From a public meeting called by the Mandurah Shire President a motion was moved and seconded that a Steering Committee should be formed to investigate the establishment of a Women’s Refuge in Mandurah/Murray. The Committee met regularly and a constitution was drafted and incorporation occurred on the 27th of July 1984.
The Committee applied for and was granted an establishment fund from the Department of Community Welfare – and amount of $870.00 was given towards legal fees and for the purchase of a typewriter and stationery. The Shire of Mandurah had bequeathed an acre of land for the construction of a Refuge and will leave room for future extensions. In 1984 the Health Department granted funding to begin building, a pad was laid and the Refuge was on top of the list for full funding the next year.
It was felt that women of Mandurah had waited long enough. So volunteers were sought and trained to staff a Refuge 24 hours a day. A substantial large house was rented at 69 Pinjarra Road Mandurah and the first Refuge opened on 10 November 1986.
The wonderful efforts of the volunteers who operated the first Women’s Refuge and who helped battered women and children under very difficult circumstances cannot be overstated and our gratitude to each of them is most sincere.
The Refuge was named Pat Thomas Memorial Community House (PTMCH) after the first Shire President Ms Pat Thomas who was very involved in the local community particularly women’s issues.
In 1988 the dream of a proper Women’s Refuge for women and children escaping from domestic violence came true. The Refuge received a grant from the Crisis Accommodation Programme (CAP) section of Homeswest of $150,000 to build the new Refuge. Building commenced in late June 1988 and was occupied in January 1989. The old premises were demolished.
The new Refuge was officially opened by the Hon Evonne Henderson minister for Community Development on 18thApril 1990. PTMCH added supported Medium term housing in 1998 which provides two exit points for clients of Pat Thomas House.
Also in 1998 PTH became the service provider for Peel Advocacy and Support Service (PASS) and an additional office space was provided by Homeswest in 1998.
In 2002 PTH began the Outreach Support Programme which was funded by the state government. This programme provides ongoing support and assistance to women and children who have exited the Refuge.
Pat Thomas Community Memorial House changed their name to Pat Thomas House Inc (PTH) on the 3rd November 2012.
Anne Russell passed away in 2010 and her wishes were that a women’s shelter be established from the proceeds of her estate. Roy Bolton whom is the Executor of the trust approached PTH around May 2013 and discussions commenced on developing the shelter as were Anne’s wishes. The trust has also been able to provide a transitional house for PTH clients to exit into for 3-6 months. The shelter doors opened in June 14 to our first clients a single woman plus a woman and one child.
Pat Thomas House has grown immensely and continues to grow as the need for help is unfortunately increasing. Due to public demand we are needing to expand our premises again.
If you are able to assist please contact us on 9535 4775.