Sallianne McClelland: Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Women’s Shelter
Sallianne brings community together to keep women safe
Sometimes Sallianne McClelland needs to act fast to help women and their children escape domestic abuse.
She and her team once furnished a house right down to the potato peeler in 12 hours after she posted a callout video to the community in her pyjamas.
“It was an overwhelming moment when I realised how invested our community truly is in the welfare of others,” she says.
Sallianne has been volunteering with the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Women’s Shelter since it was launched nearly four years ago and is now president of its all-volunteer board.
So far, the shelter has provided temporary accommodation to more than 250 women, most of whom have fled domestic abuse. But it aims for sustainable solutions and also connects the women with longer-term outreach services.
The shelter’s success rate is impressive. Almost all its women have a case plan with 72 hours and nine out of ten move on to safe long-term accommodation.
Sallianne is 2018 Hornsby Woman of the Year and is known in the community for her ability to bring people from business, government, charities and other support services together to help families.
“Effecting change in the lives of women when they are at their most vulnerable and empowering them to create a better future is powerful, energizing - and in part makes me get up in the morning,” she says.
Sallianne feels honoured and privileged to be voted a Westfield Local Hero and sees it as recognition that the local community acknowledges the need to support women and their families.
“I feel the community walking beside us in the same way our staff walk alongside these women,” she says.
The shelter will use its $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant to fund a key program known as the empowerment pathway fund. This helps women with emergency medical and legal expenses, transport, education and language programs.