Wrap around Trauma Informed Case Management

The majority of women that Toora Women Inc supports have experiences of complex trauma. All of Toora service delivery, therefore, incorporates a trauma informed model, acknowledging the significant impact a traumatic experience can have on the life of a woman and how this may limit her coping responses. This model deconstructs hierarchical power structures between worker and service user, and focuses instead on empowering women to make informed choices. A trauma informed model focuses on recovery, prevention and resilience. To achieve this Toora workers engage with services users and empower them to make positive choices in their own lives. This empowerment model compliments the feminist principles that underpin Toora Women Inc. as it validates women’s journeys, encourages women to make their own informed choices regarding their treatment, and supports and respects women’s choices.

 

Human Rights

Toora Women Inc believes that shelter is a human right.

Toora Women Inc respects the dignity inherent in every human being, and is therefore dedicated to the principle of equality.

Herstory

Toora Women Inc. began 30 years ago, receiving funding to support the organisation to respond to the issue of homelessness of single women in Canberra. The foundations of Toora Wimmins Shelter were based on a set of feminist values and principles to ensure integrity and growth, development and flexibility; to provide quality services to women. These philosophies continue to be the cornerstone of Toora Women Inc service delivery and advocacy.

Toora has always maintained an awareness of the complexity of women’s homelessness and has been a loud advocate for the needs of women within housing, mental health, and drug and alcohol sectors. Toora’s awareness of the needs of women in the community has allowed for the development of services to respond to the gaps in the community sector.

For example, Toora was Canberra’s only Single Women’s Shelter, but other refuges at the time had a policy of refusing women who were chemically dependent, so in 2002 Lesley’s place was founded as a space to address the needs of chemically dependent women with or without children.

Another is The Coming Home Program established in 2010 in alliance with Canberra Rape Crisis and Beryl Women’s Refuge. This provides an innovative and specific service for women exiting prison providing, housing, case management, outreach and advocacy to the most marginalised women of society.

Toora is an organisation that is still evolving and has never stopped offering quality services based on the feminist values of: safety, respect and choice for women.

 

Herstory

Toora Women Inc. began 30 years ago, receiving funding to support the organisation to respond to the issue of homelessness of single women in Canberra. The foundations of Toora Wimmins Shelter were based on a set of feminist values and principles to ensure integrity and growth, development and flexibility; to provide quality services to women. These philosophies continue to be the cornerstone of Toora Women Inc service delivery and advocacy.

Toora has always maintained an awareness of the complexity of women’s homelessness and has been a loud advocate for the needs of women within housing, mental health, and drug and alcohol sectors. Toora’s awareness of the needs of women in the community has allowed for the development of services to respond to the gaps in the community sector.

For example, Toora was Canberra’s only Single Women’s Shelter, but other refuges at the time had a policy of refusing women who were chemically dependent, so in 2002 Lesley’s place was founded as a space to address the needs of chemically dependent women with or without children.

Another is The Coming Home Program established in 2010 in alliance with Canberra Rape Crisis and Beryl Women’s Refuge. This provides an innovative and specific service for women exiting prison providing, housing, case management, outreach and advocacy to the most marginalised women of society.

Toora is an organisation that is still evolving and has never stopped offering quality services based on the feminist values of: safety, respect and choice for women.

Current serving board

  Joan Scott — Chair

Joan has had a distinguished career in health as a Registered Nurse and later in health policy as a Senior Manager in areas such as Child Protection, Domestic Violence, Women and Children’s Health, primary care etc. Originally from Canada, she has a Master of Nursing from the University of Canberra, was a Fellow and office bearer of the Australian College of Health Service Executives (ACT Branch) and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.

 In 2014 she received an Australia Day Award (Individual medallion) for Services to ACT Health.

  Lyn Hearfield

Lyn is a long-term Canberra resident and worked for almost thirty years in the Commonwealth Public Service in several different departments.  Much of her work involved leading teams working on Immigration and Citizenship law, policy and promotion as well as Strategic Policy and Humanitarian policy.  Lyn has a strong interest in women’s issues and welcomed the opportunity to contribute to Toora Women Inc. as a volunteer Board Member to help women with complex needs in the Canberra community.

