Jenny's Place Annual Report 2022-23

Annual Report


Highlights and Achievements

Vision, Mission, Purpose and Services

Our Vision

A safe community free of violence and homelessness.

Our Mission

Continue to be a leading service provider focused on breaking the cycles of domestic violence and homelessness in the community.

Our Services

  • Women and Children’s Crisis Refuge
  • Single Women’s Crisis Refuge
  • Transitional Accommodation
  • Outreach Support Program
  • Newcastle Domestic Violence Resource Centre (NDVRC)

Our Purpose

To provide direct relief to women and children who are escaping domestic violence and/or homelessness, through the provision of:

  • Early intervention and prevention services
  • Short-term crisis accommodation
  • Medium-term transitional housing
  • Outreach support to rough sleepers
  • Outreach support to those with tenancies at risk
  • Post-crisis support
  • Food and financial assistance
  • Brokerage
  • Client centered co-case management
  • Support, information, advocacy and referral

A safe community
free of violence
and homelessness.

clients supported by Jenny’s Place programs. 644 people referred but unable to be supported
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women and children accommodated in Jenny’s Place Family Refuge

Jenny’s Place Facts

Jenny’s Place honours the Awabakal people, the traditional custodians of the land on which we operate. We also respectfully acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of our neighbouring Nations; the Worimi, Wonnarua and Darkinjung people.

We recognise past atrocities against First Australians and acknowledge that this land always was, always is and always will be Aboriginal land.

To Elders past, present and emerging, we thank you for your historic and continuing custodianship of the land and your cultural heritage, and we commit our respect to the stories, traditions and living cultures that have sustained for many thousands of years.

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women and children received case work support during their stay in Jenny’s Place transitional housing

Advocating for change

Chair’s Report

As we watch the number of domestic and family violence (DFV) incidents continue to rise and simultaneously witness an increase in the number of people struggling to keep a roof over their family’s heads, we call on the Federal and NSW Governments to work together to put an end to both the housing crisis and the escalation of DFV in our community.

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research June 2023 quarterly report shows an alarming increase in the rates of DFV assaults and related sexual assaults across the Hunter region. In the five years to March 2023, Newcastle DFV incidents rose by 5.3% and over the last two years there has been a 23.2% increase in DFV related sexual assault. Maitland and the wider Hunter region also saw disturbing increases in DFV over the reporting period; 43.8% in Maitland, 9% in Cessnock and 7.4% in Muswellbrook.

There are numerous strategies the State and Federal Governments can implement now that would have a meaningful impact on DFV rates and housing availability. We need a commitment to new policies and law reform that prioritise the protection of women and children; improved police response to victims and elevated funding for support services so all women have immediate access to affordable housing and specialist assistance.

Jenny’s Place dedicated case work and management teams work tirelessly to support women and children to achieve incredible life outcomes but with the ever increasing incidence of DFV and homelessness, the demand on our service exceeds our funding provision. This year we surpassed our Department of Communities and Justice contracted client target by 45%, however, despite this extended case load and the incredible effort made by our team, we were unable to support 644 women referred to us for assistance.

When need like this exists, it is of course difficult for us to accept the limitations of our capacity but we must focus on all we have achieved, and so I commend the team on this extraordinary target overreach and for their steadfast commitment to keeping women and children safe and housed.

Specific to the Jenny’s Place Management Committee, we farewelled Anna Harrower and Pat Clarke this year. Anna and Pat were long standing Committee members whose contributions to Jenny’s Place over 10 years helped inform our growth and direction. We wish them well for the future and thank them for their dedication to the service.

The Committee also welcomed new members; Lynne Graham, Monica Schweickle and Lisa Evans. Lynne, Monica and Lisa each bring specialist knowledge and experience to the Committee and we look forward to working with them in the years ahead to guide our operations and strategy.

I close this report with a note of gratitude to each of our Committee members for their governance and ongoing support, thank you for your commitment to this vital service.

Kerstin Davey

Building a safer future

Executive Report

Firstly, I am delighted to report that the Core and Cluster Sector Capacity Building Grant application we submitted in partnership with Housing Plus has been successful! This extraordinary NSW State Government funding will allow us to build a nine unit crisis refuge in Lake Macquarie. Each unit will be fully self-contained, creating clusters of independent accommodation surrounding a core building that will house a Jenny’s Place case work team. Construction on this property is due to commence early 2024 and we anticipate the refuge will be operational later in the year.

I would also like to congratulate the other Specialist Homelessness Services that were successful in accessing this funding. Collectively, we will build five new crisis refuges across the Hunter and we anticipate two additional Aboriginal led Core and Cluster refuges will be confirmed as part of the final round of tendering.

While we welcome the increase in crisis accommodation available to women and children experiencing DFV, we fear it will only make a small dent in current demand. Forty four percent of client referrals to Jenny’s Place are made in direct response to DFV and with our funded client targets consistently exceeded, we are concerned these additional
refuges, even in combination with existing crisis accommodation, will fall short of meeting social need. Regardless, our team will continue to offer responsive and pre-emptive support to the women and children presenting to our service and we remain committed to working in partnership with our sector colleagues and community partners to keep our clients safe, housed and free from violence.

This year, with funded client targets exceeded by 45%, Jenny’s Place supported 1081 women impacted by DFV and/or homelessness. This represents a 1.3% year on year increase in Jenny’s Place case load. Given the cumulative demand for our services and with Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) funding restricted to our refuge, intake and outreach programs, we are increasingly reliant on community funding. 

The Newcastle Domestic Violence Resource Centre (NDVRC) is wholly funded by philanthropic donations and we are indebted to the community members and organisations that have recognised the necessity of this prevention and early intervention program and who are contributing so generously to keeping the Centre operational. In particular, I’d like to acknowledge that The McCloy Family Foundation 2023 Charity Gala raised $260,000 for the NDVRC, an incredibly generous gift that will help sustain the Centre for the 2023/24 financial year.

