Beryl Women Inc was established in 1975 and is the longest running refuge in Australia. It was officially opened by Beryl Henderson and Mrs Bryant [wife of the then Minister for the Capital Territory].
The refuge was to provide emergency transient accommodation, mental support and practical help for women and their children. Since that time the refuge has gone through a number of name changes beginning as the Canberra Women's Refuge, to its present name honouring Beryl Henderson.
From this time, feminist services for women in Canberra have expanded to meet the needs of women in the community.
Beryl today is mostly funded and supported by a combination of funding from the Federal and ACT Governments, and also receives many generous contributions from the Canberra community.
Beryl Women Inc. operates within a feminist framework and aims to empower women and children to live a life free from violence and abuse. We provide professional, accountable, trauma-informed specialist DV services which are based in social justice and feminist principles and recognise and foster cultural diversity.
The service is staffed by trained experienced workers and includes women from indigenous and culturally diverse backgrounds. Assistance and advocacy is offered to support women and their children and to meet individual needs.
Beryl provides short term, low cost crisis housing to women and their children who are homeless due to domestic violence.
Opening a new door: The herstory of Beryl Women Inc. 1975–2015
The herstory of Beryl Women Inc. was produced by a committed team of volunteer researchers, interviewers and editors with the assistance of a ACT government Women's Grant. The book tells the 40 year story of women involved with service and reveals the political landscape in which women's refuge services grew and then matured.
The book is available for free download [Beryl Herstory] or is available to order from the service for $15 (p&h included).