30 May 2019

Media release

Stockland Gladstone is supporting a local group of five Gladstone school girls who have developed an app that allows victims of domestic or family violence to contact police without being detected by their perpetrator.

Disguised as a simple cleaning app for the victim’s safety, it alerts the police using three quiet, simple and fast steps. It also includes the victim’s location to help the police arrive faster.

CQUniversity lecturer and group mentor Dr Jan Lewis, said that the concept for the app was decided on quite quickly for the 2018 Australia Tech Girls Competition.

“When the group started brainstorming they came up with about six different ideas, but they all decided to develop an app that would help victims of domestic violence because they all knew someone who had been affected by it.

“With one in six women and one in fifteen men affected by domestic and family violence, the app has a lot of potential to help change the lives of victims all over the world.”

The Gladstone school girls were named the Australian National winner in the Secondary Schools category of the 2018 Australian Tech Girls Competition and, as such, have been invited to compete at the ‘Technovation’ competition this year held in Silicon Valley in August.

To help towards the costs of the trip, the group has been successful in obtaining a $20,000 Australian Federal Government Engaging Science grant; but there is still a lot more fundraising to go.

Stockland Gladstone Centre Manager, Diana Mitchell, said she was pleased that the centre was able to contribute $10,000 towards the group’s trip to the U.S. as they work towards better establishing the app.

“Stockland has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to violence of any kind.

“We have internal programs in place to help teach employees the necessary skills to recognise and support those who may be experiencing domestic or family violence.

“In addition to our employees, the safety of our community is our highest priority and we feel fortunate to have this opportunity to support such a worthy initiative that offers an accessible and practical solution to a complex and challenging problem.”

The girls will be fundraising for the remainder of their goal with a raffle at the Rotary Markets at Tondoon Botanical Gardens on Sunday, 16 June. The community is invited to come buy a raffle ticket and show their support.