No options beyond domestic work for Gloriavale women - resident

Ryan Boswell
Source: 1News

There’s “not really” the option to do anything other than cooking, cleaning and childcare for women at Gloriavale, according to a current resident.

Compassion Standtrue.

Twenty-year-old Compassion Standtrue was born and raised in the West Coast commune, to parents who were born there too.

She said she likes working on the women’s teams, and that by doing so she’s following what God wants.

“The Bible says that we should be keepers at home so that includes cooking, washing, looking after children, teaching children – things like that.”

When questioned by the plaintiff, lawyer Brian Henry, whether she had any other options than to work on the teams, Standtrue responded “no, not really”.

When asked by Henry if it "might be nice to go and work on the farm like some of your brothers do”, Standtrue replied, “I don't think I'd like it permanently."

The Employment Court is considering whether six women who lived at Gloriavale were employees or volunteers when they carried out the domestic duties.

It heard allegations that some of the so-called “single girls” would be “berated” by some of the commune’s senior women, but Standtrue said she didn’t recall it happening.

Early starts were normal at Gloriavale, with girls at secondary school expected to make porridge for the 600 residents every morning.

Standtrue said she would get up at 5am one or two times a month so she could do “personal things”.

“I didn’t have to get up that early to make sure it got ready but if I wanted to have it done earlier so I could do something else, I would do that.”

Gloriavale (file picture).

Henry then suggested she was “talking about another task to do with the prep day”, to which Standtrue said, “Yeah, I’d normally ask if there was anything else I could do."

She said there were “always meal time breaks”.

Gloriavale set aside Saturday nights for residents aged from “14 years until they were an adult with three children” to do activities.

The court heard one activity was picking up rocks in a paddock, and it was suggested at times the night would be treated as a working bee.

The hearing continues.