South West Women's Refuge hopeful for funding

Funding hopes: South West Women's Refuge chief executive Anita Shortland is hoping for a funding boost in 2018 after $1 million was announced for Peel. Picture: Emily Sharp.
Funding hopes: South West Women's Refuge chief executive Anita Shortland is hoping for a funding boost in 2018 after $1 million was announced for Peel. Picture: Emily Sharp.

A service, which gives vital support to women and their children 365 days a year is hoping it will receive a funding boost in 2018 to continue its work. 

The South West Women’s Refuge provides 24/7 crisis accommodation, support, advocacy and referrals for women and children escaping family or domestic violence with the help of government funding and community donations. 

South West Women’s Refuge chief executive Anita Shortland said the organisation was blessed with a generous community who helped cover the gaps in providing an excellent service. 

“Whilst we’re very grateful for our government funding, and couldn’t provide a service without it, it hasn’t changed significantly in many years,” she said.

“It no longer covers the bare basic costs of running a refuge.”

Currently funds being saved to better deliver services are being used to fill gaps no longer covered by government funding. With long-term plans to expand the refuge to include offices, meeting spaces for clients and additional beds, additional funding will help to make it a reality. 

“It’s pleasing that family and domestic violence counselling and refuge services in Peel are respectively receiving $1 million over four years and $1.36 million of the $7 million 2017/2018 state-wide expenditure, in recognition of their projected population of 444,000 people by 2050,” she said.

“Given the South West Regional Blueprint projects the South West population to be 500,000 by 2050, spread over a vastly greater area, I am hopeful services in our region will be prioritised for much needed funding boosts in coming budgets.”

Child Protection and Family Support assistant director general Jackie Tang said funding for three South West support services was currently in place.

“The Department of Communities has existing funding in place for three providers to provide family and domestic violence intervention, counselling and support services in the South West region,” she said.

The funding, totalling $2.2 million, is for Waratah Support Centre, Communicare Incorporated in Busselton and the South West Women’s Refuge.