Alice Springs’ Women’s Shelter, Australia

Working towards a community where all women and children are treated with respect and dignity, living safe secure and empowered lives

  • The Alice Springs Women’s Shelter was established in 1975 by the local Women’s Electoral lobby. It was located in an old house in Bath Street, and was originally named the Alice Springs Women’s Refuge.
  • In 1980 the Shelter lost its funding for various reasons and over the next 6 weeks the service continued to operate with volunteer workers until they could no longer continue. Once the service was closed and emptied, the building was bulldozed … (History 1/2).

Family, Friends; Unhealthy relations; Supporting the Community; overing Your Steps … ; Partner: CAFVSAN; About Us;
Address: Alice Springs Women’s Shelter, PO Box 3219, Alice Springs NT 0871, Australia;
Contact (emergency 24 hours: (08) 8952 6075).

History 2/2: … For the next 14 months Alice Springs was unable to provide specific, safe accommodation for women experiencing domestic and family violence –

women and their children sought accommodation at the Salvation Army, the YMCA and even in people’s private homes and backyards. Finally, through the efforts and determination of local women, 1981 saw the Shelter refunded, re-established and re-named. The Women’s Refuge became The Women’s Community House and it was located at its present site in an old set of demountables.

The demountables were meant to be a temporary measure, but as these things go they were to be the home of the service for the next 9 years. After further lobbying by local women, the present building was purpose built in 1990 with additions being added for the following 11 years. In 1991 the service was re-named again, to become the Alice Springs Women’s Shelter (ASWS).

Since 1990 the service has expanded both internally and externally. Internally it has gained a Children’s Support worker and developed a children’s program to acknowledge that children are affected by Domestic/Family Violence. Externally it has gained an Outreach Support worker, a Domestic Violence Counsellor and a Community Development and Training (CDT) worker.

The Alice Springs Women’s Shelter operates an Outreach Centre at 8 Larapinta Drive where we are able to provide an outreach service to women and their children requiring our support, but who do not wish to stay at the Shelter premises.  An ongoing pressure for external housing in Alice Springs saw the Women’s Shelter obtain a 3 bedroom home in 2006 in order to provide transitional housing for families requiring long term accommodation while waiting for appropriate housing opportunities to arise.  This has been a positive step towards creating further independence for women who are escaping Domestic/Family Violence, while continuing to receive support from the Women’s Shelter and our Outreach Worker.

The Alice Springs Women’s Shelter describes itself as a safe place for women and their children from all cultural backgrounds who are escaping violence in the home and in the community. We provide support, accommodation, advice, advocacy and referral to residents, ex-residents and any women seeking support.

… we are available to the public, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:

ASWS can accommodate up to 30 women and children. It has 4 full time Women’s Case Workers, a Children’s Case Worker, a Coordinator and a part-time Case worker to operate the service and deliver support to our clients.

The Alice Springs Women’s Shelter, along with the Catherine House Outreach Centre, is overseen by the Board of Management. It is funded through Territory Health Services under the national Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP – jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Territory Governments).

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