Nominated by MISSives Guest Editor, Tamika Jarvis
Tamika Smith is a serial social entrepreneur and changemaker influencing Australia’s construction industry. She is well known within the sector for her passion for social equity and providing grassroots action to build homes for our most vulnerable people; in particular older women and victims of domestic violence.
In line with YWCA’s YeS 2026 Strategy and Pathways to Independence program; women aged 50+ are currently experiencing homelessness at an alarming rate. Many situations result from a breakdown within the home, including family or intimate partner violence.
Tamika’s work aims to address these issues and support the increasing number of women ‘falling through the cracks’. This has become heartbreakingly more common- resulting from poor governmental policy, lack of or changes to funding, and insufficient understanding of the unique needs and barriers affecting this demographic.
Tamika has founded multiple businesses addressing these social changes, including an offsite construction company, My Bella Casa. Her company’s mission is to assist the Community Housing Sector to deliver social, affordable and disability housing options. The benefits of Tamika’s offsite construction model mean that – when programming – no days are lost to inclement weather, the home is fabricated completely offsite and transported to location, and that new homes can quickly be built to fit social housing waitlist specific designs.
Tamika believes that everyone deserves a home, and that where the government falls short, the community must develop solutions to support our most vulnerable.