Culturally appropriate community housing prototypes

NRCF AdminHealth & Wellbeing, Impact, News, Newsletter

Housing and homelessness is a key issue facing our community, and one that has been exacerbated by covid, fires and floods. NRCF’s 2023/24 Housing and Homelessness Grant Recipient grant sought to support meaningful work and impact in this important space.

Supported by the generosity of our funding partner: Paul Ramsay Foundation, NRCF were able to offer funding of $35,000 to Women Up North for their project:


Women Up North identified a gap in the housing market of housing support for First Nations women and children leaving domestic and family violence situations.

This project addresses this gap specifically in the Kyogle and Lismore areas. Funding enabled the engagement of architects and an Aboriginal planning specialist to design two Core and Cluster refuges; self-contained, culturally sensitive spaces offering trauma-informed and secure domestic and family violence support.

Architect David Brown has 50 years’ experience, understanding the needs of DFV shelters and focused areas of Universal Design (buildings useable by all levels of ability) and Net Zero design, aligning with Federal policies

Architect Suzanne Rundle has 20 years’ experience, with expertise in residential and community design, ensuring facilities will be well-considered and future-proofed (i.e. may be used over decades without need for expensive refits and repairs)

Aboriginal Engagement and planning specialist Elle Davidson – a lecturer in Aboriginal Planning at the University of Sydney – oversees cultural sensitivity, ensuring welcoming, safe and appropriate buildings for Indigenous users.

The grant from NRCF has been instrumental in reducing time to have the sites operational for the community and ensuring vital design components are completed and financed ahead of schedule. Ultimately, the funding has enabled the submission of five tenders to support Aboriginal women and children experiencing homelessness due to Domestic Sexual and Family Violence.

The project design is stage one of the project. It has been submitted to State and Federal funding rounds and is being used to prepare further applications. We identified 5 to identify the significance of the project bringing into fruition design and goals of elders Reverend Auntie Dorothy Gordon and Tracy Duncan now both passed.

Jillian Knight-Smith Manager, Women Up North expressed her gratitude,

“The opportunity to support community with appropriate housing is exciting for our First Nations community. The opportunity to put on paper the project originally developed by elders now past is highly significant and empowering for community. NRCF have been an important support to us and many others in the region.” 

Previous News articleNext News article

Please share on Socials