Client story

Refurbishment of a women’s refuge in remote Australia

The Salvation Army required a renovation of its women’s refuge, including the addition of an office, services and accessibility upgrades, and an overall design refresh


Project & Construction Management Services




Karratha, WA


The Salvation Army operates 24-hour refuge centres across Australia to support women facing family and domestic violence. JLL was appointed under a fixed price ‘design and construct’ contract by The Salvation Army to manage upgrade works to its Karratha facility, located 1,525km north of Perth. 

The centre was operating at 100 percent occupancy when we commenced the upgrade works. To avoid disturbance to the residents, arrangements were made to relocate them to hotel accommodation, which allowed us three weeks to carry out the essential refurbishments.

Karratha experiences severe wet weather seasons throughout year including tropical cyclones and monsoons. On the day we were to commence, a cyclone warning was issued. On top of that, COVID-19 restrictions were imposed, which we had to navigate with extra stringent on-site health and safety measures.

The remoteness of Karratha also posed practical challenges with the coordination of trades and materials. We engaged with trusted Perth-based trades that had previously worked with JLL, and lodged an application with the local council early in our appointment for the addition of the office. 

“JLL was impressive, professional and committed to delivering the project on time and budget despite the significant challenges thrown at them. The end product is beautiful.”

Kristy Staples, State Manager – WA Family Violence | The Salvation Army Australia Territory


The 40-year-old building required significant upgrades to achieve current building code compliance and meet operational requirements.

In addition to incorporating an office and accessible bathrooms, we enhanced the building’s security features. importantly the centre received a much-needed aesthetic uplift to present as a safe, inviting and comfortable environment for residents.

Our digital toolkit, including 3D scanning allowed us to complete exhaustive pre-mobilisation planning and coordination with all project stakeholders from Perth.

Early engagement with the local government and a building certifier was critical to being able to develop the scope of the upgrade to meet the necessary code requirements as well as accommodate the proposed change of building classification.

The scope of works provided included:

  • Demolition of existing internal walls
  • Refurbishment of rooms and existing spaces, including creating an accessible guest room and two accessible bathrooms
  • Services upgrade of electrical, security, mechanical and acoustics
  • Modified internal layout to accommodate an office, counselling room and secure entrance
  • External landscaping including playground area, paving, sandpit and shade sails.


With a great deal of forward planning, we were able to complete the project within the three weeks allocated so residents could return.

The Salvation Army’s Karratha refuge centre is now set up to better meet the needs of the community and to provide safe accommodation for guests. 

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