State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle yesterday presented a special honour to Marilyn Holness for her extraordinary work championing the construction of the first DV safe house on the southern end of the Sunshine Coast.
“About eight years ago Zonta Caloundra was determined to build a shelter in Caloundra and yesterday we officially opened the RISE project, (standing for Restart In a Safe Environment) two short-term accommodation houses for people escaping domestic violence.” Mr McArdle said.
“The lady that led the challenge was Marilyn Holness.”
“Marilyn holds a true belief that this shelter is essential and she relentlessly pursued the goal believing this support is critical to our community.” Mr McArdle said
“How does one define a ‘Champion’ for the community? To me is it a person who voluntarily takes exceptional interest in a cause and selflessly devotes their time for the betterment of others. Marilyn is one person in our community that exemplifies a ‘champion’ and the honour is all mine in presenting her with this acknowledgement” Mr McArdle said.
In March, Mr McArdle used his Member’s Personal Interest speech in Parliament to highlight the tremendous undertaking by the Zonta Club to build the DV shelter and also the community support behind the project.
“Zonta has a very strong and active group of women in Caloundra numbering 28. They may not be large in number, but they are devoted to the protection of women and children.” Mr McArdle said.
“The local community got behind the [RISE] project with donations from the local council, Bendigo community bank, Rotary Club of Caloundra Pacific, Ray White and Coast2Bay Housing to name but a few.”
“Over time Zonta raised $190,000 but still needed another $90,000 to fund the construction of the building. They hit on a marketing campaign to raise that money in 90 days and they did it.” Mr McArdle said
"I congratulate Marilyn Holness and Zonta for not giving up. I honour all women who hold high principles and follow through to the betterment of our society.” Mr McArdle concluded