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Helen - Mary's House volunteer

Volunteer Update: Helen’s Pot Luck

As in every home, the kitchen is the meeting place at Mary’s House. It’s expansive and there is plenty of window light. The House has been generously equipped with a fine stove and cook top, a microwave, dishwashers and ample fridge space. 

These are appreciated. But it is the bowls of fruit and other supplies on benchtops and the natural camaraderie of a kitchen that makes it special. Many of the House residents are fine cooks and, at times, we have enjoyed the aromas of fresh muffins, spicy Asian curries and Mediterranean vegetable dishes.

So, it was a surprise to learn that one such lady in the house did not have any culinary experience. On my afternoon shifts at the House, I would see her return after 3pm and immediately tuck into hot takeaway food. I thought this was simply hunger but as we chatted she told me she’d never learned to cook. We agreed it was time she made a start. She was keen and, after checking the pantry, I sent her off to the nearest supermarket for fresh mince steak and dried Italian herbs.

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Mummies Paying it Forward

Hello Volunteers

I thought you might be interested in an interview regarding Mummies Paying it Forward which aired on SBS on Saturday night (11/5/2019). Mummies have been great supporters of Mary’s House since inception and you can see Liz Mackinlay, our Chair, featured in this  news report



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Volunteer Newsletter December 2018

Dear Volunteers

This is the final newsletter for 2018. I thought it timely to recap on the year:

  • This year we have had 16 women (including 3 grandmothers) and their children in the house. All of these families have gone on to start new, safe lives. Some we have helped resettle, others have found their own way forward
  • We have developed stronger partnerships with local allied services – the police, WDVCAS, DV Line, Link-to-Home, FACS and FACS Housing, NSW Health, pro-bono specialist  legal services, allied community service organisations, lower north shore domestic violence network and many local community organisations
  • We continue to receive amazing support from our community – through fundraisers, donations in kind and grants. Without this support we could not operate to help our families
  • We have over 40 active volunteers. You are the lifeblood of Mary’s House – helping us to operate at all levels
  • The board of NSWBA have confirmed our direction for the next year: continuing to provide refuge accommodation; increasing post refuge support and continuing to work collaboratively with the community
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Judy Cotton & Janice Gibson

Mary's House Volunteers Bulletin

(Photo: Judy Cotton - NSWBA Company Secretary and her sister Janice Gibson - Volunteer coordinator)

September, 2016

I’m proud to say our community has shown they are unarguably completely and loudly supportive of Mary’s House. What a win for the Volunteers Team! We have received about 60 completed volunteer’s application forms.

Already we have training programs in place with Lifeline and very shortly there will be signup rostering available so that volunteers can nominate on-line the date and time they wish to volunteer for a particular task.

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Mary's House Volunteers Bulletin

Significant developments with North Sydney council this week and the much needed renovation is expected to commence in March. What a breakthrough!!!!

February, 2016


We have successfully secured the funds required for the renovation and on this happy note, another thanks goes to all of you who have contributed so far. The operating costs however, to the tune of approximately $200,000 for the first year, remain outstanding. Our plans to help us unearth this amount include continuing to apply for community grants and local funding but also to hold small private lunches and dinners for individuals who may pitch in with significant donations. Such occasions involve tours of the house and an up to date reporting on the current progress of Marys House, together with a QandA on all things related e.g. the current state of services and resources for Domestic and Family Violence. We hope to engage with like minded people who have practical or financial capacity and wish to contribute. The lunches commence this week and the dinners will commence in April. If you have ideas on how YOU can contribute to fundraising please let us know! 

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