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Last week, TEN Women held their annual charity luncheon at Melbourne Town Hall in support of Lighthouse Foundation’s Young Women’s Freedom Program. Lighthouse Foundation is a Melbourne-based not-for-profit that supports and cares for some of Australia’s most vulnerable kids. Its unique Young Women’s Freedom Program is delivered in a dedicated care home that supports girls and young women who are at risk of entering into, or have left, early/forced marriages and are escaping modern day slavery.

TEN Women is a not-for-profit organisation led by ten senior women in the property and construction industry in Melbourne with a mandate to connect and empower women to create a meaningful impact in the property industry.

The $606,828 that was raised for Lighthouse Foundation’s Young Women’s Freedom Program will be used to renovate the Freedom House where the vulnerable young women live and receive 24/7 live-in care and therapeutic support.

There were over 500 attendees at the event including Lord Mayor Sally Capp, who was one of Lighthouse Foundation’s first board members. Moving addressees we’re delivered by Sally Capp, as well as Lighthouse Foundation’s Founder, Susan Barton AM, and one of Lighthouse Foundation’s former young people, Christine.

Ruth Wilson, Principal Clients + Communication Architectus and TEN Women board member said “TEN Women ran a targeted EOI to select our charity partner and while each submission was worthy of support, the Lighthouse Freedom Program resonated very deeply with us. We were impressed with the Lighthouse model of care which sees a longitudinal relationship with each resident; the idea that the Lighthouse is ‘always on’ as a guide and beacon for as long as the individual needs it. We felt it would be a privilege to expand and improve the home in which the lives of these young woman are transformed through safety, support, and independence.

“We are also a very practical group and we knew the scope of the extension and refurbishment of the house was achievable, particularly because we could count on the pro-bono involvement of the TEN Directors in design, cost planning, project management and construction, as well as other TEN members who have provided town planning, building surveying, project management and engineering services.

“We visited the house in our professional capacities to assess design and implementation strategy and were immediately struck by the warmth of the relationships between the Lighthouse staff and the residents, and the enormous potential of each of these young women to lead a full and happy life. We are delighted to support the Lighthouse Freedom Program”

Dr Eamonn McCarthy, CEO Lighthouse Foundation said, “The overwhelming amount of funding that has been made possible by some of our community’s most incredible women will ensure that Lighthouse Foundation can continue to provide life-changing care, homes, and other supports to an increasing amount of women in our community who are nonetheless incredible, but are certainly far more vulnerable and in need.

“I’d like to thank each of the attendees there on the day, in particularly our wonderful event sponsors Australian Super, Slattery, KANE, Acciona, BESIX Watpac, BlueRock, Built, Buildcorp, Charter Hall, GJK Facility Services, Hansen Yuncken, ICON and WSP.”

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