Laurel Place Inc has evolved since its inception as the first sexual assault counselling service in Queensland, and while we have grown from one office to four since then, our aim is to retain the culture of passion, dedication and pride that saw our fore-sisters begin the first office in Maroochydore almost 40 years ago.
Below is a brief timeline of the evolution of the service:
Sunshine Coast Rape Crisis Service was founded as an entirely unfunded and volunteer-based service. Soon after, the name was amended to The Women’s Crisis Service to reflect the expansion of services to include domestic violence.
The first funding received for 0.5 worker and operating costs for 20 hours per week.
In the following years, funding was increased for staff and operational costs, as well as a Women’s Refuge named ‘Jacana Lodge”. The first state-wide DV Hotline was also established by the organization at this time.
The organisation returned to the exclusive provision of services to sexual assault survivors
The service became incorporated as the Sunshine Cooloola Services Against Sexual Violence Inc (SCSASV Inc), with the Maroochydore office to be known as Laurel House and a newly funded Gympie office known as Laurel Place.
Funding for counselling and support for Children and Families was received, which included funding for a Community Liaison and Support Worker to engage and provide support for the First Nations’ communities and clients of Laurel Place.
The service continued to offer services to adults, young people, children, and families who had been impacted by sexual violence across the Sunshine Coast and Gympie/Cooloola regions.
A request was received from the Department of Child Safety to develop the Adolescent’s Program – a therapeutic intervention program for Children and Young People engaging in harmful sexual behaviours.
Our South Burnett Service began as an outreach contract working alongside South Burnett CTC, until Laurel Place were given the funding to establish our first office in Lamb Street to provide services to Children and Families in the region.
Our Moreton office was funded for services to adult survivors.
The Board of Management voted to rename the organisation Laurel Place Inc.
The Women’s Wellbeing Program began operating out of the Maroochydore office and is funded to provide support for women who have experienced gendered-violence.
The Youth Sexual Violence program (RESET) received further funding support to work alongside the established Adolescent Program in the Moreton and South Burnett region to respond to children and young people who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviours.
The Moreton office expands services to include counselling for Children and Families
The South Burnett office expands services to include counselling for adults
Laurel Place continues to offer sexual assault support services across a geographical footprint of approximately 20,540 square kilometres across the Sunshine Coast – Noosa, Moreton, Gympie and South Burnett areas.
From humble beginnings of .5 workers, Laurel Place now employs over 40 staff members.
This urn represents the foundations and the growth of Laurel Place. A ceremony was held on leaving our original home at 99 Parker Street, Maroochydore, and soil was encapsulated in the urn to symbolise the values, commitment and passion of our origins. As we grow and expand, the urn will continue to be a visual reminder, not just of these things, but of our humble beginnings, of all those who have come before to provide support to survivors, and most importantly, to all of the survivors who have shared their healing journey with us.