic violence.
“The Trust is affording practical and compassionate aid to women throughout Queensland,” he said.
“We anticipate the inclusion of the new portal for family and domestic violence content and services will empower victims, drive social change and halt the cycle of domestic violence.”
The Lady Musgrave Trust Chief Executive Officer Karen Lyon Reid said the electronic roll-out of the Guide will give users access to the most up-to-date homelessness and crisis services on their smartphones and other devices, including the latest information about where to find accommodation, community centres, food and welfare services, laundry and healthcare specialist services.
“We identified how we could improve the way we provide our information in our Handy Guide and that is to do it online,” Ms Lyon Reid said.
“We are taking advantage of technology that is easily accessible. The prospect of life on the streets can be lonely and daunting. We want women to know that information is at their fingertips, anytime and anywhere. We are opening doors that could be a life-saver in helping women who face so many challenges many of us could not imagine.”
Since 2009, 25,000 copies of the Guide have been printed annually and it has become one of the most highly regarded directories of its kind for women in need, governments, hospitals and not-for-profit organisations.
Although the Guide is going digital with funding provided by Small Steps 4 Hannah, Ms Lyon Reid said the main goal and function of the Guide remained unchanged.
“We will continue to provide quality service to our customers, being women of need of all ages and to the social services sector through expansion and growth of our services,” she said.
“It’s an exciting new phase in the continued growth of The Lady Musgrave Trust.”
Can you help? Social Work students from Australian Catholic University are conducting a survey with The Lady Musgrave Trust to understand how people; and more specifically women, search for information if they find themselves or someone they know in an abusive relationship, and also the type of information or services they would like to access.