Horsham's Barwon CASA to merge with Minerva Community Services

Barwon CASA chairwoman Kate Fitz-Gibbon, chief executive Helen Bolton and Minerva Community Services chairwoman Renee Fiolet, Chairperson. Picture:CcONTRIBUTED

Barwon CASA chairwoman Kate Fitz-Gibbon, chief executive Helen Bolton and Minerva Community Services chairwoman Renee Fiolet, Chairperson. Picture:CcONTRIBUTED

WIMMERA sexual assault support services will remain unchanged as the Barwon Centre Against Sexual Assault mergers with a Geelong business.

The centre, which has offices in both Geelong and Horsham, is planning to merge with Minerva Community Services later this year.

Centre chief executive Helen Bolton said the scope of services offered at Horsham would not change.

“Once we do finally merge, the services will just operate under a different name,” she said.

“We are still waiting for the department to sign off on the merger and once we do we will have a re-branding program in place.”

Mrs Bolton said the service would operate under a brand new name, which was still to be confirmed.

Minerva Community Services provides information and support to women who have experienced family violence.

Mrs Bolton said the two organisations would operate well together.

“As noted by the Royal Commission into Family Violence, there is a high co-existence of family violence and sexual assault,” she said.

“ In bringing our two organisations together, we are creating a single entry point and highly efficient model to meet the needs of people in our community who are experiencing sexual assault and family violence.

“It is timely to bring our two services together

“Women and children experiencing family violence will receive a comprehensive service that can respond to their immediate safety needs.

“The new service is able to address the effects of the trauma they have experienced and support them towards recovery.”

Minerva Community Services chairwoman Renee Fiolet said the move was about revolutionising the system.

“Our intention to merge is a first step on the way to seeing real change to the way services are delivered,” she said.

“It will make it much easier for women and children to have a co-ordinated response”.

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