In October 2022, LG Electronics Australia recognised Rach Mac in her local community in Western Australia for her impactful work assisting women, men and children escape domestic violence through her organisation, Broken Crayons Still Colour.
As someone who has experienced domestic violence firsthand, Rach Mac knew she needed to create change at a grassroots level. As a firm believer that “silence breeds violence”, she established ‘Broken Crayon’s Still Colour’. Rach and her team help those experiencing domestic violence escape from unsafe environments, and provide essential support such as assistance with furniture, white goods, linen, fresh food, and school supplies for children. The foundation has taken many victims and has helped them become empowered survivors.
We sat down with Rach to learn more about her story and how she has made an impact through her foundation.
LG: What inspired you to give back to your community?
RM: The inspiration behind ‘Broken Crayon’s Still Colour’ came from my own experiences of horrific domestic violence. Prior to my journey through domestic violence, I was a social butterfly, extroverted, ambitious young woman who was very happy with the direction my life was taking. Little did I know that dipping my toes into the dating scene would almost cost me my life and lead me down a path I had never really heard about.
After meeting someone I thought I loved, I was stuck in a never-ending cycle of domestic violence. I felt alone, my career started to flounder, and my zest for life was completely gone. I thankfully have made my way through that period, but it fueled me with a sense of purpose I couldn’t shake. I knew that because I survived domestic violence it was my duty to help others through similar experiences. I refused to let my journey define me, and instead I took my pain, scars, and determination to create a foundation that would save lives and inspire others.
LG: How did you come up with the concept?
RM: The inspiration behind my foundation’s name came from my beautiful children, Milla and Fletcher. I was watching my twins colour and Milla broke her crayons. She turned to me feeling sad that her picture was now ruined, and she couldn’t finish her drawing. I sat down beside her and said, “Milla, the crayon is broken, but it still colours.”.
That conversation, although simple, was a light bulb moment for me. The name of my foundation had to be ‘Broken Crayon’s Still Colour’. And I was living proof of this – you can still go on and make your life beautiful even after experiencing trauma.
From here, I created a community Facebook page for anyone to reach out for support, but I knew that more could be done. I educated myself on resources available, law reform, our judicial system, and from there created the foundation.
LG: What results have you achieved so far?
RM: I’m so proud of how far my team and I have come from when we first started, ‘Broken Crayon’s Still Colour’. We’ve saved hundreds of lives and assisted thousands more by providing emergency relocations. Once we have victims out of harm's way, we provide the essential support they need to re-establish a home. We assist with everything from food, toiletries, school supplies to legal documentation and court support.
We’verecently fundraised for a new emergency relocation vehicle, turned a single car garage into a safe haven counselling and education space, and we’ve even rented a small home which we renovated to offer a safe transitional space fit for two mothers and four children.
Our foundation has received many accolades from the National Community Championship Award, New Change Champion Award, finalist for WA Organisation of the Year Award, and I was also a finalist for the Australian Women of the Year Award. What makes me most proud is not only what we have achieved without government funding, but the impact we’ve made for a countless number of victims. It gives me goosebumps thinking of how many lives we’ve been able to transform by just giving them access to the right support and resources.
LG: Have you come up against any challenges?
RM: Raising enough funds to support victims is a constant challenge but this was amplified during COVID. We’re constantly trying to think of new and innovative ways to fundraise and are heavily reliant on our community and generous businesses to help us.
Everyone on our team is putting themselves at risk when we assist victims. From experience, abusers are very unpredictable, so safety for my team is always front of mind.
I am also a fierce advocator for law reform and have experienced challenges when trying to get more government support in the area of domestic violence. What I’ve seen is that most victims end up living life as if they are in the wrong – constantly hiding and living in fear. We need to change this, and I will use any and every forum available to me to give a voice to those who have temporarily lost theirs.
LG: What’s next for you and your initiative?
RM: We want to continue to make an impact and want to raise enough funds to build our own large-scale transitional safe home to house 20 women and 24 children. The cost to do this is a phenomenal amount. To build, furnish, secure onsite management and cater for operational costs will equate to $1.9 million. We are determined to achieve this, so we are hoping to secure sponsorship to ensure our vision becomes a reality.
More broadly, domestic and family violence is escalating at a frightening rate, so we want to do more when it comes to raising awareness about what victim support looks like and law reform in this area.
LG: What does being named an ‘LG Local Legend’ mean to you?
RM: Being named an LG Local Legend brings me great pride. It’s a huge personal accomplishment to be recognised for my work in the community. It has also allowed me to reflect on my personal journey. To think that I was once a broken victim, and I am now helping save lives makes me feel very proud.
Beyond a personal sense of accomplishment, this award is another testament to the work that my team has put into the foundation. It means that more people within the community are noticing the impact that we are having, which will hopefully allow us to support more people in need.
LG Electronics Australia would like to say thank you to Rach Mac for all her efforts in support those who are experiencing domestic violence. For more information about Rach’s foundation, visit brokencrayonsstillcolour.org.