Tony Buti has been collecting books for the last four months in preparation for his Giant Book Sale to support Starick Services – an organisation dedicated to supporting women and children escaping domestic violence.
With more than 7000 books covering the floor of his front room, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Member for Armadale was in the process of turning his Albany Highway office into a trendy new bookshop.
Perth’s south-eastern corridor has the highest rates of domestic and family violence in the Perth metropolitan area.
The refuge has been operating for more than three decades and is currently the only one of its kind in the area, accommodating 12 women and 34 children with room for one additional emergency case.
Starick Services business manager Troy Kelly said the organisation’s accommodation was full, and that COVID-19 had seen the number of inquiries increase.
“We’re full now, but what we have seen during COVID-19 is an increase in the number of inquiries,” he said.
“We have staff located at several of the local police stations and we understand that the walk-ins there have increased, too.
“We do receive state government funding, but that’s basically just to keep the doors open – so we really appreciate fundraising efforts like this.
“Fundraisers allow us to add value, to make the stay more pleasant for women and children.
“We run a series of programs, including therapeutic writing, baby massage and yoga to help settle anxiety.
“It’s really overwhelming to come in here and see the generosity of the community.
“Tony has been a great advocate for us and has assisted us with other fundraising initiatives, too.”
As the only refuge in the area, and with demand increasing, Dr Buti said it was vital the community support the work of the organisation.
“They do an incredible job, but are always strapped for funds – so it’s important we support them,” he said.
“The generosity we’ve seen has been phenomenal.
“We’ve had substantial donations from the Armadale Library and Independent Education Union and we’ve got books of every genre.”
The book sale will be held on Saturday, September 5, from 9am until 4pm at his office on Albany Highway in Kelmscott with EFTPOS facilities available.
If you have experienced domestic violence and require assistance, contact Starick Services on (08) 9458 1107.
If you require emergency assistance, contact Crisis Care on (08) 9223 1111.
You can find more Armadale news here.