Your cart is empty.

WWCSA X SA Unions Free Legal Advice clinic for workers in South Australia

We’re teaming up with SA Unions in hosting free legal advice clinics for workers!

You will have the opportunity to get free and confidential legal advice in relation to a wide range of workplace issues including wages and conditions, dismissals and sexual harassment. We will also discuss union membership and connect you with your union.

We have appointments available on:

  • Thursday, 23 June
  • Friday, 24 June
  • Wednesday 29 June

 

Appointments will be conducted in person at SA Unions or via the phone. Clients can choose to attend in person or participate by telephone.

To book an appointment call: (08) 8410 6499 or you can make an online inquiry here:

https://wwcsa.org.au/enquiry-form/

Any details that you provide will be kept confidential and we do not make contact with your employer without your consent.

SA Unions free legal clinic for workers in south australia

We’re hiring: Senior Advocacy Officer

For more information & to Apply via Ethical Jobs

CONDITIONS:

  • Competitive salary $89,571
  • Salary Sacrifice available
  • 12.0% superannuation
  • Flexible workplace
  • 35-hour week (plus reasonable overtime stipulated in the EBA)
  • Flexi-time entitlements

 

The Senior Advocacy Officer is responsible to the Director. The role will require supervision of junior advocacy officers and volunteers to the Centre. The role will require the Senior Advocacy Officer to lead, in conjunction with the Director, campaigns, advocacy and fundraising projects that relate to the Centre’s objectives. Presently the Centre is engaged in advocacy and campaigning projects on the following issues:

  • The connection between precarious work and sexual violence https://wwcsa.org.au/campaigns/insecure-work-gendered-violence/- ;
  • Wage theft;
  • Sexual harassment in the workplace;
  • The implementation of recommendation 49 of the Respect@Work report;
  • Increasing the participation of women in male-dominated and non-traditional roles including science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The Senior Advocacy officer will be responsible (under the supervision of the Director) for the precarious work and sexual violence project and share collective responsibility for the other campaigns and advocacy projects. The Senior Advocacy Officer will also be expected to work with the Director to attract funding for the Centre and supervise fundraising activities.

In this role, every week will look different as you take on a diverse range of tasks as part of a small organisation. You will lead a team of energetic volunteers and drive advocacy projects to improve working conditions for women and vulnerable workers. You will work as part of a supportive and collaborative staff team to make a difference.

A SENIOR ADVOCACY OFFICERS DUTIES ARE AS FOLLOWS:

  • Working closely with the Director, the successful candidate will have responsibility for the following:
  • Supervising advocacy and fundraising volunteer programs;
  • Supporting volunteers to assist with objective aligned campaigns;
  • Creating campaign, advocacy and outreach strategies that aim to improve workplace conditions, safety and economic security of women in society;
  • Increase the advocacy capacity of the Centre
  • Engaging in research and engagement activities that inform and respond to improve workplace conditions, safety and economic security of women in society;
  • Organising events which assist women and vulnerable workers, engage with supporters and contribute to the advocacy objectives of the Centre
  • Designing and delivering pro-active education workshops to target groups about rights at work, and available support services;
  • Identifying opportunities in local, state, and federal policy to improve the economic security and workplace conditions of women and vulnerable workers;
  • Elevating working women in state and national discussions about economic and social policy;
  • Creating, building upon or joining campaigns that elevate the voices of women and vulnerable workers;
  • Representing the Centre in the community and media;
  • Assisting with the development of communications materials (such as social media posts and web pages) related to the advocacy work of the Centre
  • Determining appropriate actions in light of the latest news, contemporary contexts and policy development.

THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE WILL HAVE:

  • A track record of building effective relationships and networks with stakeholders in industrial, economic, and/or feminist spaces;
  • Experience in advocacy and lobbying government, and an understanding of politics and systems of government
  • A strong understanding of gender politics and the intersection with labour/employment policy, racial justice and economic inequality
  • The ability to facilitate meetings and group work in an engaging way which encourages participation;
  • A record of managing projects to successful outcomes with multiple stakeholders in complex and uncertain environments.
  • An ability and confidence to inspire, engage, develop and lead people to take action through positive conversations.
  • Experience in managing research and analysis in policy, including identifying gaps in government policy and research;
  • Demonstrated high-level written and oral communication skills;
  • Exceptional self-driven time management skills and demonstrated ability to prioritise tasks;
  • Experience in managing and supporting staff members and volunteers to succeed in their work;
  • Demonstrated experience working with First Nations people and/or culturally and linguistically diverse workers
  • A demonstrated commitment to the principles of feminism, justice and workers’ rights.