Corporate and philanthropic partnerships are invaluable to the depth of our service capacity. Funding beyond that allocated to us by DCJ provides us a level of responsiveness we would otherwise lack and this is more important than ever in addressing the current housing crisis. Every day we meet women who are homeless, or at immediate risk of homelessness, for the first time in their lives. Interest rate rises and exorbitant rent increases have made it impossible for these people to maintain a safe and secure home.

Our team has reached out to community to form new partnerships that help address this housing issue and an example of this is a partnership we have established with Leah Jay Real Estate. With their support and some generous grants from Qantas and ClubGRANTS, we have created the Safe as Houses program. This program is designed to support tenancies in the private rental market and it has already seen some great outcomes for our clients. Since commencing in October 2022 we have had four families approved for properties and multiple referrals to and from Leah Jay. We thank the Leah Jay team and our generous funding partners for their support of this socially responsive initiative.

Executive Report Continued

I would also like to make special acknowledgement of our Sunshine Hut program collaboration with the University of Newcastle’s School of Psychological Science. Through this program our case workers partner with provisional psychologists and psychology postgraduate students from the University of Newcastle to provide children and their mothers with specialised trauma informed care following the impacts of DFV. It is an absolutely essential program that is only possible due to generous funding from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation and an anonymous donor. The Sunshine Hut has resulted in some incredible outcomes for our families and provided Jenny’s Place staff and the Sunshine Hut post graduate students with specialist training in the Power Threat Meaning Framework. We thank Saskia Behan (Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Placement Coordinator) from the University of Newcastle, her post graduate team, and our funding partners for making this vital program possible.

In addition to the realisation of the Sunshine Hut program, DCJ supported us in elevating our care for young people by providing funding for Specialist Workers for Children and Young People (SWCYP). This expertise has been a welcomed addition within our refuge where the SWCYP team work alongside our case workers and Sunshine Hut specialists to help children and their mums begin the healing process.

Our partnership with the Zahra Foundation has been another meaningful initiative within our portfolio of support programs. It’s so heartening to see positive personal outcomes for our clients as they undertake Zahra Foundation’s ‘Pathways to Empowerment Program’. This program addresses the financial abuse and disadvantage women experience as a result of DFV, providing specifically tailored programs and services that promote the economic empowerment of women.

These are just a few examples that highlight the power of collaboration and we will continue to explore and forge positive partnerships with other services in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie areas.
To all those that have partnered with us to provide the highest standard of care for our clients, please except our deepest gratitude. 

On the staff front we have seen some changes throughout the year. I thank Nicole Bailey for her personal investment as the Coordinator of the outreach program and Pam Mackaway for her expertise and generosity over decades of dedicated service. Nicole and Pam will be missed by staff and community and we wish them every happiness for their future.

We welcome Johanna Weatherstone as the Coordinator of the NDVRC. Jo has many years’ experience working in the DFV and homelessness sector and we are grateful for all she brings to the Jenny’s Place team.

Last but certainly not least, I would like to thank our entire team. To all our hard working, empathetic and dedicated casework team, you are phenomenal and should be incredibly proud of your work and of the great outcomes you achieve with your clients – you are truly changing lives!

A big thank you also to the Community Relations Team who have had another successful year advocating for our clients, creating community awareness and attracting corporate and philanthropic funding. This work helps to sustain our service, thank you.

Jenny’s Place would not be in the position we are in without the committed leadership of the entire management team, providing guidance and support to staff and each other, and working together on the strategic direction of the organisation to bring strategic goals to fruition.

A huge thank you and congratulations to you all. What a team!

Marcia Chapman Executive Manager

Stacey Gately
Operations Manager

Our People

Jenny’s Place Inc. is an incorporated association made up of elected committee members.

The following members were re-elected to the Committee at the AGM in 2022.

Kerstin Davey


Elvira Johnson

Vice President

Lisa Evans​


Trudie Larnach


Briony Manning​

Public Officer​

Lynne Graham​


Monica Schweickle​


women were accommodated in Jenny’s Place Single Women’s Refuge. 46% of clients supported in crisis accommodation stayed for between two to 14 weeks*
clients were supported to rapidly resolve their homelessness – a 70% decrease on 2021-22*
clients received early intervention to prevent homelessness – a 46% decrease on 2020-21*

*The above-noted decreases in client resolutions is directly indicative of the current housing crisis. It has been an incredibly challenging time for our clients, many of whom present to Jenny’s Place with a range of complex issues that impact their ability to access affordable housing and this is compounded by the shortage of available properties. The result is that many of our clients stay within our refuges and transitional housing for extended periods, and in some instances, it has reduced our capacity to find long-term accommodation for the women and children accessing our service. 

Our Year in Review

An important anniversary for Jenny’s Place

Jenny’s Place celebrated 45 years of service to Newcastle and surrounding communities on September 14, 2022. We marked the occasion with a special birthday breakfast at NEX which was attended by supporting donors, community members and importantly, members of Jenny’s Place founding committee. It was a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge how far our service has come since establishing our first refuge in 1977 but also an important reminder of our continuing mission to break the cycle of domestic violence and homelessness in our community. 

The Sunshine Hut continues to thrive

The Sunshine Hut program collaboration with the University of Newcastle School of Psychological Sciences received $127,700 from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation this financial year!

Following $100,000 in seed funding provided by an anonymous donor in the previous financial year, this grant from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation has further cemented this critical trauma informed program for children and mothers impacted by DFV.

