In these two episodes of The Parenting Couch podcast, Sarah Levett talks to the courageous and inspiring Mel Wojtas from The Hive Village Project. As a mum to two children and a survivor of Domestic Violence, she has made it her mission to provide more support to women going through similar experiences. She is a North Shore Mum, growing up in Lindfield. It’s a heavy topic, but an important one.
This episode of The Parenting Couch has references to suicide, abortion, sexual assault, domestic violence and institutional child sexual abuse. There is mild coarse language.
Always ring 000 if in immediate danger or emergencies. Other support services have been listed below:
- 1800RESPECT (National sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling) – 1800 737 732
- Suicide Call Back Service or call 1300 659 467
- Survivors & Mates Support Network (SAMSN) – 1800 472 676
- Lifeline (Crisis support and suicide prevention) – 13 11 14
- Blue Knot Foundation – 1300 657 380
- National Redress Scheme (for people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse) – 1800 737 377
Mel Wojtas is a single Mum to two children, and a survivor of domestic violence. She is courageous, strong, smart, resilient and determined to create a better future and story for her family.
Mel is the heart and brains behind the Hive Village Project that aims to provide long term housing with integrated support services for survivors of domestic and family abuse.
She sat down with Sarah from The Parenting Couch and with no filter she shares her story. She is truly inspiring.
About Mel Wojtas
Mel has lived through domestic, family and sexual abuse. Harnessing decades of expertise and generational trauma, to create what needed to leave the situation, she created Hive Village Project.
Founded in 2o16, Mel first conceptualised a setting that would ‘bring back the village’ to wrap around survivors and their families (children and pets) to stop the cycle of homelessness, poverty and housing instability. Mel believed deeply that this was her life’s purpose and knew in her heart this could work.
To back herself and her ideas, Mel changed the course of her life and went to TAFE to study Community Services. Following this, she was the first person in her family to be accepted into University, and continued to study a Bachelor of Social Science.
The thirst for knowledge grew and Mel has been expanding her knowledge base each year through professional and personal development. The Women’s Business School granted Mel a full scholarship into their Female Founders Business Incubator: Ignite 2019, to bring Hive Village Project to launch.
Mel’s resilience, tenacity and vision have lead her to be nominated for various awards, including Silver in the Women’s Business School Ignite Excellence category at the 2019 National AusMumpreneur Awards in Melbourne.
Hive Village Project
The mission of Hive Village Project is to catch survivors who currently ‘fall through the cracks’ by providing trauma informed housing in regional areas of Australia.
The vision is to create accessible, inclusive, permanent, turn-key (fully furnished dwellings, ready for residents to arrive at short notice) villages for human and animal survivors of Domestic & Family Violence (DFV). Featuring integrated support services and a holistic approach to healing in post-crisis accommodation or for those who can’t access crisis services due to current barriers in Australia.
Hive Village will feature on-site security, support workers and visiting outreach services. Each home will be accessible, with shared areas of the village to include inclusive social and green spaces for the residents to enjoy.
Hive Villages will provide training opportunities and access to technology to assist residents to stay connected with schooling and/or work commitments, linking with established social services to provide ample opportunities for tenants to up-skill and utilise economic management programs to exit the village with enough funds to bypass welfare and enter the private or social housing markets should they wish to do so.
The Parenting Couch
Sarah Levett is the host of the brand new weekly podcast, The Parenting Couch, brought to you by North Shore Mums! Every week, Sarah will chat to a special guest to tackle a parenting-related topic to support, entertain or inspire. We sat down with Sarah to find out a little more about how The Parenting Couch came to be, her personal parenting insights and what she does to stay sane. Click here to read the interview.
So if you’re looking for something fun to listen to on the commute, when you’re out exercising or doing jobs around the house, subscribe to The Parenting Couch so you never miss an episode!