Any experience you have in event management, communications, campaigning, organising, fundraising, strategy or education would be useful for this role. Basic digital skills in programs such as WordPress, Canva and Zoom would be of use.

  • We encourage applications from First Nations people and people of colour. We want racial and cultural diversity within our centre, and are building and maintaining an anti-racist workplace culture.
  • We encourage applications from all cis and trans women, as well as non-binary people who are comfortable working on advocacy that focuses on the experiences of women.
  • We encourage applications from disabled applicants, please contact us about the accessibility of the workplace.
  • We encourage LGBTIQ+ applicants.
  • We encourage applications from survivors of gendered violence.

We know that sometimes the best people for the role may not fit the exact selection criteria.

To discuss this role, please contact Abbey Kendall, Director of the Working Women’s Centre SA on (08) 8410 6499.

Apply Today via Ethical Jobs

we're hiring: senior advocacy officer at the working womens centre sa inc

Upcoming Event: Feminist Activist Network ‘Exploring Youth Advocacy’

WHEN

14 Oct 2021
4.00-6.00pm

EVENT TYPE

Workshop

WHERE

The Working Women’s Centre SA, Level 1 Station Arcade, 52 Hindley Street

ACCESSIBILITY

The venue is wheelchair accessible. The nearest disability access bathrooms are at the Adelaide Train Station.

MEDIA RELEASE: Morrison Government fails to fund Working Women’s Centres

In the wake of the Women’s Safety Summit, Recommendation 49 of the Respect@Work Report has been ignored 

In the wake of the Women’s Safety Summit, leaders of key sexual harassment support services in South Australia, Queensland and Northern Territory express disappointment at the government’s empty words about the need for holistic approaches to prevent violence against women. Working Women’s Centres are specialist women’s services which provide holistic advice, information and support for women experiencing workplace sexual harassment.

Despite the Morrison government’s emphasis at the Women’s Safety Summit on the importance of holistic community services, the Government made no commitment to implement Recommendation 49 of the Respect@Work Report and fund Working Women’s Centres as a standalone funding line.

Recommendation 49 of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Report states ‘[that] Australian governments provide increased and recurrent funding to Working Women’s Centres to provide information, advice, and assistance to vulnerable workers who experience sexual harassment.’ The Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Kate Jenkins, recognised the unique holistic support provided by Working Women’s Centres: “We found they were uniquely the most effective, victim-centric model that could deliver support, advice [and] advocacy to women [across a] range of issues in their work.”

Despite this strong recommendation from the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, the Federal Government has continued to ignore Recommendation 49 and the suite of recommendations put forward in the Respect@Work Report. Recommendations required to drive the necessary cultural shift towards providing safer workplaces and societies for female citizens, and for some of its most vulnerable members.

Last month, Working Women’s Centre directors again wrote to the Federal Attorney-General Michaelia Cash asking for an update as to the progress of prospective funding under Recommendation 49. In a letter from the Attorney-General received on the eve of the Summit Roundtable discussions, the Federal Government stated it has done its part funding Recommendation 53 in relation to legal services and recommended that Working Women’s Centres compete for this money. 

While some Working Women’s Centres may be eligible to apply for funding out of a general allocation for legal services, not all Working Women’s Centres are legal centres. Working Women’s Centres are uniquely valuable due to their holistic approach, focus on prevention and advocacy work. Legal services are one part of the solution and the Attorney-General’s response fails to recognise the unique role that Working Women’s Centres play in the workplace landscape. By ignoring Recommendation 49, and instead asking Working Women’s Centres to fight it out for a portion of the funding allocated for legal services, the Morrison government has failed working women who rely on Working Women’s Centres’ services.

Last week, Labor announced that if elected, the party would fund Working Women’s Centres around the country. While the Coalition government has accepted Recommendation 49, the recommendation has not yet been implemented by the government, along with many other recommendations which remain ignored.