The program continues to be led by Saskia Behan (Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Placement Supervisor at the University of Newcastle) with client consultations supported by postgraduate psychology students. Jenny’s Place caseworkers work in partnership with the University placement team to ensure our clients have access to this specialist program and consistency of care across each of our service streams.

In addition to the positive life outcomes this program is achieving for Jenny’s Place families, the partnership is also gathering critical evidence to support ongoing government funding. Our ultimate aim is for the Sunshine Hut program to be made available to all social services supporting young people impacted by trauma.

Hunter Domestic Violence Consortium realised

In the 2021/22 financial year Jenny’s Place was fortunate to receive a significant philanthropic gift to support DFV sector wide collaboration across the Hunter Region. Jenny’s Place appointed Lisa Ronneberg to the role of Regional Collaborations Coordinator on a 12 month contract and she quickly demonstrated the value of a central influence for sector wide connection, advocacy and alliance.

We are delighted to report that upon completion of Lisa’s 12 month funded contract with Jenny’s Place, nine DFV services from across our region wholehearted agreed to co-fund Lisa’s permanent appointment to the role. The formalisation of the Hunter Region Domestic Violence Consortium has now been realised and we are delighted to report that Lisa continues her important advocacy for the sector. 

Our new home

In October 2022, our NDVRC, outreach and intake teams moved into new leased premises in Newcastle’s CBD. This move was possible because of an extraordinary donation of $450,000. The donor responsible for this gift recognised that our previous office at the Joy Cummings Centre could not sustain the growing social need and Jenny’s Place service delivery.

We are immensely grateful to this donor for the opportunity to deliver our service from this fit for purpose space which provides an accessible, safe and welcoming environment for our clients and community.

Thank you also to Nick Lane Property Advisory and KPMG for their support in sourcing and securing our new home.

Empowering Newcastle

On November 25th Jenny’s Place hosted the inaugural Empowered Walk, a community activation to raise awareness and funds to support women and children impacted by domestic violence and homelessness. The walk which followed a scenic route along the Newcastle foreshore, attracted close to 300 community members and raised over $23,000 for the NDVRC.

Cultural Capacity Training and Development

Jenny’s Place is committed to being a culturally safe and inclusive service for First Nations clients, staff and community. Last year, 26.7% of our clients identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. We are steadfast in our commitment to social equity, ensuring each client receives the most appropriate and effective standard of care regardless of their race, age, disability, religion, sexual preference or gender identity.

Jenny’s Place received grant funding from Newcastle City Council to elevate the cultural awareness and capacity of our team. With this funding Jenny’s Place engaged cultural training facilitator, Speaking in Colour, to conduct a cultural immersion workshop for our staff. The training was developed in specific response to our service needs, providing our team a meaningful opportunity to connect with culture and develop their understanding of culturally appropriate communication and environment. 

Core and Cluster Sector Capacity Building Funding confirmation

Earlier this year Jenny’s Place received news that, in partnership with Housing Plus, we have been successful in accessing funding via the NSW State Government’s Core and Cluster Sector Capacity Building Grants program.

Tender submissions for this program were open to community housing providers and specialist DFV support services across NSW, with the funding dedicated to the constructions of new crisis accommodation specifically designed for women and children escaping domestic violence.

Our funded nine unit refuge at Lake Macquarie will be designed in the new Core and Cluster model, an innovative approach that provides women accessing the service with independent accommodation and access to critical services such as counselling, legal assistance, and further education on site. This independent living model is a considerable improvement to the communal refuge accommodation that has been standard in crisis care for many decades and better meets the needs of individual families, providing women and children leaving violence the best opportunity for trauma recovery.

Under this partnership Housing Plus will construct and manage the property, with the accommodation and services being delivered by Jenny’s Place. We thank Housing Plus for partnering with us on this important project and acknowledge the support received from the McCloy Group, who generously donated a large parcel of land, and the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling Community Benefit program and Wests Knights Foundation for their respective funding contributions. 

Client Statistics 2022-23

Accommodated at Families Refuge





Accommodated at Singles Refuge



supported across all programs

Women + children


Unable to be supported

Women + children


Main language other than English at home​

Number of clients by Indigenous Status​

Age of Client

(from beginning of support period) %

Program Highlights

Crisis Accommodation

Jenny’s Place currently operates two crisis refuges in Newcastle; a refuge for mothers and children and a second for single women. These properties have a combined capacity of 27 beds; 21 beds within our families’ refuge and six beds within our singles refuge. During the 2022-23 financial year our refuges consistently operated at high occupancy, which is indicative of the increasing incidence of DFV and the coinciding shortage of affordable private rental properties and/or community and public housing.

The outcome of this issue is that many of our clients are staying in refuge longer than the recommended 12 week target. This is not ideal considering the stressors already impacting families experiencing homelessness but it is of course a much safer option than returning to the perpetrator or staying with families or friends, which can put a real strain on important relationships and connections.

Unfortunately, the need for our clients to stay in refuge for extended periods impacts our capacity to support others who are in desperate need of short term accommodation. This year we were unable to accommodate 165 mothers and 317 children in our families’ refuge and 324 women in our singles refuge. We are eagerly anticipating the construction of our new Core and Cluster accommodation in 2024 so that we can expand our offering and welcome more clients into the care and sanctuary of our refuges. 

Total numbers accommodated (2022-23):

  • Families refuge = 23 women and 42 children
  • Singles refuge = 59 women

In 2022-23, we were unable to accommodate:

  • Families refuge = 165 women and 317 children
  • Singles refuge = 324 women

Despite the challenges presented by the housing crisis, we have made significant progress in building corporate and community based relationships that proactively address the housing shortage and support our daily operations. Our very positive partnership with DCJ Housing has, wherever possible and appropriate, supported our clients’ to transition out of refuge and into public housing. Similarly, our Safe As Houses program, delivered in conjunction with Leah Jay Real Estate, helps us connect with investment property owners to provide leasing opportunities to clients who are financially ready to move into the private rental market. We are very grateful for these meaningful partnerships that help provide our clients the security and fulfilment that comes with having a home.

