Centre celebrates milestone year

Einat and Dianne from Nardine Wimmin's Refuge.
Einat and Dianne from Nardine Wimmin's Refuge.

About 100 people packed Currambine Community Centre for a welcome to country, speeches, entertainment and cake cutting.

Chief executive Kedy Kristal’s 22 years service was recognised with gifts while women’s counsellor Kelley Molloy received a 15-year continuous service certificate.

Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard said the centre was an important safe haven for women and children affected by the ‘scourge’ of domestic violence.

From small beginnings in Marangaroo, the ‘wonderful service’ had grown to 40 staff led by its ‘rock’ Kedy Kristal, serving the broader northern suburbs.

Mr Pickard said that as one of 95,000 people who supported the White Ribbon campaign against domestic violence, he could use forums to discourage men from physical and increasingly prevalent verbal abuse.

Centre convener Justine Thomson said the centre had grown to include the purpose-built Rebecca West House, post-refuge accommodation, housing and outreach support, counselling and a safe pet program.

She paid tribute to Kedy Kristal’s ’empathy, courage, dedication, warmth and smiles’ and to staff and counsellors’ efforts in a ‘challenging environment,’ sometimes outside their working hours.

Ms Thomson said the centre would look to the future inspired by the past.

Doolann-Leisha Eatts, who with husband Walter gave the welcome to country, said there were not enough refuges for Aboriginal women.

‘Today, refuges are the best place when women are suffering family and domestic violence,’ she said.

‘We are grateful for beautiful places such as the Patricia Giles Centre and all places where women find refuge.’

Boronia Pre-Release Centre for Women provided morning tea and Australia’s Got Talent 2012 finalists DivaLicious performed.