Open Haven Gala Celebrates Innovation For Women and Children in Mental Health Week To be held at GOMA Brisbane 14th October 2023 

The power of community to change the future is set to be in the spotlight at a glittering Gala in the sumptuous surroundings of Brisbane’s GOMA Water Mall. But this time the focus is the mental health and wellbeing of women and children who have lived through the trauma of domestic violence in Australia. .

Open Haven CEO Sabeel Burgess said the event will extend the recognition of important early intervention work into some of the most at risk communities, providing someone else to talk to for women experiencing the plethora of mental health and social issues, facing women in the critical post-crisis phase of recovery.

“Open Haven hubs have had interest from around Australia as we have already made a difference to the lives of 100s of women and their children,” Mrs Burgess said.

“Since 2020, Open Haven has helped more than 500 women and their children to overcome a range of problems, including helping them access support for crippling PTSD and desperate need to create a new life – from driving lessons to being allowed to control their own finances and work.”

The event will see the Glitterati of Brisbane get together to celebrate the achievements of Open Haven and community members making a difference in the domestic violence space.

The Gala will feature:

A 4 hour drink and food package
A live and silent auction with glamorous holidays to be won
Awards and more

Mrs Burgess said the decision to have the Gala during Mental Health Week was a decision they made based on the fact that this is an under-represented group within the mental health space, as they were often too busy mitigating ongoing crises to gain the help so desperately needed for themselves and their children.

The decision to locate Open Haven’s current hubs was based on a range of factors including, community need, community support, population size, and growth.

“The Gala is a unique chance for everyone to come together and realise the importance of the need for critical strategic efforts from the community and what so many have already done to support these women. And when they flourish, their children flourish” Mrs Burgess said.

“There are currently over ??000 women in Australia, who have recently left domestic violence and we are really only seeing the tip of the iceberg as so many do not realise they can access ongoing support after the 3 month crisis period ends.

“This is only expected to grow as families face increasing stress that has come with the financial pressures of recent years.”

Details of the Gala can be found on the Open Haven website and the night will be hosted by the Director of Innovation from River City Labs, Bay City Labs, Start up Catalyst, and Something Tech, Pauline Fetaui.

“Open Haven is aiming to become a place for women, in whatever areas they are currently established in, and have built their reputation as a service that has ‘no wrong door’. We are a bespoke, person led service, innovating around the psychosocial wellbeing and needs of women ,” said Mrs Burgess.

Open Haven’s Ambassador, Mary Jane Leahy, who runs multiple successful support services in Australia also supports the Open Haven vision to support women at their most vulnerable.

Gallery of Modern Art, Stanley Place, South Brisbane, QLD 4101

CEO Sabel Burgess

. For more information about Open Haven visit:
Event can be found on the website of via Eventbrite at:

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