Our crisis accommodation casework team provide intensive care and practical support to every women and child that takes refuge at Jenny’s Place. Helping clients address personal debts and build their financial independence is one of the many ways our team support our clients. Where a client has accrued unpaid fines and/or State debts, we are able to connect them with Work Development Orders. Through this program, clients can record time spent attending regular case work and/or counselling sessions and participating in support and personal development workshops against those debts, ultimately settling outstanding payments. In the last financial year, seven women from Jenny’s Place crisis accommodation stream successfully completed the Work Development Orders program.

The role our case work team play in supporting each client’s trauma recovery and preparing them for life beyond refuge cannot be understated and we are immensely grateful for their dedication to helping women and children find safety, peace and independence. 

Despite the challenges presented by the housing crisis, we have made significant progress in building corporate and community based relationships that proactively address the housing shortage and support our daily operations. Our very positive partnership with DCJ Housing has, wherever possible and appropriate, supported our clients’ to transition out of refuge and into public housing. Similarly, our Safe As Houses program, delivered in conjunction with Leah Jay Real Estate, helps us connect with investment property owners to provide leasing opportunities to clients who are financially ready to move into the private rental market. We are very grateful for these meaningful partnerships that help provide our clients the security and fulfilment that comes with having a home.

Our crisis accommodation casework team provide intensive care and practical support to every women and child that takes refuge at Jenny’s Place. Helping clients address personal debts and build their financial independence is one of the many ways our team support our clients. Where a client has accrued unpaid fines and/or State debts, we are able to connect them with Work Development Orders. Through this program, clients can record time spent attending regular case work and/or counselling sessions and participating in support and personal development workshops against those debts, ultimately settling outstanding payments. In the last financial year, seven women from Jenny’s Place crisis accommodation stream successfully completed the Work Development Orders program.

The role our case work team play in supporting each client’s trauma recovery and preparing them for life beyond refuge cannot be understated and we are immensely grateful for their dedication to helping women and children find safety, peace and independence. 

Despite the challenges presented by the housing crisis, we have made significant progress in building corporate and community based relationships that proactively address the housing shortage and support our daily operations. Our very positive partnership with DCJ Housing has, wherever possible and appropriate, supported our clients’ to transition out of refuge and into public housing. Similarly, our Safe As Houses program, delivered in conjunction with Leah Jay Real Estate, helps us connect with investment property owners to provide leasing opportunities to clients who are financially ready to move into the private rental market. We are very grateful for these meaningful partnerships that help provide our clients the security and fulfilment that comes with having a home.

Our crisis accommodation casework team provide intensive care and practical support to every women and child that takes refuge at Jenny’s Place. Helping clients address personal debts and build their financial independence is one of the many ways our team support our clients. Where a client has accrued unpaid fines and/or State debts, we are able to connect them with Work Development Orders.
Through this program, clients can record time spent attending regular case work and/or counselling sessions and participating in support and personal development workshops against those debts, ultimately settling outstanding payments. In the last financial year, seven women from Jenny’s Place crisis accommodation stream successfully completed the Work Development Orders program.

The role our case work team play in supporting each client’s trauma recovery and preparing them for life beyond refuge cannot be understated and we are immensely grateful for their dedication to helping women and children find safety, peace and independence. 

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women and accompanied children were new referrals to the NDVRC

Newcastle Domestic Violence Resource Centre

The Newcastle Domestic Violence Resource Centre supported 172 women and 185 children in the 12 months to June 30, 2023; a respective 3% and 1.5% increase on the financial year prior. This significant client caseload is allocated across two part-time case workers and one full time NDVRC Coordinator. A major focus of their work is helping clients understand and access support options, and developing and implementing personalised safety and exit plans to limit further risk to the client’s safety and wellbeing. Simultaneously, the NDVRC case work team provide a holistic approach to client care by actively sourcing external assistance including counselling, legal advice, financial assistance and any other practical supports the client may need to leave violence and transition to independent living.

Through our direct client experience we can report that the current housing and crisis and economic environment are the major considerations for women and children leaving an abusive relationship, and in some instances this results in women staying with a violent partner. The current legal system can also be a significant barrier as it can be used to perpetuate forms of DFV. Our team continues to address these deterrents by strengthening our relationships with housing providers, real estates, and legal and financial services to support improved protections for women leaving violence.

In addition to managing the client case load, the NDVRC team continue to promote DFV prevention by delivering DFV awareness training to corporate and community services and actively participating in panel discussions at various community and sector events, including the 2023 International Women’s Day Uni Expo.

We are committed to prioritising continuous improvement, reflecting on the support we provide and upskilling our team to bridge gaps in social need and sector wide service provision. This year our team participated in the highly regarded Shark Cage* (*TM) training so that we can apply this trauma informed framework to our clients’ unique DFV experiences. We also continue to access refresher courses in Trauma Informed Practice and Technology Facilitated Abuse to ensure our teams’ currency and expertise. 

Intake and Assessment

Our intake team provide responsive assessment and interim support to women and children within 24-48 hours of contact and/or referral. The Intake Team consists of two caseworkers who work tirelessly to link women and children into DFV supports that respond to their immediate needs and safety, including advocacy and access to temporary accommodation, crisis refuge and/or other housing solutions, and also emergency relief. The team have strong relationships with other Specialist Homelessness Services and housing providers, delivering a vital service to support women and children experiencing DFV and/or homelessness.

