25 Mar Women and children in need – Kate Rimer
For an increasing number of Australian women and children, the desperate hunt for decent, safe accommodation has become a constant, grinding part of their lives. Core Logic sent 65 of its staff to help with a project that will see the transformation of 6 properties to meet this need. Kate Rimer, Executive Human Resources at CoreLogic explains.
Kevin: For an increasing number of Australian women and children the desperate hunt for decent, safe accommodation has become a constant grinding part of their lives unfortunately. To mark International Women’s Day just a few weeks ago Habitat for Humanity Australia has mobilised more than 400 volunteers from 15 companies around Australia for it’s Homes of Hope campaign to renovate six women’s refuges and transitional accommodation. Corelogic, one of our sponsors, sent 65 of it’s staff to help with the project. Kate Rimer, Executive Human Resources at Corelogic explains.
Kate: Homes of Hope is a programme that we’re delighted to be involved with, which is helping renovate housing for women who are facing homelessness in refuges around Australia. And we’re mobilising our teams to work for a day, giving a day of volunteering time to mark International Women’s Day and support these women.
Kevin: Kate, how critical is the need for support for those people escaping domestic and family violence?
Kate: Well we know through the data provided by Habitat for Humanity, and in fact our own work in the housing sector, that the increased cost of rental properties means that existing services are just not coming close to meeting the demand for crisis accommodation. It’s really important that more housing is made available and that needs to be in a safe clean state for women and their children. So this is a really important initiative at a time of huge need in our community.
Kevin: It is a great need and full marks to you for supporting them. Kate, how long on average will someone stay at a house and be supported in this way?
Kate: That’s a good question. It depends on the needs of the individual. Sometimes it’s a woman on her own who has escaped a situation of domestic violence, but more often than not she may have children with her or be a disadvantaged mom with children who is just struggling to make ends meet. Some of the housing is transitional, it’s short term emergency care and some of it’s longer term care while the women are looking for more permanent accommodation. It depends on their needs.
Kevin: Helping people access homes is what Corelogic of course is all about, so getting involved is natural but getting so much staff support must make it very special for you.
Kate: We were overwhelmed with the interest. We had wait lists on each one of the builds in each of the capital cities, so I think we are passionate about the housing and property industry and our staff had told us through various surveys they wanted to do more. Partnering with Habitat provided just a fabulous opportunity to do that in a very practical way.
Kevin: I understand Homes of Hope is a transitional step for women and children, is that correct?
Kate: That’s correct, yes. We’ve been working on women’s refuges but we also had a team in Adelaide working on a home for a single mom with kids. We were doing a lot of painting and tidying up for her. It covers a variety of accommodation needs.
Kevin: As we said at the start there were 65 Corelogic staff who helped out in this initiative. What activities do they get involved in?
Kate: There was painting, there was concreting, there was gardening.
Kate: Yeah, they all said they had a few sore muscles the next day but they threw themselves into it and delivered a great result at each of the properties.
Kevin: Yeah, it’s quite amazing. It’s a wonderful initiative and we’re very proud and pleased to be able to support, as I know you are too. Homes of Hope, it receives a lot of corporate support, what is it do you think that attracts that support?
Kate: I think most of the corporates who are involved like us have some close relationship or involvement in the property industry or the construction industry. But I think there’s so much more emphasis among companies now around how do we make a contribution to the community and for us the alignment here was fantastic between homes and housing and what our business is about. I think corporates are looking for that sense of alignment and employees are looking for something that’s practical where they can feel like they’re making a positive difference.
Kevin: Yeah, and I think it’s a great initiative because quite often we see corporates get involved supporting some really great causes but to actually have staff involved I think, as I said earlier, that takes it to a whole different level.
Kate: It does and I think International Women’s Day is marked by a lot of wonderful events, many of them breakfasts and lunches and lots of talking. And that conversation, that dialogue around women’s issues is really important and it needs to continue but we wanted to take it a step further and also put into action things that make a difference to Australia and New Zealand women through our business.
Kevin: Yeah, well congratulations to Corelogic and to you Kate and the team. Kate Rimer, Executive Human Resources at Corelogic. Kate, thank you so much for your time.
Kate: Thanks Kevin.