A community where there's zero tolerance towards violence and homelessness.
To increase the number of families in the Maitland and Lower Hunter area, who are housed, safe, and living free from abuse.
This will be achieved by providing person-centred programs aimed at empowering vulnerable people who may have experienced domestic violence and other forms of trauma and abuse.
We work with individuals and our communities in the Hunter region to address the issues of domestic violence and homelessness.
We provide holistic services to build capacity, inclusion, and resilience.
We provide person-centred, culturally appropriate programs that aim to empower vulnerable people who may have experienced domestic violence and other forms of trauma and abuse.
Carrie's Place Domestic Violence and Homelessness Services.
Providing services in the Maitland and Lower Hunter area since 1979. Carrie’s Place provides a range of culturally appropriate services for people experiencing domestic and family violence, and/or homelessness. Carrie’s Place also provides a range of services to vulnerable people to support recovery and build resilience.
Carrie's Place is a safe place for all
Carrie’s Place services are underpinned by the values of social justice. Our philosophies are based on feminism and human rights. Our practice is person-centred, and based on a strong commitment to the principles of social inclusion and capacity building.
Carrie’s Place is a change agent – this organisation leads change in our communities.
Carrie’s Place recognises that change is an essential ingredient of quality service provision.
Change Management is embedded in organisational policy and procedure.
In line with the Association Objectives. This organisation aims to lead, build capacity, and advocate, on priority issues relevant to domestic violence and homelessness.
In line with the Association Objectives. This organisation aims to influence policymakers, academics and agencies in improving the spectrum of responses, knowledge and resources to women, families and communities.
Carrie’s Place is recognised as an example of “best practice” in the specialist homelessness and domestic violence sectors.
Where did Carrie's Place get its name from?
Carrie’s Place is named after Caroline Chisholm, a legendary civil rights pioneer who arrived in Australia in 1838. Caroline was appalled by the conditions that greeted poor and vulnerable women migrants, and she devoted her life to finding ways to improve the situation. From setting up job schemes to campaigning for better working conditions, Caroline made an impact on the lives of colonial women in many ways.
Among Caroline’s many achievements was the establishment of the Female Emigrant’s Home in Sydney in 1841, which provided shelter and found employment for young women. She worked to foster independence and resilience among migrants, establishing the Family Colonisation Loan Society to help new arrivals find their feet. In the 1850s, Caroline also successfully lobbied the government in Victoria to provide much-needed accommodation for those seeking work on the goldfields of Bendigo and Ballarat.
Today, Caroline’s legacy lives on through the Chisholm Institute, which helps students who are experiencing financial hardship to access education – and she has appeared on Australia’s official $5 note, as well as many stamp collections. And of course, this incredible woman continues to be a true inspiration for our organisation, and a constant reminder of how much can be achieved through vision and determination.
(Reconciliation Action Plan)
Carrie’s Place are proud to have launched our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in 2022. The RAP aims to build and strengthen our relationship with local First Nations communities.
Our CEO Jayne Clowes said, “This is a formal commitment to reconciliation, by strengthening our relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, by valuing heritage, and valuing justice and equity for all Australians”.
The Reconciliation Action Plan is another way for Carrie’s Place to affirm our key drivers of diversity, inclusion and respect. As an organisation we work closely with the local Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander community and respectfully acknowledge Indigenous Australians past and present as the Traditional Owners and custodians of the land on which we live and work.
Diversity and Inclusion
These things are very important parts of our key drivers. We embrace diversity in all its forms, ethnicity, race and religion, gender, age, abilities, perspectives, social and economic backgrounds.
We work closely with the local Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander community and respectfully acknowledge Indigenous Australians past and present as the Traditional Owners and custodians of the land on which we live and work.
Carrie's Place Organisation Chart
Carrie's Place Domestic Violence and Homelessness Services.
Where it all began
Carrie’s Place began as a community organisation, set up by a group of local women who wanted to help support women experiencing domestic violence. Thanks to the efforts of these women and the generosity of community donations, Carrie’s Place was able to purchase a property in Maitland which became a women’s refuge – and by 1979, Carrie’s Place was supporting its first clients.
Our second refuge
With more demand than our original refuge could accommodate, and as a result of community advocacy, this led to NSW Government funding a purpose built refuge, which was managed by NSW Housing.
Carrie's Place starts growing
Our original refuge was repurposed as our main community access point, the ‘Resource Centre’. This gave us a hub from which we began to offer an increasing number of services, such as case management support, information and safety planning, and social and group programs.
An important new service
Carrie’s Place was starting to assist clients to navigate the legal system, by delivering Court Advocacy Services in partnership with the Community Legal Centre.
Expanding our reach
In 2010 The Staying Home Leaving Violence (SHLV) Program was launched in the Maitland LGA, thanks to funding from NSW Government Department of Communities and Justice. By 2012, this program was expanded to Cessnock. In this same period, we also created a new role for an Education Support Worker, which was funded by Glencore Mining.
Going Home, Staying Home
We successfully tendered for the expansion of our Accommodation and Support Program to include Outreach and Transitional Accommodation Services. This new integrated service was renamed The Lower Hunter Specialist Homelessness Service, and was expanded to reach Maitland, Cessnock and Dungog LGAs.
Adding to our properties
We secured funding for the Domestic Response Enhancement Program (DVRE), from the NSW Government, Department of Communities and Justice. With this funding we worked with accommodation partners to secure properties in Cessnock, Maitland and Dungog. All three properties are dedicated to providing short-term accommodation for clients who are at high risk due to domestic violence.
Womens Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Services (WDVCAS) Local Coordination Point
In 2016, NSW Government under Legal Aid Administration commenced the roll out of the Safer Pathway program under the NSW Domestic and Family Violence Blueprint for Reform 2016–2021: Safer Lives for Women, Men and Children. This meant in 2016 the Hunter Valley WDVCAS began responding to all female victim-survivors of Domestic Family Violence who had a response from the NSW Police in the Hunter Valley Area Command.
The full rollout with associated funding occurred in 2017 including the commencement of the Safety Action Meetings for the Hunter Valley.
Our main office opens its doors
Carrie’s Place purchased a building in East Maitland, this finally brought all Carrie’s Place teams and services together under one roof – a great moment for all of us. This same year, we also established a new Supported Temporary Accommodation Program in East Maitland in partnership with Hume Housing.
An assertive step
Our newest initiative, an Assertive Outreach program, was established in Cessnock and Dungog.
Expansion of WDVCAS
After a successful tender with Legal Aid for the WDVCAS services, Carrie’s Place was able to increase our footprint for the Court Advocacy Services to Port Stephens LGA.