News-OLD

Housing for First Nations Women

Access to safe housing remains a key challenge facing Australia’s First Nations women. In acknowledging our presence on land that was stolen and not ceded, Women’s Housing Ltd is emerging from the pandemic with the goal to increase the representation of First Nations women in our properties and provide them with a home that meets their needs.

Hearing the invaluable stories of our Renters has helped us understand their needs in the pursuit of providing culturally safe and inclusive housing.

Many of our First Nations Renters came to us with experiences of housing insecurity. Women’s Housing Ltd is proud to provide a safe and inclusive home to these Renters. The certainty and permanency our housing brings to our First Nations renters has been described as bringing a sense of security and safety that been missing.

The stories of three First Nations Renters speaks to why Women’s Housing Ltd does what we do:

  • WHL Tenancy Officers create a safe yarning space to connect with Renters. After meeting a Renter in her home over several cups of coffee and establishing a personal connection, the Renter was able to address her rental arrears and now lives comfortably free of rental debt and risk to her housing security.
  • A woman was afforded financial and housing stability, thereby allowing them to return to study and achieve their career goal alongside a safe family home.
  • Another Renter was passed through six different housing providers before arriving with Women’s Housing Ltd, where she was relieved to be assisted with her move and obtaining warm clothes and food. When she connected with another First Nations woman housed by our organisation in her property, she found a further sense of belonging in her new home.

We are proud to be an organisation helping to lead the nation towards greater housing inclusivity and protection for our First Nations Australians.

Thank you to all our renters who were so generous and helpful in writing this article.

NAIDOC Week

Women’s Housing Ltd staff took part in events across Naarm (Melbourne) to celebrate NAIDOC week 2022.

Staff participated in the Clothing the Gap movement event.  WHL registered interested staff for one of five distances ranging from 3km to 42.2km.  Staff could complete their ‘race’ in their own time, their own local area and with who they wanted to.  Most importantly they got moving running, walking, shuffling, scooting or cycling to support Clothing the Gap, an Aboriginal-led non-for-profit organisation run by public health practitioners working towards closing the gap in health outcomes between  Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians

Changes to Women’s Housing Ltd Board

On 30 June 2022 Michael Barlow retired from the Women’s Housing Ltd Board.  Michael was an important and valuable member of the Board and will be greatly missed.  During his time on the Board Women’s Housing Ltd was successful in achieving Housing Association status, obtained the management rights to Harvest Square and, thanks to Michael’s expertise in the property development sector, Women’s Housing Ltd successfully bid for 13 metropolitan and regional projects through the Big Housing Build.

We wish Michael all the best and thank him for his contribution, without a doubt Michael has assisted Women’s Housing Ltd in improving the lives of many women.

Before retiring Michael recommended Daniel Khong as his replacement.  Daniel has 20 years’ experience in project development in the property and infrastructure sectors in a career that spans architectural practice, public sector management and private development and finance. Daniel has developed relationships within Government and the private sector and would fill the gap in building and planning knowledge that Michael Barlow leaves behind.

On 25 May 2022 the Women’s Housing Ltd Board formally appointed Daniel Khong as a Member.  Women’s Housing Ltd is excited about the future and confident in the expertise and capabilities of the Board.

National Reconciliation Week

27 May to 3 June 2022

Women’s Housing Ltd staff, volunteers, and renters took part in events across Naarm (Melbourne) for National Reconciliation Week 2022.  Activities included:

  • A tour of Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) Collective Movements exhibit, expertly curated by Taungurung artist Kate ten Buuren, Lardil and Yangkaal artist Maya Hodge and N’Arweet Professor Carolyn Briggs AM PhD. The exhibits showcases and celebrates collaboration and collectivism in Indigenous creativity, both past and present. Collective Movements can be enjoyed until 23 July 2022 at MUMA, Monash University Caulfield Campus.  Special thanks to Head Curator at MUMA Charlotte Day for her time and expertise.  For more information visit https://www.monash.edu/muma/exhibitions/collective-movements

  • Afternoon Tea provided by Council to Homeless Persons, featuring treats from Mabu Mabu. Attendees participated in the Yalinguth Walking Tour of Fitzroy. Via the Yalinguth App, Wurundjeri Elders share their geo-located stories of community, culture, dispossession, and truth.  For more information visit https://www.yalinguth.com.au/ and https://www.mabumabu.com.au/catering
  • WHL’s Operations Manager, Lindy Parker attended the launch of the Boorndawan Willam Aboriginal Healing Service 2022 – 2025 Strategic Framework.
  • WHL staff were invited to a lunch at Women’s Housing Ltd head office on Wurundjeri country.  The event featured music from First Nations artists and a barbeque of kangaroo skewers, wallaby burgers and damper scones. Staff shared their professional journeys to Reconciliation and celebrated the learnings from First Nations-led activities throughout the week.

