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HERSTORY

The herstory of the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre begins in 1988 when the Queensland Government established a Domestic Violence Taskforce to look at existing responses to domestic violence in Queensland.  The Taskforce initiated a Statewide phone-in to enable victims of domestic violence and others to tell their stories and share their experiences. Consultations were also undertaken with service providers including women's refuges and the Queensland Police Service. The Taskforce made numerous recommendations which were presented in the Report titled 'Beyond These Walls' (1988). These recommendations were significant in changing domestic violence responses in Queensland. Two key recommendations included the introduction of specific domestic violence legislation and for the establishment of a specific domestic violence telephone service. The Queensland Domestic Violence Council was then established to oversee the implementation of the recommendations.  
 
In 1990 a Statewide Women's Refuge conference was held in Townsville to discuss the way forward in responding to the recommendations, in particular the state wide telephone service. The conference was that the statewide telephone service should be community based and be supported by stand alone specialist domestic violence services.
 
In 1991 the Queensland Government called for submissions from the community for a domestic violence telephone service and for 5 'shopfront' style services, one in each of the 5 regions of the then Department of Families. The Domestic Violence Action Group, a subgroup of the Gold Coast Welfare Inter-agency Group, lobbied strongly for a domestic violence service to be located on the Gold Coast.  The Domestic Violence Action Group also lobbied for a second women's refuge for the Gold Coast. Di Macleod wrote the submissions for both the domestic violence service and for the women's refuge which were successful in receiving funding to establish the 2 new services.
 
Funding outcomes resulted in services being established on the Gold Coast and in Caboolture, Toowoomba, Emerald and Cairns. All 5 services, together with the Domestic Violence Telephone Service, became founding members of the Queensland Domestic Violence Services Network. A further 6 services across the State were funded 2 years later.
 
In June 1992 Betty Taylor was employed as the founding co-ordinator of the Domestic Violence Service. This was first time Queensland had "shopfront" style domestic violence services so initially the first few months were spent developing the new service model. As part of this process Betty undertook research into service delivery models in other jurisdictions and read a report on the Canberra Domestic Violence Crisis Service written by Wendy Styles and Heather Mc Gregor. Betty visited the Canberra Domestic Violence Crisis Service to learn how the service operated and also met with Wendy Styles who would later come to Queensland to provide domestic violence training to counselling and client support workers.
 
The Domestic Violence Service was auspiced by the Gold Coast Women's Centre along with two other services: the Domestic Violence Action Group Refuge and the Sexual Assault Support Service.  Staff were employed in September 1992 and the service operated from premises in the Gold Coast Hospital grounds. The service was officially opened by the then Department of Families Director General, Jan Williams, on 27th September 1992. 
 
From inception the Domestic Violence Service has actively participated in shaping statewide policy responses to domestic violence as well as providing service delivery support at a local community level. Betty Taylor, as coordinator of the Domestic Violence Service, was elected to Chair the Queensland Domestic Violence Council from 1994 - 1997 and again from 2001 - 2004.
 
In August 1993 the Combined Women's Crisis ServicesGold Coast Inc. formed as a new incorporated entity to manage the Domestic Violence Service, Domestic Violence Action Group Refuge and the Sexual Assault Support Service.
 
In 2005 each of the 3 services sought incorporation in their own right and the Domestic Violence Service became the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast Inc.   Since inception the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre Gold Coast Inc. has grown significantly. Services include women's counselling and telephone support, counselling for children and young people, early intervention services for families at risk as well as the Gold Coast Domestic Violence Integrated Response which includes court assistance programs, men's domestic violence education and intervention program and a police assisted referral program. The organisation also provides community education on domestic violence and school-based education programs.

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