Lyn is also a palliative care volunteer with Palliative Care ACT. She volunteers at Clare Holland House (the hospice) in the residential aged care sector and undertakes home based care.

  Gail Freeman — Treasurer

Gail has been a Chartered Accountant for more than 35 years.  She is a registered tax agent, qualified financial planner and SMSF Specialist Advisor.  Gail is an experienced Board member for government and not-for-profits and Rotary International. She has a Bachelor of Accounting from the University of Canberra.

In 2013, Gail was awarded one of the 100 most influential women in Canberra over the last 100 years and named a Distinguished Alumni of the University of Canberra the same year.

  Susie van den Heuvel

Susie worked for 20 years as a journalist before joining the Commonwealth Public Service where she spent another 20 years working in several departments on media and communications issues. A resident of Canberra for more than 50 years, Susie has a strong interest in social justice issues and joined Toora Women Inc. as a volunteer Board Member in July 2016.

She is a volunteer with the Adult Migrant English Program that provides language tuition to eligible adult migrants and refugees to help them settle in Australia. Susie is also a volunteer with Palliative Care ACT, working mostly at the Clare Holland House hospice. She has been involved with a number of residential aged care working groups.

Rebekha Pattison

Rebekha Pattison is a Senior Associate working at an international commercial law firm. Rebekha advises Commonwealth Government departments, public institutions and local and national companies on risk management, regulatory obligations and has carriage of a number of strategically important disputes. Rebekha has a Bachelor of Law with first class honours and Bachelor Arts from the Australian National University, along with a Diploma of Practical Legal Training from the NSW College of Law.

Rebekha is also the co-ordinator for her firm's Canberra office's pro bono and community program, which involves managing a pro bono budget in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, along with driving their workplace giving and volunteering programs. She also has established and manages a number of partnerships between her firm and community organisations. Rebekha has extensive experience advising not-for-profits, including in the areas of risk management, procurement, privacy and intellectual property.

  Susan Clarke-Lindfield

For the past 30 years Susan has managed women services in the not-for-profit sector, both in Canada and Australia. Before coming to Toora five years ago to take on the role of Executive Director, she managed a regional women’s health centre in rural NSW for 15 years. Susan was also an on-call sexual assault counsellor.

Originally from Canada, Susan’s qualifications include a Master of Social Science (Social Policy) from the University of Western Sydney and a Graduate Diploma in Community Services.

Fika Wangke
Advisory Forum Representative *

Fika was re-elected as the Advisory Forum Representative in November 2016.

Fika has worked in not-for-profit community services since 2002.  A senior case coordinator at Toora, Fika is the staff advisory representative on the Board of Management

She has a Diploma Community Services Coordination, Diploma of Community Service Leadership and Management and Certificates IV in both Mental Health and AOD.

Bogda Kocik
Advisory Forum Representative *

Bogda returns as an Advisory Forum representative in November 2016.  She has been employed with Toora Women Inc for eleven (11) years during which time she has worked across all services. Bogda currently holds the position of Case Manager at Toora Domestic Violence and Homelessness Team.  She will complete her Bachelor of Social Work degree after the first semester in 2017.

Flor Sermeno

Flor returns to the Board in November 2016 following an 8 month break.  She has now competed her Social Work Studies and coupled with her work experience in different areas such as Children Youth Protection Services, Women’s Health Service, Women’s Information and Referral Centre etc. brings much valued knowledge and insights.

* The Advisory Forum provides a communication / participation mechanism between the staff and the Board of Management of Toora Women In. It meets monthly, the week prior to the Board meeting.  It is attended by representatives from each service.  All workers at Toora Women Inc are members of the Advisory Forum.

 

 

 

Call us on 02 6122 7000 or email TooraAdmin@toora.org.au