Outreach Program

In the 2022-2023 financial year, Jenny’s Place outreach program consisted of four caseworkers who primarily provide support to women (with or without children) experiencing homelessness or risk of homelessness. The rental crisis across Newcastle and the Hunter has continued to present challenges for families and single women seeking or sustaining long term affordable housing and this has resulted in a significant increase in the number and frequency of referrals to our outreach casework team.

In 2022-2023, 264 women and 297 children accessed support from the outreach team to resolve their housing issues. There was notable increase in single women accessing support as affordable properties for women on low incomes became increasingly difficult to obtain.

Rapid Re-Housing – the outreach team supported 171 women to rapidly resolve homelessness this financial year. This program helps families’ resolve homelessness to limit impacts to their safety and wellbeing, allowing them to settle back into community and continue their lives. The focus of this program is to provide immediate practical support to reduce tenancy barriers including advocacy to private and public housing agencies, assistance with rental applications and ongoing referrals to support individual needs and skill building.

Early Intervention and Prevention – The outreach team work with clients to address issues relating to tenancies at risk in both the private rental and social housing environment. Our outreach team also supports families who are moving into private rental or social housing after exiting our Transitional Housing or Rapid Re-Housing programs. This ongoing casework support helps families build their capacity to successfully maintain their accommodation and decreases the risk of homelessness.

In the 2022/23 financial year the outreach team provided case management support to 41 women through this program.

Supported Transitional Housing Program – we provided case management support for 52 women and 76 children in Jenny’s Place medium term transitional housing properties.

Establishing positive relationships with community stakeholders continues to be an ongoing priority for the outreach team. Through these relationships we aim to improve access to a range of housing options so that we can best meet the unique needs and financial capacity of our clients.

The outreach program continues to partner with local real estates, Housing NSW, Home In Place and the Women’s Housing Company in an effort to increase access to safe and sustainable housing for women and children. Other partnerships that our clients have been able to access through the outreach program include legal clinics, Zarah Foundation’s Pathways to Empowerment program and our Sunshine Hut children’s trauma program. Each of these programs support our ultimate aim to help women achieve empowerment, personal skill and capacity development and positive futures for themselves and their children. 

“To the amazing staff at Jenny’s Place, thank you for the help and support you provided my son and me. We were bouncing around between motels, hotels, caravan parks and even spent a few nights in my car. I was doing my best to keep us both safe and together. I was losing hope of finding a place to call home but to find safety and support at Jenny’s Place refuge and then, with your help, to be approved for our own unit brought us to tears of joy and happiness”.

Our Impact

Rachael’s story – a new life rising from the ashes

Rachael, her daughter Kate, and their much loved dogs were left homeless following a house fire that took their every possession, along with the security and sanctuary of a home they’d always known.

In the months following the fire, Rachael tried desperately to keep her family together. Initially, friends took them in and Rachael and Kate spent many nights couch surfing but it was not a long-term solution and it didn’t provide Kate the stability she needed to flourish at school.

When the generosity of friends began to wane, Rachael was able to secure a room in a boarding house but this too presented many challenges; two people and two dogs in a single room was not the life Rachael wanted for her daughter and while it provided a roof over their heads, the boarding house was far from a home. In desperation, Rachael began to face the hard reality of surrendering their dogs. 

“The day I had to surrender our dogs was one of the lowest moments of my life. These dogs were our family and giving them up took away my hope of returning to life as we knew it, in our own home and with our family united.

“Looking back though, the loss of our dogs made me more determined than ever to find a safe haven for Kate to recover. We needed help and a positive place to live so that we could find some normality and get Kate back to school. I needed to show her that we could rise from this and build a future” said Rachael.

This was the moment that led Rachael to Jenny’s Place. She had been supported by Jenny’s Place previously and she knew she’d find safety and solutions with the help of our casework team. 

Rachael and Kate were assigned a case worker and accommodated at Jenny’s Place Families Refuge, marking the beginning of their new life. With Kate back at school, Rachael was determined to find a job to re-establish their financial independence.
Her meticulousness around the refuge did not go unnoticed and the commercial cleaning company that keeps Jenny’s Place spaces clean and tidy quickly offered Rachael a spot on their team!

Rachael was working hard and building confidence every day. With the encouragement of her caseworker, Rachael signed up for the Zahra Foundation Pathways To Empowerment program and immediately started applying the knowledge she’d gained – breaking down the challenges and setting herself achievable goals for the future she was so determined to create.

These new found skills led to the next step in Rachael’s journey: a qualification with her name on it. Now enrolled at TAFE and well on her way to achieving an Independent Living Assistant qualification, Rachael is working towards her goals and showing her daughter that anything is possible.

The sudden, life changing loss that Rachael and Kate experienced the night of the fire cannot be understated but in spite of that trauma, they are making incredible progress. They’ve now settled into one of Jenny’s Place transitional properties as they commence their search for a permanent home.

“We are so grateful to Jenny’s Place for supporting us through this really difficult time and for providing us a new home. Kate is bringing friends home after school just as she used to and to our surprise, one of the dogs we surrendered was still being cared for at Newcastle Dog Rescue! We were so lucky to be re-united with him and together, we’re re-building our life. It’s definitely an exciting time for us and our future looks better than I’d ever imagined” said Rachael. 

Names have been changed to protect client privacy.

Maree’s story – new beginnings free from violence

Maree was living with her husband and three children in a very isolated and remote community. Her marriage of 20 years was turbulent and her husband was prone to violent attacks. Tragically, the children had witnessed much of the abuse and despite trying to leave the relationship several times, Maree consistently returned to the family home because she simply had nowhere else to go. As is so often the case for victims of domestic abuse, Maree had been isolated from friends and family and didn’t know where and how to access support.