With the NT Working Women’s Centre just months away from closing, Working Women’s Centres leaders are calling for immediate funding for the NT and Queensland Working Women’s Centres, and for a bipartisan commitment to fully fund Working Women’s Centres around the country.

 

Quotes attributable to Nicki Petrou, Director NT Working Women’s Centre:
“It was made clear at the Safety Summit that local based services were best placed to respond to the unique need in their own backyards, and yet this is not new to those on the ground. Instead, we have seen cherry picking and unilateral funding commitments without discussions with the states or territories as to what is required, without an understanding as to what is happening on the ground, who is providing what, what is the need.


The NT Working Women’s Centre will continue to operate until the end of the year- that is all we can say at this stage without funding security. 
We do not want to see Territory women the casualties of a political funding battle especially when every minute counts for us right now. The Federal Government’s response feels like a huge cop out, after stringing us along for months…especially when they know our situation.”
“The need for this funding is urgent: there has been a national outcry against workplace sexual harassment and assault that we know occurs in every industry. We cannot delay this. The NTWWC do not want to start turning women away especially when as a society we are now encouraging women to come forward and share their story, to say enough is enough but not provide the support that is needed when it is needed.”

 

Quote attributable to Abbey Kendall, Director of SA Working Women’s Centre
“We have been fighting for funding recognition for the last 8 months and we welcome Labor’s pledge to sustainably fund Working Women’s Centres and ensure that all Australian women can have access to our world leading model of service, no matter where they work and live. Sexual harassment in the workplace should not be politicised.


“We need funding action from the Federal Government and bi-partisan support for our services. This is a no-brainer, the Federal Government have an opportunity to make their mark in the prevention of sexual harassment, and they can do it by funding a holistic, professional and trauma informed service that has a proven track record of improving the lives of Australian working women.”   

 

Quotes attributable to Claire Moore, Acting Director of Basic Rights Queensland (Working Women’s QLD)  
“Working Women’s Centres have proven our worth over many years. We support women to understand their rights and have access to the system to achieve outcomes when these rights have been violated. The struggle for effective funding has highlighted the unmet needs of women and the impact on their lives, their workplaces, and their families. The Respect@Work report acknowledged the need for these services as an integral element of the response to the systemic damage to women who are damaged by harassment, discrimination, and isolation. Their voices need to be heard.”

 

Save our Working Women’s Centres website:
https://saveourworkingwomenscentres.com.au/

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:
WWC NT Director– Nicki Petrou
WWC QLD Director Claire Moore 
WWC SA Director Abbey Kendall

MEDIA RELEASE: Working Women’s Centres respond to Labor’s 24-million-dollar pledge to fund and establish Centres across Australia

Working Women’s Centres respond to Labor’s 24-million-dollar pledge to fund and establish Centres across Australia

The South Australian, Northern Territory, and Queensland Working Women’s Centres welcome Labor’s promise to ensure there are properly funded Working Women’s Centres in every Australian state and territory.  

With this announcement, Labor has recognised that Working Women’s Centre’s service models are crucial to addressing the pervasive issue of sexual harassment in Australian workplaces.  

All corners of the country are calling on the federal government to address sexual harassment in the workplace.  

Recommendation 49 of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Respect@Work Report is that ‘Australian governments provide increased and recurrent funding to working women’s centres to provide information, advice, and assistance to vulnerable workers who experience sexual harassment. The Sex Discrimination Commissioner recognised the unique holistic support provided by Working Women’s Centres:  

“We found they were uniquely the most effective, victim-centric model that could deliver support, advice [and] advocacy to women [across a] range of issues in their work.” 

The federal government accepted this recommendation.  Now is the time for the government to make a concrete funding announcement.  

Working Women’s Centres call for bipartisan commitment to fully fund Working Women’s CentresThe prevention of sexual harassment should not be a political football. We need the federal government to immediately announce a funding package for the working women’s centres. The Northern Territory Working Women’s Centre is just months away from closing.  

Two out of five Australian women experienced sexual harassment at work in the past five years, but the Federal Government has failed to properly fund the Working Women’s Centres that provide the first point of contact for women experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace.  

All three centres have seen an exponential increase in enquiries about sexual harassment. The South Australian Working Women’s Centre has seen a 200% increase in enquiries since March 2021.  