Thread Together

Women’s Housing Ltd has formed a partnership with Thread Together.  Thread Together addresses the uncomfortable truth around clothing waste by saving new clothes from going to landfill and providing them to people in need.  The clothing services are FREE and available to WHL renters via the Mobile Wardrobe Van and an online service accessible via the Tenancy Officer.

Recently the Mobile Wardrobe Van visited the Berwick Rooming House and residents were able to enjoy some retail therapy.

Residents were very excited about their new clothing, Bonds underwear, Berlie bras and Sketchers runners were just some of the items available.  The day was a resounding success with 18 residents taking part on the day.

Warrnambool Announcement

Pictured: Judy Line, CEO of Women’s Housing Ltd and The Hon Richard Wynne MP, Victorian Housing Minister announced $2.9 million development for social housing for older women and women escaping family violence. picture: Chris Doheny

On 18 May 2022, Minister for Housing Richard Wynne met with Women’s Housing Ltd’s representatives, including Chief Executive Officer Judy Line, to officially announce the development of eight new townhouses in Warrnambool as part of the Victorian Government’s Big Housing Build.

When completed the properties will provide safe housing for women escaping family violence, women over the age of 55 and first nation women.

“Everyone deserves the right to a roof over their head and there is a very real need in the southwest of Victoria for more housing for women.”  Minister for Housing Richard Wynne

“We’re very, very proud to be building this development here in Warrnambool.”  Judy Line, CEO, Women’s Housing Ltd

Housing for First Nations Women

Access to safe housing remains a key challenge facing Australia’s First Nations women. In acknowledging our presence on land that was stolen and not ceded, Women’s Housing Ltd is emerging from the pandemic with the goal to increase the representation of First Nations women in our properties and provide them with a home that meets their needs.

Hearing the invaluable stories of our Renters has helped us understand their needs in the pursuit of providing culturally safe and inclusive housing.

Many of our First Nations Renters came to us with experiences of housing insecurity. Women’s Housing Ltd is proud to provide a safe and inclusive home to these Renters. The certainty and permanency our housing brings to our First Nations renters has been described as bringing a sense of security and safety that been missing.

The stories of three First Nations Renters speaks to why Women’s Housing Ltd does what we do:

  • WHL Tenancy Officers create a safe yarning space to connect with Renters. After meeting a Renter in her home over several cups of coffee and establishing a personal connection, the Renter was able to address her rental arrears and now lives comfortably free of rental debt and risk to her housing security.
  • A woman was afforded financial and housing stability, thereby allowing them to return to study and achieve their career goal alongside a safe family home.
  • Another Renter was passed through six different housing providers before arriving with Women’s Housing Ltd, where she was relieved to be assisted with her move and obtaining warm clothes and food. When she connected with another First Nations woman housed by our organisation in her property, she found a further sense of belonging in her new home.

We are proud to be an organisation helping to lead the nation towards greater housing inclusivity and protection for our First Nations Australians.

Thank you to all our renters who were so generous and helpful in writing this article.

More Homes for Women in Need

As part of the Victorian State Government’s “Big Housing Build”, the first round of funding from Homes Victoria will see a total of $738 million invested in 89 projects across the state.

Women’s Housing Ltd has successfully secured funding for 309 new social housing dwellings spread over 13 projects, the dwellings are designed to house women and children in need of a safe place to call home.  The new homes will be built in areas where they are needed most and will target women and children escaping domestic violence and older women, with 10% of the new homes allocated to Aboriginal Victorians.

“This is an incredibly exciting moment for WHL and our clients – both present and future,” said Judy Line, CEO of Women’s Housing Ltd.

Work on the projects will begin by the end of 2021 and it is anticipated that tenants will have a new place to call home by the end of 2023.

Big Thanks…

An anonymous donor gifted WHL 500 items of clothing.  These garments were of high quality, merino wool, linen and silk.  These garments were transported by Tenancy Officers to many renters across Melbourne.
Thanks to our anonymous donor!!

“I have a special event this weekend and I had nothing to wear.
Now I feel I will be the best dressed there.  Thank-you!” Renter
“Oh my, I never thought I would wear something so beautiful.
Thanks.” Renter
“It was fantastic to be able to give the residents these clothes.
Very good quality and very much appreciated…
There was such a buzz in the air… so much happiness”  Tenancy Officer

Helping Children Transition Back to School

Transitioning back to school in the COVID-19 era can present many challenges for parents and children.  Many parents have reported that learning from home has given their child the opportunity to work at their own pace.

  • Reassure your child that it is safe to go to school.  Children have been told that learning from home is to keep them safe and healthy.  Some children may worry about returning to school.
  • Prepare your child for changes to usual school processes.  Talk about upcoming changes, ask your child what will make their transition back to school easier.
  • Re-establish normal routines in the lead up to school.  Bedtime routines, packing school bag.  Don’t forget to allow more time than usual to get ready.

Remember after school children may be feeling more fatigued and may need to spend some quality time with family members.

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