Tuesday, December 6, 2016

McAuley House

In my last post I wrote about the work I had done for McAuley House in Melbourne, in this post I want to share more of the stories and the art in the new building.

As you walk in you are met with this hand-crafted neon light. Using the word the women felt best represented them, it shines - strongly but gently. I love it.

Art is an absolute feature of this building - the visionary who pushed and persisted throughout the project to make sure that art and beauty were integral to the new building is a remarkable person. The art just gives the building soul and spirit and makes it a beautiful beautiful place to be.

A huge mural by Lucy Lucy and Kaff-eine, runs along two wall sin the entrance area reflecting female icons (like Rosie the Riveter) and women of so many faiths and cultures.

In the dining room is this amazing enamelled stencil of a bouquet of flowers - it is huge and you can see how it wraps around a corner...

By Jessica Kease/23rd Key it is called simply "Bouquet".

A famous Italian graffiti artist Alice Pasquinin was visiting Melbourne and they were able to invite her to do a guest piece on a door. Called "Unveiled" is the woman covering her face or revealing it?

One of the board members won a chunk of money on a tv show and donated it to the project so that individual works of Aboriginal art could be placed in each bedroom (there are 25).

Nooks for peace and quiet have been built into the building; and there are words everywhere as well...

Inside is a winter garden as well - of when Melbourne is too cold to enjoy the outdoor gardens and balconies. A stunning place to sit and rest.

Looking in from the outside

And on opening night, the bedrooms included storyboards that told of some of the women's stories.  Trigger warning for family violence in the words that follow.

We heard from one of the survivors who had gone on to thrive, to study, to be reunited with her children, to be independent. And brave.

 Today the women move in to their new accommodation. There is  communal dining room; and a small kitchen if you want to cook for yourself. There is a recreation room if you want to join together and chat - with sewing machines, and a visiting dog. Each room has a fridge and a kettle and a balcony and an ensuite. Beautiful surrounding to re-establish value and worth when you feel pretty low, and your world has tilted.

I think McAuley House has set the new benchmark for homelessness in Australia and I hope many others take the vision forward.

There is much still to do but McAuley is doing a lot and we need to continue to support them!


  1. what a beautiful space to be part of !

  2. Looks like a marvellous place to start to rebuild a life.

    1. I think so too Jac - a place to start believing again. Go well.


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