First sod to be turned for Grace’s Place – A world first residential trauma facility for children affected by homicide.
Dignitaries, executives from the Homicide Victims Support Group (Aust) Inc., members of the public and families whose lives have been affected by homicide, to turn the first sod for Grace’s Place.
Following contributions by the Federal and State governments of $6.1M and $3.3M respectively, Grace’s Place – a world first residential trauma centre for children whose lives have been impacted by homicide, will be a reality.
The family celebration and ceremony will take place on Saturday 7 September 2019, and marks not only the first milestone towards the construction of a world-first residential trauma centre for children affected by homicide, but also marks the anniversary of the first support group meeting the HVSG held in 1993.
Named in honour of Grace Lynch, the mother of the late Anita Cobby and advocate for homicide victims, Grace’s Place is an initiative of the Homicide Victims Support Group (Aust) Inc. (HVSG) and is to be located in Sydney’s outer western suburb of Doonside.
The residential facility will be able to support up to 24 people with accommodation, meals, counselling and activities by highly specialised staff.
Designed by IDRAFT Architects,the project has largely been brought to life through the probono services of designers, Sirius Consolidated Builders and consultants as well and the critical provision of land by Blacktown City Council and The Western Sydney Parklands Trust.
Ms Martha Jabour OAM, Executive Director of the Homicide Victims Support Group said that this day would be a significant milestone in the work of the HVSG.
“The support by all levels of government has been critical to making Grace’s Place a bricks-and- mortar reality – and for that we are truly grateful.
But to see the thousands of hours of work that has been poured into the planning, development and fundraising for the project come to fruition – and for us to mark the next stage in the process of construction with a celebration – well, that is just awesome.
Grace’s Place is borne out of tragedy in the words of Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, “Grace’s Place will be a beacon of hope for young people’ She said.
Grace’s Place is set to open its doors in 2021. Media Release : Sod Turning 7 September 2019
Mrs Kathryn Szyszka Patron of Grace’s Place and sister of Anita Cobby said:
“Following the death of Anita, my parents devoted their lives to making certain that something good should come from something so tragic. Their involvement with the Homicide Victims’ Support Group helped to sustain them. I’m certain that they would be in awe of this project and all of the support and donations that have been provided by the State and Federal Governments, Professionals and the general community, particularly in the local Blacktown area.
I wish my parents were here today. I know that they would be extremely proud.
I am looking forward to the Grand Opening of Grace’s Place anticipated to be in June 2021 – it truly can’t come soon enough”, she said
The sod turning event will be a family day with rides, food and other activities. Official Ceremony commences 10:30 am.
It will take place on the site of Grace’s Place, 38 Doonside Road DOONSIDE NSW.
Interviews will be available by arrangement with dignitaries, HVSG families and the Executive Director of HVSG, Martha Jabour OAM.
Homicide Victims Support Group (NSW)
Founded in June 1993, the Homicide Victims Support Group (HVSG) was established when the parents of Anita Cobby and Ebony Simpson were introduced. They recognised the very real need to set up an organisation which could offer counselling, support and information to families and friends of homicide victims throughout NSW.
As a result the counselling section at the Institute of Forensic Medicine started to work with family members to introduce the concept of the HVSG.
The Homicide Victims’ Support Group (Aust) Inc.is funded by Western Sydney Local Area Health District, along with generous donations from members, friends, caring members of the public and corporate sponsors.