Finally, sensing the urgency of her situation, Maree travelled to Newcastle under the guise of visiting a friend and presented to Jenny’s Place for help. Her situation was clearly critical and she was offered accommodation in our families’ refuge. Maree settled into refuge with her two young daughters, however, her teenage son was a little too old to stay in the refuge and he remained with family in another town. Jenny’s Place recognised the additional stress associated with Maree’s separation from her son and worked tirelessly to secure suitable accommodation that would allow their family to be reunited.

As soon as a vacancy presented, Maree was offered one of Jenny’s Place transitional accommodation properties for an initial 12 month stay and she was, with great relief, reunited with her son! Now, with some certainty for their future, Maree’s two eldest children enrolled in the nearby high school so they could continue their education and make new friends. Maree was connected with a specialist trauma counselling service and she received compensation for the trauma she has endured. The children also received referrals for counselling and support. 

During this time living in Jenny’s Place transitional accommodation, Maree worked with her caseworker to secure long term housing and was recently approved for a private rental property within driving distance to the children’s school. She participated in the Zahra Foundation’s Pathway to Empowerment program and through these workshops, Maree reclaimed her self-confidence and her motivation to embrace this new life. She is now feeling positive about the prospect of getting a job and building her financial independence. The life she once dreamed of is now being realised and Maree and her children are connected, safe and excited for their future. 

“If it wasn’t for you guys [Jenny’s Place], we would all still be out there, where nobody cares, where people turn a blind eye. I think he would have killed me in the end.” Maree

Our Collaborators

Jenny’s Place fosters a range of community partnerships to provide holistic and quality support services to women and children in our care. We extend our genuine and heartfelt gratitude to the following organisations that help support and enrich the lives of our clients.

C3 Victory

The wonderful crew from C3 Victory Church are always on hand to help our clients when settling into a new home, providing yard maintenance for women who may not have the tools and equipment to care for the exterior of their property. The C3 Victory Church volunteers go above and beyond to help our clients get their yard into shape and also show the clients how to maintain their gardens, which is a necessity when establishing positive tenancies. We thank the C3 Victory crew for their generosity and kindness.

Friends with Dignity (FWD)

This incredible volunteer based organisation helps clients establish their new home when they leave our refuge, providing quality furnishings, linen and homewares and transforming an empty shell into a beautiful home. In the last financial year Friends With Dignity supported 11 clients set up a new home. Their compassion and contribution are genuinely life changing and we extend heartfelt gratitude to this talented team of volunteers!

Harpers Legal Clinics

Thank you to the team from Harpers Legal who continue to offer our clients free monthly legal clinics. Their expert guidance is an incredible reassurance to our clients who may never have had to seek legal support or navigate legal proceedings. On behalf our clients and staff, thank you for sharing your expertise and for your enduring partnership.

Hunter Valley Projects

Hunter Valley Projects play a critical role in helping our clients build financial literacy and independence. We thank the HVP team for all they do to support our clients and for the empathy and respect through this often complex and personal process.


We are especially grateful to the team at Kiwanis Newcastle who make life a little brighter for the children entering our families’ refuge. Upon entering the refuge, Kiwanis provide each child a welcome pack featuring new pajamas, clothes, toiletries, toys and craft supplies. This beautiful package is a lovely surprise for little ones often feeling daunted by their new environment.


OzHarvest provides food deliveries to our refuges that are so welcomed by our clients and staff. Quality nutrition is an important contributor to trauma recovery and we are so fortunate to receive fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and a range of pantry staples from the OzHarvest van several times each week. A huge thank you to the OzHarvest team for all they do to support our clients and our service.

Soul Hub

Thank you to our friends at Soul Hub who prepare beautiful lunches for our clients throughout the year. We are so grateful for the love and care that goes into preparing every meal, this kindness means so much to the women and children we support.

In the Community

The Newcastle Domestic Violence Committee and Hunter Domestic Violence Consortium continue to play an important role in liaising with the DFV sector peak body and government representatives to drive meaningful change in DFV policy and practice.

Jenny’s Place is pleased to be represented across both groups and welcomed the opportunity to co-fund the Hunter DFV Consortium Coordinator’s role (commencing May 2023). Our staff representatives for the 2022/23 financial year included Lisa Ronneberg who held the role of Chair until May 2023 and Johanna Weatherstone in the role of Treasurer. 

consultations with women per month on average at the NDVRC

Our Supporters

Each year Jenny’s Place is fortunate to receive extraordinary support through philanthropic gifts, grants and corporate and community contributions. We are indebted to these individuals and organisations that help sustain our critical programs and would like to thank and commend all of our supporters of their incredible social impact.

“Through your gift you are genuinely protecting and enriching lives. The funds you provide allow us to develop and deliver specialist, trauma informed programs that provide practical and emotional support to the women and children that come to us assistance. Importantly though, your gift is even bigger than this. Your gift shines a light on DFV, your gift says loud and clear, we must act now to end violence against women.”

Marcia Chapman, Executive Manager, Jenny’s Place.


  • Anonymous donation to support relocation of critical social services – $450,000
    In recent years we have been incredibly fortunate to receive transformative support from an anonymous donor and we gratefully report that in the 2022/23 financial year, this donor gifted Jenny’s Place a further $450,000. The funding facilitated the relocation of Jenny’s Place NDVRC, outreach, intake and management teams to new leased premises in Hunter Street. The move has been incredibly positive for staff and clients with the new space supporting multiple private consultation rooms and sufficient space for client workshops and training. The funding will support rental outgoings until August 2025.
  • McCloy Family Foundation Charity Gala – $300,000
    Jenny’s Place was the grateful recipient of funds raised via the McCloy Family Foundation Charity Gala on September 9, 2022. The event, which was held at Merewether Surfhouse, raised an incredible $300,000 with funds distributed across Jenny’s Place programs:
    • $260,000 dedicated to prevention programs delivered by the Newcastle Domestic Violence Resource Centre
    • $10,000 to support the purchase of play therapy and sensory aids for Jenny’s Place children’s programs
    • $30,000 to support community education campaigns

      We thank the McCloy Family Foundation for this transformational gift and we gratefully report the funding has already dramatically enhanced our service delivery and client experience and will continue to do so for years to come.

