Volunteers refurbish Patricia Giles Centre

Patricia Giles Centre chairwoman Kati Kraszlan with CEO and Tillie Prowse .
 Noongar Elder Betty Garlett and her son Leonard Riley performing the smoking ceremony.
Leonard Riley performing smoking ceremony.
Patricia Giles Centre chairwoman Kati Kraszlan with CEO and Tillie Prowse . Noongar Elder Betty Garlett and her son Leonard Riley performing the smoking ceremony. Leonard Riley performing smoking ceremony.

VOLUNTEERS and tradespeople who donated their services helped refurbish the Patricia Giles Centre, a refuge for victims of domestic violence.

Chief executive Tillie Prowse said an event on July 26 allowed staff and volunteers to celebrate the renovation of the organisation’s oldest refuge, making it “feel more like a home”.

“It had not had a lot of work done over the years,” she said.

“We had incredible support from volunteers; it was a real community experience.

“We were able to do it all under $10,000.

“The reason that we got the outcome we did was because of generous donations.”

Ms Prowse said United Way provided funding for the upgrades, tradies volunteers time to do tiling and plumbing work, and HBF staff volunteered to do some of the work.

“Everyone commented on how homely the place felt – a lot of that is down to the skills of the volunteers,” she said.

The refurbishment took place in three houses, the child advocate’s area and the staff area.

Noongar elder Betty Garrett and her son Leonard Riley performed a smoking ceremony at the event.

Ms Prowse said the upgrade tied in with the 25-year-old organisation’s shift to be contemporary and forward-thinking, offering safe lives and safe futures to women and children.

“We are looking forward to working with the new government around its strategy and plans for addressing family and domestic violence, and their commitment to build two new refuges,” she said.

“Pat Giles would be keen to play a leading role in those sites.”