Case Study: Macleod Accommodation Support Service

Case Study: Macleod Accommodation Support Service

Case Study: Macleod Accommodation Support Service

Macleod Accommodation Support Service is a women’s and children’s refuge on the Gold Coast, QLD. They had recently before talking with us had a beautiful logo designed by a student of a nearby university, and wanted further materials to go with that: letterhead, business cards, and a website which could collect donations for their work.

We worked together to create an informative website about their work, featuring a one-page responsive design. Macleod did not have a need for a large website but wanted to show their services, who they help, and to provide resources and words from the women they help, as well as the important donation feature. We advised on different methods to accept donations, including research for the best solutions for non-profit organisations.

The elegant logo combined with the purple and white colour scheme helped make the suite of design cohesive and recognisable.

As an established organisation looking for new branding materials, we were able to help Macleod Accommodation Support Service to update their branding and connect with funders and donors as well as the organisations they partner with and women they serve, more effectively.

Quick facts:





Using creativity to make the world a safer place for women

This post originally appeared at

How design can help domestic violence service providers. You might know a lot about Lara Stephenson & my work with the Social Good Outpost and how most of our clients recently have been in the domestic violence service provision space.

It’s no coincidence – my experience for the last four years has been working with domestic violence service providers across Australia, facilitating domestic violence prevention workshops for minority communities, and advising peak bodies and government on domestic violence service provision.

But how does our work with graphic and web design help aid the cause of stopping domestic and gender-based violence? Since November 2016, we’ve been working with Domestic Violence Work Aware, an organisation founded by multiple Working Women’s Centres across Queensland, the Northern Territory and South Australia. We were set with the aim of designing an inclusive, responsive website and branding that was not just sensitive of audiences who were potentially in very difficult and dangerous situations, but also accessible to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups, LGBTIQ communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and rural and regional populations.

Our work has just been entered in the Victorian Premier’s Design Awards for 2017, and as such, I thought I’d share a little bit more about what can make design accessible for service providers working with critical social issues and vulnerable populations.

1. Features centre around the needs of designing for vulnerable populations. Specifically, for individuals effected by DFV, but also, for minority groups who may be multiply-marginalised or at an intersection of violence and abuse. This might include LGBTIQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer) audiences, who may suffer not only from DFV but wider societal homophobia and may be still ‘in the closet’, hence a need to be able to quickly exit the website and also have the website use terminology which reflects their identity. This is one of our first features – using non-gendered language and inclusive design.


DVworkaware12. Secondly has been designing for CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) audiences, who may be affected by racism and inaccessibility due to language, on top of experiencing DFV. The design was structured specifically around providing images and references which people can relate to, regardless of and inclusive of their cultural or ethnic background. One of the things we found to be incredibly important in a website which caters for DFV is that CALD people must be able to see themselves and feel welcomed, accepted, and understood when using the resource.

DVworkaware23. Aiding the accessibility for CALD individuals was the addition of a language conversion tool embedded in the website. This aided DVWA in communicating their message regardless of whether the audience spoke English or not. It also enabled communities who may not be able to read or understand English to have access to vital resources which could change how the story ends for them – on a very personal and very important note. Being able to access and read all the resources is very important for DVWA to reach these otherwise hard-to-reach populations.

DVWorkaware34. A further design feature has been the addition of a ‘quick exit’ button, accessible on all pages of the website. Once this button is clicked, the website closes and is redirected to the Google search page. This is important on two fronts. Firstly, it is important that individuals who are experiencing violence in the home can quickly close the website in case their abuser arrives home, or checks on what they are doing. Secondly, it helps to maintain confidentiality and privacy from colleagues in the workplace, where individuals may be searching for material as DVWA is primarily promoted in workplaces.

DVWorkaware45. The final functionality and benefit of this website is that it is an all-in-one resource, where employers, employees and anyone experiencing DFV in the workplace can access support and information. The website is both a first point of call and a pathway for ‘what’s next’ for both employers and employees. This project is driven almost entirely by the website, supported by in-person training, and therefore its design has been crucial to delivering solutions for dealing with DFV when it is experienced by those in the workforce – a service that has truly been pioneered by DVWA.