Bequests and Trusts

Wright Family Bequest continued their generous support of previous years, gifting Jenny’s Place $22,474 in 2022-23 financial year. Their continuing contribution for general charitable purposes enables us to be responsive, directing funds to the programs that most need support.

Orrett Family Trust has long supported Jenny’s Place with annual donations to help sustain our programs. We extend our sincere gratitude to Mr. John Orrett and Ms. Ann Provost for their generous support of our work and the wellbeing of our clients. 


Jenny’s Place was awarded (and received*) six grants during the 2022/23 financial year with a combined value of $194,506.67. (*Additional grants were confirmed during the 2022/23 financial year but payments are scheduled for the 2023/24 financial year and these will be reported within the appropriate financial reporting period).

  • ClubGRANTS Wests Group – $20,000 to support Jenny’s Place | digital capacity program.
  • ClubGRANTS Wallsend Diggers – $10,000 to support Jenny’s Place | enabling new beginnings.
  • ClubGRANTS Souths Leagues Club – $2,000 to support Jenny’s Place | enabling new beginnings.
  • Commonwealth Bank Community Grant – $10,000 to support Newcastle Domestic Violence Resource Centre.
  • Mortgage Choice Community Grant – $5,000 to support Newcastle Domestic Violence Resource Centre.
  • Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation – $127,700 to support the Sunshine Hut.
  • Newcastle City Council – $9,789 to support cultural capacity development.
  • Port Waratah Coal Services – $9,326 to support the Newcastle Domestic Violence Resource Centre.

In Kind Contributions

Jenny’s Place received substantial in kind contributions this year. Each of these gifts positively impacts our service capacity and adds an important depth of expertise to our team. While we are deeply grateful for every in kind contribution received, we would like to particularly acknowledge the in kind contributions made by:

HL Mullane and Son GroupTo gift us a rent-free space is extraordinarily kind and we are immensely grateful for your ongoing support.

MezzanineTheir expert stewardship of Jenny’s Place digital and social channels, campaign development, event support and collateral design is invaluable.

Strategic GroupWe are indebted to this fabulous team for all they do to keep our IT systems functioning, and who give so generously to our campaigns throughout the year.


General Donations | Community and Corporate Support – $141,006.10
Jenny’s Place received donations from multiple organisations or individuals in the last financial year. In total, their combined fundraising offering amounted to $141,006.10. This is remarkable contribution and we are so fortunate to experience the collective generosity of so many. A huge thank you to all those that gave their time and resources to make this possible, we are so very grateful for your support.

Corporate Support

Corporate philanthropy in our region plays a critical role in supporting social wellbeing and Jenny’s Place is privileged to be the beneficiary of this support through company donations, employee giving programs, grants, event sponsorship, probono services and in-kind gifts. We would like to acknowledge the generosity of the following organisations, and their teams, who have given so generously in the 2022/23 financial year.

Ausgrid, Brightside Physio, Canvas Events, City of Newcastle, Commonwealth Bank, Dimarco Garland Lawyers, Greater Bank, Hunter Homes, HVCCC, Jayco, KPMG, Leah Jay, McCloy Group, McCloy Family Foundation, Mezzanine, Mortgage Choice, Mullane Plumbing, Newcastle Herald, Newcastle Live, Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation, Nick Lane Property, NTL Aviation Services, Ooh Media, Osborn Law, Pettigrew Family Funerals, PeopleFusion, Port Waratah Coal Services, Seed Consulting, Sharp Office, Souths Leagues Club, Strategic Group, Tomago Aluminum, Wallsend Diggers, and Wests Group Australia.

We’d like to make special acknowledgement of Chris Boswell and the team at Strategic Group who have provided pro-bono I.T services to Jenny’s Place over many years, and who so generously support our campaigns and initiatives through funding and in-kind support. We are deeply grateful for all you do to support our work.

Events and Campaigns

Hikes to Help – overall funds raised $167,247* | funds raised during the 2022/23FY | $74,793.31
– Jenny’s Place Community Relations Coordinator, Donna George, made up for time lost during Covid lockdowns by leading two Hikes To Help in 2022/23 financial year. The hikes raised a combined total of $74,793.31 within the financial reporting period funds directed to supporting the NDVRC operating costs.

The Simpson Desert trek was the first of the two Hikes to Help with nine keen supporters putting up their hands to cross the Simpson Desert on foot. The troop left Dalhousie Springs on August 15 and arrived at Birdsville three weeks later. Freezing nights, hot days and an unexpected dust storm made their journey extra memorable but the team finished the journey intact and ready for some well-earned refreshments at Birdsville Hotel Special acknowledgement of our committed trekkers; Ali Kimmorley, Lisa Vitnell, Emma McCabe, Carol Crompton, Troy Cameron, Sharon Cameron, Kim Newnham, Jen Hughes and Donna George.

The Three Capes Hike to Help followed the Simpson Desert Trek. A three-day hike (13-16 October) along Tasmania’s sea cliffs provided the 14-strong hiking crew with some incredible coastal scenery and some solid uphill climbs. Special thanks to all those who participated in this special adventure; Sam Meyn, Sally Hill, Sally Bartley, Michelle Perrin, Nicole Elliott, Jacqui Osborn, Ali Kimmorley, Amy King, Amy Gibbon, Jodi Cooper, Kath Carmody, Kristy Logue, Laura Bennett and Donna George.

