A Townsville woman who opened her home to the LGBTIQ+ community for emergency housing has been named the winner of the Local Government Association of Queensland’s (LGAQ) third annual $5,000 Alison Woolla Memorial Award for local leadership in preventing domestic and family violence.
Kellie Bowie provided 24-hour support, emergency accommodation and a safe space for members of the LGBTIQ+ communities to access in times of need, the Association said.
Kellie said she received calls from community members in desperate situations with nowhere else to go – whether it be as a result of relationship breakdown or young people rejected by their parents.
She said while community attitudes were changing to domestic and family violence prevention, “there’s a lot more to be done”.
The award honours pioneering former Aurukun Shire Council Mayor Alison Woolla, a trailblazer who provided remarkable leadership and support for members of her community when they were experiencing abuse.
LGAQ President and Sunshine Coast Council Mayor, Mark Jamieson said the LGAQ launched the award in 2020 to recognise an outstanding individual following in Alison Woolla’s footsteps and making a significant contribution to raising awareness and prevention of domestic and family violence in Queensland’s local communities.
“Domestic and family violence is an issue impacting too many people in our community,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“The LGAQ is proud to recognise Kellie’s contribution to her community and remember the incredible work of Alison Woolla and the difference she made in Aurukun.”
The annual winner receives a $5,000 cash prize, along with hosting the hand-crafted artwork created by Brisbane artist Laura Vincent for 12 months. The piece was created using resin and timber and represents the complex emotions felt by those who experience domestic and family violence.