Social Worker making a difference for domestic violence victims

Department of Human Services staff member Andrea Mills was recognised by the Gold Coast community for her work in helping the city deal with domestic violence.

Domestic violence is a huge issue in the Gold Coast community, with 20 per cent of Queensland’s domestic violence orders occurring there. Andrea works for the department as a Social Worker in partnership with the Gold Coast Domestic Violence Prevention Centre, helping victims and their families.

“We jointly provide an eight-session programme to help the victims understand the cycle of violence, and how to create a safer world for themselves and their family,” Andrea said.

“We then work toward setting some goals, gaining stability in their lives, rebuilding confidence and accessing support networks.”

Andrea said collaboration was key to tackling the complex social issue of domestic violence.

“That’s what we’ve established here on the Gold Coast. No one agency can do it all – we need to work together,” Andrea added.

Andrea said it was personally rewarding to support women suffering from domestic violence.

“Domestic violence is so totally disempowering. It’s fulfilling to give these women hope and help turn lives around,” she said.

Last year, the centre acknowledged Andrea’s work with one of their annual awards. Coinciding with Domestic Violence Prevention Month, Andrea was presented with the award by Queensland Minister for Communities, Women, Youth, Child Safety and Multicultural Affairs, Shannon Fentiman.

Department of Human Services General Manager Michelle Lees, who has responsibility for Social Work Services, was there on the night to congratulate Andrea.

“Domestic violence is an important issue as it impacts on the community, the workplace, families and individuals.” Michelle said.

“It’s a barrier to employment and participation in society, and the department needs to be there to support victims as they emerge from it.

“I’m proud of Andrea’s work over the past five years with the centre and the other work she and all our social workers do around Australia.”

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