Our Inaugural Empowered Walk | Sunday 25th November 2022 | $23,300.00 – We hosted our first Empowered Walk on Sunday 25th November 2022 with close to 300 community members participating in the event. This important community activation was an opportunity to walk the Newcastle Foreshore together in a show of collective support to end domestic and family violence. We were fortunate to receive generous support via event registrations and corporate sponsorships with funds raised allocated to the NDVRC prevention programs.

Raising Respect Morning Tea | Month of March 2022 | $23,071.33 – Jenny’s Place marked International Women’s Day with a month long call to action inviting community members, corporate partners and local cafés to host a morning tea in support of our Raising Respect campaign. Each morning tea event invited conversation and understanding surrounding the impact and incidence of domestic violence in our community and raised funds to support our service.
We were so fortunate to attend a number of these fabulous community led events to talk about our work and how people can come together to prevent, protect and advocate for an end to violence against women. 

Two Monty’s Wedding | Tuesday 14th February 2023 | $40,000.00 – We were very excited to be named the charity partner for The 2 Monty’s Charity Wedding in 2023! This wonderful fundraiser is the creation of celebrants, Monty King and Monty Haron, who call on the generosity of the region’s wedding industry venues and vendors to auction an allinclusive wedding package, in aid of one very lucky local charity.

The 2023 wedding package was auctioned for $40,000 with all proceeds gifted to Jenny’s Place!
We are incredibly grateful to the Montys and all of the organisations that contributed to the creation of this fabulous wedding package and to the bride and groom, Amy and Chris Prince, for making their special day an opportunity to support women and children impacted by DFV.

Standing Strong Lunch | Friday 26th May 2023 | $5,223.74 – On Friday 26th May we invited the community to join our Standing Strong Lunch to help us acknowledge Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. More than 60 people attended the lunch and gave their attention to inspirational speaker and domestic violence survivor, Meg Dolan. Meg shared her story and highlighted the important role support services, like Jenny’s Place, play in helping women recover from the trauma of DFV. Funds raised at our Standing Strong lunch were directed to the NDVRC operating costs. Special thanks to Meg and Thynk Café for their support of our first Standing Strong lunch.


We simply cannot overstate the value of the time, energy and commitment provided by our dedicated team of volunteers. To our awesome foursome – Carol Compton, Sue McDonald, Wendy Kingston and Kath Carmody – thank you for the many, many hours you’ve dedicated to sorting and distributing donated goods to our clients, we’d be lost without you!

Thank you also to Ean Sutton for his skill and hard work maintaining our properties. We are grateful for all you to make our accommodation home for the women and children taking refuge with us. 

Donations – goods

Huge thanks to everyone who donated clothes, toys, bedding, kitchen and laundry products, flowers and gifts over the last financial year. We are so fortunate to feel the generosity of our community, please know that your thoughtful and caring gifts make a world of difference to our clients. 

Profit and Loss

Jenny’s Place Incorporated For the year ended 30 June 2023

DCJ Funding
DCJ Rent Choice Income
Fees from Clients
Membership Fees
Other Grants
Other Income
Profit on Sale of Asset
Total Income
Gross Profit
Other Income
CCF - Child Support Grant
California Community Funding
Clubs Funding
CBA Community Grant
McCloy Family Foundation
Newcastle City Council
Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group Funding
Newcastle Permanenet
Mortgage Choice
Port Waratah Coal Services Grants
Stronger Communities Program Grant
Community Building Partnership Grant
Homelessness NSW - ASES Support Grant
Total Income
Operating Expenses
DCJ Program Expenses
Other Program Expenses
Bank Charges
Conferences & Training
Consultancy Expenses
Electricity & Water
Interest Expense
Motor Vehicle
Office Supplies
Repairs & Maintenance
Salaries & Wages
Staff Welfare & Training
Rent Choice Expenses
CF - Client Brokerage
Homelessness NSW - ASES Expenditure
Community Building Partnership Expenses
NCIG Expenses
Stronger Communities Program Expenses
CCF - Child Support Expenses
NCC Expenses
Total Operating Expenses
Net Profit

Balance Sheet

Jenny’s Place Incorporated As at 30 June 2023

30 Jun 2023
30 Jun 2022
Current Assets
Trade and other receivables
Total Current Assets
Non-Current Assets
Property, plant and equipment
Right of use asset
Total Non-Current Assets
Total Assets
Current Liabilities
Trade and other payables
Lease liability
Employee benefits
Other financial liabilities
Total Current Liabilities
Non-Current Liabilities
Lease liability
Total Non-Current Liabilities
Total Liabilities
Net Assets
Retained Earnings

Note to the Condensed Financials

Jenny’s Place Incorporated Year ended 30 June 2023

The condensed financial report covers Jenny’s Place Incorporated as an individual entity. Jenny’s Place Incorporated is a not‑for‑profit entity established under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009, which is domiciled.

The functional and presentation currency of Jenny’s Place Incorporated is Australian dollars. Comparatives are consistent with prior years, unless otherwise stated.

1. Basis of Preparation

The condensed financial statements have been prepared from the audited financial report of Jenny’s Place Incorporated for the year ended 30 June 2023. The audited report for the year ended 30 June 2023 is available at request from Jenny’s Place Incorporated. The condensed financial statements are derived from and are consistent with the full financial statements of Jenny’s Place Incorporated. The condensed financial statements cannot be expected to provide as detailed an understanding of the financial performance, financial position and financing and investing activities of Jenny’s Place Incorporated as the full financial statements. The accounting policies have been consistently applied to Jenny’s Place Incorporated and are consistent with those of the previous financial year in their entirety.
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