Windana, a refuge for women and their children, was set up initially by Sunnybank Family Care and Support in November 1978. It operates within a framework of strength and social justice and is child focused and culturally sensitive. With decreasing resources and services available for women and children, there are often long waiting-lists for women who request counselling and for services for children. Windana acts on referrals from DV Connect, the domestic violence crisis line, and provides outreach support to families in their accommodation. During the week, staff are on site from 8.30 am to 7.00 pm and on call throughout the night and on weekends to respond to emergencies.
Windana currently operates six, two-bedroom units with one unit reserved for office facilities. The units are suitable for large families and have at times taken families with six to seven children. The premises have been modified, offering independent but safe living for families, whilst maintaining the benefit of communal spaces, both indoors and out. They currently have four transitional houses, offering an extra three months of supported accommodation. The staff continue to engage in outreach work with clients who are in these houses as well as any other referrals where possible.
The Zonta Club of Brisbane has supported Windana over many years and in various ways.
One longstanding project was the production and filling of ‘comfort bags’ for children at the Centre; another was storage of donated furniture, white goods and other household items for families when they moved into accommodation in the community.
A major project undertaken in 2010 was the refurbishment and landscaping of the grounds and the installation of playground equipment, using funds raised at the Club’s Wine and Roses event.
This was followed in 2011 by raising sufficient funds at the Sunset Reception at Blainsleigh to purchase a ‘people mover’ vehicle for the Centre.
The Club currently assists by donating items when needed (e.g. dressing gowns, blankets) and by donating and delivering Christmas presents to all family members each year.