Case Study: DV Work Aware

Case Study: DV Work Aware

Case Study: DV Work Aware

DV Work Aware is a new national project started by the Working Women Queensland, NT Working Women’s Centre and Working Women’s Centre South Australia. We were able to work with them to create the design from the beginning of this very important program providing workplace education and resources for employees affected by domestic and family violence. As a national program that specifically delivers to a diverse range of employees and employers, we worked to make a sensitive and accessible website. This involved making sure there was a language-conversion tool built in, gender-neutral language, and imagery that reflected the real people of Australia who DV Work Aware is talking to: not just conventional stock imagery.

We worked closely with all three centres throughout the process and experienced some of the nicest group dynamics and design processes. Creating everything from the logo to the website and the print materials, stickers, printed t-shirt design and others meant keeping on top of the long to-do list together and communicating well so we all knew where we were.

All our choices in the branding and design process were mindful of the sensitive circumstances the people reading these materials may be in: we chose calm open white spaces and a warm, strong colour scheme to comfort and reassure, while also providing the emphasis and attention domestic violence requires, as a serious issue. Our imagery, secondary to reflecting the diverse communities DV Work Aware works with, reflects Australia: many people who may not have good access to workplace support already are outside cities and we wanted to reflect the Australian landscape.

DV Work Aware’s website is informative and conversational, while staying clearly to the facts of employees’ rights and resources. Some of the pages are long in content and we worked with space, breaking up content and different coloured and sized text to help the whole page be easily read and clear. An example of this kind of page is the Information for Employee page.

The website for DV Work Aware was launched around May 2017, and since then we have continued to work together to create further resources and support the expansion of the education and training programs, resources and tools for DVWA.

As one of our first clients after opening the Social Good Outpost last year, we are so proud of the work we have done together and the new networks we have both formed as a result of this work and work with other women-lead organisations in Australia since.

Key Facts:

  • The project was for Branding, Website and Graphic Design for promotional materials including; business cards, stickers, flyers, booklets, posters, banners, and badge graphics for member organisations among other things
  • Approximate time frame: 6 months
  • Website:

Go visit, it’s a valuable resource and you or someone you know might benefit from the knowledge!

Case Studies: IMPACT Social Enterprise

Case Studies: IMPACT Social Enterprise

In 2013, one of our co-directors, Elise, attended the Asia Pacific Cities Summit in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, as a delegate alongside a few other students, some business leaders, and the Lord Mayor of Brisbane. The meeting of these students, combined with an interest in social enterprise – enterprise which aims to achieve some social good whilst still producing a profit – led to the idea of starting a youth conference exploring socially-responsible business.

impactHowever, before the team had anything other than an idea and a group of passionate students ready to start the new enterprise, IMPACT Social Enterprise had a simple logo (see image to the right), and a website consisting of a few pages.

These two things suddenly made the idea real – what started as just an idea suddenly turned into a professional, capable, credible, and established organisation. IMPACT *looked* like something, and the power of appearances is something we have come to never underestimate. IMPACT could then approach mentors and sponsors, get funding and venues, and make people believe and trust in the organisation.

A mere 9 months later, the team had done it – successfully run a conference which brought 120 of Brisbane’s best and brightest youth together to explore social enterprise, kick-start ideas, and network with some of the biggest names in social good. What started with an idea, was made real by design.

Since then, this pattern has been repeated many times, and really demonstrates where good design can truly make the social impact you aim to have. It goes a bit like this:

Idea > Design > Funding and Support > Launch.

Design for social good is the step that brings your idea to life, and enables others to see that too.

The timing of this post coincides with IMPACT’s third annual conference, which begins tonight (so check out their Facebook Page). We wish all the best to the participants and can’t wait to see what they produce!

External links: Impact National Conference