Silence is never the answer: PhoenixDX people answering the call to help

In November 2021, Kathy Kaplan from Impact for women spoke to our team about the impact of domestic and family violence.

In November 2021, Kathy Kaplan OAM, Founder and President of Impact for women spoke to our team about the impact of domestic and family violence.

According to Kathy, domestic and family violence is everywhere. It doesn’t matter what religion or culture you come from. It doesn’t matter if you are educated or not. It doesn’t matter if you’re employed or not. It can, and it does, affect all types of families.

“Domestic and family violence affects millions of women and children worldwide. It also affects thousands of women and children in Australia every day. Silence is not the answer. Not for people suffering right now, and not for the people who will suffer in the future.”
– Kathy Kaplan

One in four Australian children witness abuse and violence at home and grow up thinking that abuse and violence is an acceptable way of dealing with issues and part of relationships. One Australian woman is killed every week by domestic violence. 

In Victoria alone, a case of domestic violence is reported to police every six minutes, and they are only the reported cases; many go unreported. A woman or child in Australia is less safe at home than on the streets. It needs to stop. Kathy started Impact for Women to help these woman to change this reality. 

In 2006, Kathy and 12 of her friends started packing hampers for women that were delivered to metropolitan Safe Houses supporting domestic violence victims. It has since grown into a more than 1,000 volunteer strong charitable organisation that has supplies over 2500 “Bags of Love” twice a year to women escaping violence Victoria wide.

A Bag of Love is a red Impact for Women bag full of gifts. Everything is new, including basic toiletries, a cup or mug filled with teas, coffee, lollies or chocolates, a fully stocked make-up bag and a just-because gift (something nice to make them feel better, depending on what is donated).

The Impact for Women Challenge

Volunteers run an important part of Impact for Women operations; they help process donations and pack bags. The team at Impact for Women were tracking the comings and goings of volunteers via excel spreadsheets. When volunteers arrived at the warehouse for a shift, they wrote their details onto sheets of paper that were then manually collated and imported into MailChimp, their only source of truth, to ensure that the organisation had everyone’s current contact details. This process was very time consuming, prone to manual handling errors and was not the best use of volunteer hours.

After speaking to the PhoenixDX team about the impact of domestic and family violence, several staff members put their hands up to help the organisation. They met with Kathy Kaplan and her team, deciding to build an OutSystems application that could replace the manual check-in processing of volunteers.

Senior OutSystems Developer

OutSystems Developer

OutSystems Developer

Mike Samuel, Lorena Lopez and Jake Magro built the app in their spare time. It was recently launched at the grand opening of Impact for Women’s new headquarters in Sandringham, Melbourne. When volunteers arrive, they are greeted with a QR code that directs them to a mobile-friendly application. If they have used the app before, their information is automatically filled out, and they need only confirm that everything is correct. If they have not volunteered before, they fill in their contact details and choose whether or not to subscribe to their newsletter. Once submitted, all relevant information is instantly updated in MailChimp, automating the entire process.

Kathy and the Impact for Women team now keep track of all of the volunteers who show up at their headquarters or events, but they also have up-to-date information for each of them. Kathy can easily track who has checked in, filter information and export details when needed.

This app is perfect and is a game-changer for Impact for Women. The PhoenixDX volunteers listened closely to our needs and took into account our lack of technical knowledge. They understood our pain points and developed a practical, user-friendly solution that did exactly what we needed. 

Kathy Kaplan OAM. Founder & President, Impact for Women

Not only has the workflow been automated and volunteer information kept up-to-date, but volunteer hours can be better allocated to helping more women escape violence with dignity.

We are immensely proud of our community-minded team members who could see an opportunity to step up and deliver such an important solution in their own time – just one small example of how we live our values every day.

We will continue to look for more opportunities to use the OutSystems platform and the skills of the PhoenixDX team to further their support of Impact for Women.

A selection from our recent work