Support and Safety Hubs open in Shepparton

By Ashlea Witoslawski

Shepparton has been selected as the next location for Victoria’s new Support and Safety Hubs, known as The Orange Door.

The Orange Door is a partnership across government and community sector organisations, providing a single contact point for adults, children and young people who are experiencing family violence.

The partnership also integrates the ChildFIRST service to connect families wanting support with the services they need.

The announcement of Shepparton as a new location last week takes the total number of hubs across Victoria to eight with four beginning operations earlier this year in Bayside Peninsula, Barwon, Mallee and north-east Melbourne, and one more to open in inner Gippsland by the end of the year.

Goulburn Family Violence executive and Goulburn ChildFIRST chair Angela Armstrong is looking forward to having all services available in the one convenient location.

‘‘It’s a great opportunity having a specialist space where people can come and be provided a service then and there,’’ Ms Armstrong said.

‘‘We don’t want people to have to keep repeating their story.

‘‘We want to help people seek support earlier.’’

Excited by the initiative, Ms Armstrong believes Shepparton was selected because of the already outstanding integration and collaboration between services in the Goulburn region.

She said the hub would not only focus on family violence, but on a range of community needs.

‘‘The Orange Door will link people with local community services, offering support for all human needs,’’ she said.

Ms Armstrong recently visited the Mildura hub to learn more and was interested to learn all spaces are purpose-built exactly the same across the state.

‘‘They have quite specific design features, focusing on safety and security,’’ she said.

Servicing the whole of the Goulburn region, Ms Armstrong said although there was only funding for one physical location in Shepparton, they were looking into creating outpost offices and other access points to ensure people across the Greater Shepparton, Mitchell, Moira, Murrindindi and Strathbogie shires had access to the services.

‘‘We are committed to ensuring the whole of the Goulburn region can access services.’’

Ms Armstrong also said The Orange Door in Shepparton would bring a number of additional jobs to the region.

By the end of 2021, The Orange Door will be operating across all 17 Victorian Department of Health and Human Services areas.

The Labor Government has invested $448.1million to establish Support and Safety Hubs across the state — a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

This investment formed part of the government’s record $2.6billion investment in family violence services.

FamilyCare will be hosting an information session regarding The Orange Door in Shepparton on Thursday, October 18, from 8am to 9am.

This is a free event, open to the public.

To register your interest or to learn more, phone Women’s Health Goulburn North East on 57223009.