Friday, February 9, 2024
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
By Hannah McNamara
Two powerhouse women have spoken on the heart-wrenching reality of domestic and sexual family violence in the Mackay region. Jules Thompson, founder of Broken Ballerina Inc. and Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence, Member for Whitsunday Amanda Camm, have been a voice for victims and are pushing for changes in regards to financial assistance, accommodation and basic necessities for those who have fled from such traumatic situations.
Ms Camm has stated the statistics and raw reality of what Mackay regional victims are facing, in relation to the lack of support provided at their most vulnerable times. Amanda speaks on her concerns involving breaches of domestic violence cases in the community that are leaving victims distressed and feeling helpless during the financial and housing crisis throughout the region. With an increase in DV breaches, women are turning to social media, as well as contacting Amanda's office and non-government funded organisations for last resort support. As perpetrators continue to break the rules of the DV order, Amanda underlines the brutal reality that the system is currently failing victims, leaving predominantly women and children feeling abandoned and at risk as they live in fear for their life.
“Since the Labour Government has come into power across our Mackay region, and that includes the Mackay and Northern Beaches Queensland Police Districts, we have seen a 140 per cent increase in domestic violence breaches since 2015,” Ms Camm said.
“One of the challenges we see in domestic violence funding is the majority of our services, and in fact there is no local service that is funded 24/7, victims are referred to DV connect which is a 24-hour hotline based in Brisbane.
“The challenge we see with that is that there are women who are not receiving help in the time that they need to keep safe, to feel protected or to escape and that’s leaving vulnerable women and children in harm’s way,” Ms Camm said.
Jules Thompson, a former victim of domestic and sexual violence, founded the Broken Ballerina Foundation, providing much needed personal necessities, accommodation and support for locals in need. Jules and her husband Pete dedicate their time open heartedly, seven days a week to ensure DV survivors of the community are safe. In a desperate cry for help, victims often contact Jules on her personal mobile, even after business hours as a last resort option, pleading for her assistance due to no other organisations providing help.
“We are seeing an increase in cases of people reaching out for help on a daily basis.
“We’re filling the gaps in the community where other services can’t, and the demand is increasing so much that we need a business premises so that we can separate our work life from our home life.
“We’re even helping police after hours where these large highly funded organisations are saying no to police,” Jules exclaims.
Jules emphasises the need of continuous government funds and community donations to help support their good works as the issue of domestic violence continues to arise. Having been through a tremendous journey of domestic violence herself, she explains her frustrations about the issue as she continuously gives her all to the community, ensuring locals are safe and protected from domestic abuse, raising money whilst also raising awareness.
Broken Ballerina will be hosting a Golf Day Charity Event on the 2nd of August at the Mackay Golf Club. A number of major local businesses have jumped on board to support the good cause and spread awareness about Domestic Violence, with golf games, live music, raffle tickets and prizes to be won, Jules and Pete are excited about the event in hopes to raise $50,000 on the day to continue to help out the community.
With an overwhelming interest from supporting local businesses, Broken Ballerina has introduced sponsorships for the charity Golf Day, giving businesses the opportunity to donate whilst promoting awareness for the organisation. Major local companies and well-known members of Mackay have jumped on board, including; Emerald Carrying & Co, Mount Pleasant Mackay, Amanda Camm MP, Channel 7 and Robyn Agius Area Specialist, just to name a few.
One local sponsor, Jon Byrnes, owner of Ausgroup Industrial Services (AGIS) has teed up the dual naming rights position for the day. He encourages everybody to get behind the organisation and show their support by coming along
“We’re very privileged to be able to get involved and support a great organisation.” Mr Byrnes says.
With more sponsorship positions available, local businesses are welcome to contribute. If you’d like to view a full detailed sponsorship brochure, please email: email@example.com
All funds raised go directly to victims in need for basic living necessities like groceries, accommodation, car expenses, baby and children needs as well as counselling or support that survivors may need in order to get through a difficult time.
Overflowing with gratitude, Pete and Jules Thompson are overwhelmed by the response in the Mackay surrounding areas and look forward to seeing everyone there.
Left to Right: Mikayla Fanto, Jules Thompson, Pete Thompson, Amanda Camm and Jon Byrnes. Photo credit: Hannah McNamara