Monday, 24 June 2013
It was an honour for me to attend the recent official sod-turning by Premier Campbell Newman for Project NOW's Moonyah women's recovery centre in Brisbane. The first women's-only recovery centre has united charity groups from across the city under the banner of Project NOW—the Nurturing Our Women initiative. For many years, the Salvation Army's Moonyah recovery centre has helped men rebuild their lives through its residential alcohol and drug recovery program. The program has a high success rate. However, very little help has been available for women who may find themselves in hardship, and their need is just as great.
The Rotary Club of Brisbane Planetarium, within my electorate of Ryan, responded to this call and need with a vision to build Moonyah Women's, a home away from home for women determined to beat their addictions and rebuild their lives. When they saw the glaring need to provide a facility for women wanting to recover from addiction and regain their lives with dignity, the club embraced the cause and started Project NOW. In 2010 they embarked on a major fundraising effort which, although successful, still fell short of their target. Then, in early 2012, the Salvation Army and the local Brisbane Zonta club joined forces with the Rotary Club of Brisbane Planetarium under the patronage of the Governor of Queensland, Her Excellency Penelope Wensley AC. The energy and momentum in combining forces has assisted in turning the project dream into reality.
As a proud Zontan myself, I was glad to see so many local Zonta clubs jump on board and embrace Project NOW. Zonta's mission is to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. So, when the organisation heard of the crisis situation facing Queensland women suffering from drug, alcohol and gambling addictions, they knew they wanted to help. Project NOW has enabled many Zonta clubs across the south-east of Queensland to work collaboratively with both Rotary and the Salvation Army. Zonta members have worked tirelessly on fundraising efforts, including most recently a fashion showcase event in the newly restored Brisbane City Hall, featuring three of Brisbane's leading designers. It was a fantastic event, and I congratulate Zonta on their success in achieving their fundraising goals.
The Salvation Army have also played a very significant role in the Project NOW story. As one of the most enduring and respected organisations in our country, they work with people in need whoever and wherever they are, transforming lives through spiritual renewal; working to reform society by alleviating poverty, deprivation and disadvantage; and challenging injustice and oppression. The Salvation Army is committed to bringing hope, healing and wholeness to all those adversely affected by addictions.
The $2.1 million Moonyah recovery services building will have 20 beds for women recovering from addiction. The three-story building will provide long-term residential treatment to help participants overcome drug, alcohol and gambling addictions. The new building will become the property of the Salvation Army, which will include it as part of its ongoing responsibility for the whole complex. Major Neil Dickson from the Salvation Army says the organisation is excited that the planned facility will provide an environment that is conducive to women seeking hope, healing and wholeness through their addiction recovery.
I was honoured to be invited to attend the official turning of the sod, along with Premier Campbell Newman, the state member for Ashgrove; Saxon Rice MP, the state member for Mount Coot-tha; the chairman of Project NOW, Michelle Davis; and Zonta, Rotary and Salvation Army members. It was a wonderful morning, and I was particularly moved listening to one local woman who spoke of her experiences in overcoming addiction and regaining control of her life due to the support of the Salvation Army.
I sincerely commend the Project NOW partner organisations and their sponsors. Thank you to everyone who has supported this extremely worthy cause. You are truly making a difference to the lives of many Queensland women and their families.