The world’s first residential trauma centre for children affected by homicide is set to become a reality thanks to an investment from the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government.
Grace’s Place – named in honour of Anita Cobby’s mother, Grace Lynch – will be based at Doonside in Sydney’s west, and will be managed by the Homicide Victims Support Group (HVSG).
Minister for Police Troy Grant said a NSW Liberals & Nationals Government would invest $3.3 million in Grace’s Place, to complement funding provided by the Federal Coalition Government, so that construction can commence.
This new investment from the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government follows contributions of $100,000 in total from the Government toward Grace’s Place since the last election.
“I’m proud to throw our support behind Grace’s Place – the first support centre of its kind – to help those who have lost a loved one under the very worst of circumstances,” Mr Grant said.
“I wish there wasn’t a need for this type of centre in our community – but the unfortunate reality does exist, and the work that the HVSG has done since its launch has been incredible for those left behind in the horrific aftermath of homicide.”
HVSG Executive Director Martha Jabour welcomed the Government’s commitment, and said it would make an enormous difference to children across our communities.
“Tragically, we continue to witness the awful reality of homicide, and for some time we’ve seen a need for a specialist centre that caters specifically for children,” Ms Jabour said.
“This centre will give traumatised children a safe place where they can start to heal, while also supporting their parents and other loved ones as they begin a painful journey of recovery.
“Our hope is that it will help children reconnect, and therefore reduce the likelihood of these terrible incidents dictating their future and leading to other forms of violence in adulthood.”
Member for Seven Hills Mark Taylor said the centre would provide a unique support network for children and families right across the state.
“As a former police officer, I’ve unfortunately seen the horror of homicide first hand, and the devastating impact it has on families left behind, especially children,” Mr Taylor said.
Grace’s Place will cater for children aged 3-18, and will house up to 12 children and their carers at any one time, as well as being used for other support services on a daily basis.
The HVSG was founded in 1993 by the parents of murdered 9-year-old Ebony Simpson and 26-year-old Anita Cobby. The organisation helps families survive the horror of homicide and the ongoing contact with police, courts, media and the broader community, and to start to rebuild in the aftermath. HVSG has grown since its inception and now has thousands of members.