A culturally safe hub for Aboriginal Women and Children escaping violence will empower the community and continue the work of Aunty Liz Morgan.

When the late and great Elizabeth Morgan founded Elizabeth Morgan House (EMH) in the early 1970s, it was with a clear goal in mind.

‘She envisioned a place where women and children could get their lives back together, while accessing the help and support they need,' said EMH CEO Kalina Morgan-Whyman.

Over the years, EMH has gone from being Australia’s first Aboriginal women’s refuge to a peak-body organisation committed to defending and upholding the rights and self-determination of Aboriginal women and children.

'Our vision is to work with our communities to ensure safe and culturally strong futures for our women, children and young people,' said Kalina.

An important step towards realising this vision is the renovation of the EMH Aboriginal Women’s Hub, supported by $200,000 from the Victorian Government’s Living Local Fund.

The Living Local Fund is part of the Office of Suburban Development’s commitment to developing community spaces that support the liveability of our suburbs.

The renovation of the Hub will see the current facilities updated to create versatile and flexible spaces, with new window glazing, floor finishes and furniture, and the addition of an inviting all-abilities entrance.

A calming sensory and communal garden will also be installed, featuring native plant species and bush tucker, as well as new pathways, decking, seating and gathering spaces.

'This will provide a soft, welcoming entry to the Hub, and will help connect visitors to Country,' said Kalina.

The renovated spaces will mean EMH can offer new and enhanced services, including:

  • generalist case management, financial wellbeing sessions and programs to support people to attain a living wage before leaving the Hub
  • arts and crafts programs, cooking classes and community meals, facilitated personal history lessons and assistance with letter writing and communication with families
  • facilitated yarns led by Elders and respected community members, yarning circles and external practitioner-run classes
  • support to connect community with the NDIS, and facilitating neuro-psych assessments for acquired brain injuries
  • various training programs and opportunities
  • specific times for LGBTIQ+BS people to come together as a group.

'The Hub's model is based around the knowledge that Aboriginality is a strength,' said Kalina.

'When we nurture and uphold that strength, it can be a protective factor against trauma,’ she added.

With funding announced and plans underway, Kalina is confident the Hub will honour Aunty Liz's legacy and provide the services most needed by the community.

'We're confident that renovating the Hub will help us achieve our vision of empowering and supporting women to realise their rights and full potential.’

The renovation of the EMH Aboriginal Women’s Hub is being delivered in partnership with Elizabeth Morgan House Aboriginal Women's Service, who have committed $350,000 to the project.

The Living Local Fund is part of the Office of Suburban Development’s commitment to developing community spaces that support the liveability of our suburbs.

Elizabeth Morgan House, CEO Kalina Morgan Pictured: Elizabeth Morgan House CEO, Kalina Morgan-Whyman.

Page last updated: 02/02/24