Quotes attributable to Nicki Petrou, Director NT Working Women’s Centre:

“With our one-off interim Federal funding running out in September, and without a further funding commitment from the Federal government, we will have to close the NT Working Women’s Centre by the end of the year. We will need to tell Territory women that we will no longer be there when things go wrong in the workplace, when they need our support.  

We do not want to see Territory women the casualties of a political funding battle especially when every minute counts for us right now. “ 

“The need for this funding is urgent: there has been a national outcry against workplace sexual harassment and assault that we know occurs in every industry. We cannot delay this. The NTWWC do not want to start turning women away especially when as a society we are now encouraging women to come forward and share their story, to say enough is enough but not provide the support that is needed!” 

 Quote attributable to Abbey Kendall, Director of SA Working Women’s Centre

“We have been fighting for funding recognition for the last 8 months and we welcome Labor’s pledge to sustainably fund Working Women’s Centres and ensure that all Australian women can have access to our world leading model of service, no matter where they work and live. Sexual harassment in the workplace should not be politicised.

“We need funding action from the federal government and bi-partisan support for our services. This is a no-brainer, the federal government have an opportunity to make their mark in the prevention of sexual harassment, and they can do it by funding a holistic, professional and trauma informed service that has a proven track record of improving the lives of Australian working women.”  

 Quotes attributable to Claire Moore, Acting Director of Basic Rights Queensland (Working Women’s Centre QLD)  

“WWCs have proven our worth over many years. We support women to understand their rights and have access to the system to achieve outcomes when these rights have been violated. The struggle for effective funding has highlighted the unmet needs of women and the impact on their lives, their workplaces , and their families. The Respect@Work report acknowledged the need for these services as an integral element of the response to the systemic damage to women who are damaged by harassment, discrimination, and isolation. Their voices need to be heard.” 

Save our Working Women’s Centres website: https://saveourworkingwomenscentres.com.au/

SA Weekend: Underpaid workers fighting back in the courtroom

This interview was published by the Advertiser SA Weekend on July 31 2021

Read the full article on the Advertiser SA Weekend here.

The inside story of how thousands of Australians who have been the victim of wage theft are finally fighting back. Plus, the big corporate names dragged into the courtroom.

Xiao An was looking for a job. She had recently graduated from her marketing course at the University of South Australia and the Chinese ­national was keen to stay in Adelaide. Like many international students, Xiao An looked on the Adelaide BBS website. It’s a kind of Chinese-language marketplace where you can find houses to rent, cars to buy and where jobs are advertised.

“When I graduated I wanted to find a job and get some experience,” the now 21-year-old says. “I feel this is suitable for me and I applied.”

The job she found was in advertising and sales for a wine business based in the city. Xiao An, not her real name, was there for two months and was never paid. The ­excuses started early. It was the end of the financial year, she was told. The company was being restructured.

“They even showed me the screenshot of the bank account of the company, saying they did not have enough money to pay so I have to wait,” she says.

“I feel like I am constantly being frauded. The boss kept making unrealistic promises to me that I’ll be promoted, getting a high ­yearly salary.”

All the while, Xiao An was working five days a week, sometimes weekends as well.

“I had to work full-time, and even overtime during weekends in that toxic, competitive environment but nothing was paid. Sometimes after working, I cried all the way to home. It was so stressful,” she says.

The issue of workers being underpaid, or not paid at all, was thrust firmly into the spotlight in February when a video of an assault at the Fun Tea store in Chinatown went viral. The video showed a young worker at Fun Tea being slapped and kicked after complaining she was only being paid $10 an hour, less than half the wage the worker was entitled to. The ­national minimum wage is $20.33 an hour.

A man called Lei Guo has pleaded guilty to the assault and will be sentenced next month. Guo was said to be a friend of then Fun Tea director Jason Duan, who later appeared on a video with a Sydney-based YouTube user and admitted he had only paid the victim $10 an hour.

The assault of the young student caused immediate backlash and brought renewed focus on to a dark part of the national economy – the exploitation of young and vulnerable workers by those who employ them. Often they are international students on visas with no understanding of their rights, with poor English skills and little support.

The federal government’s Fair Work Ombudsman started an investigation into Chinatown’s restaurants and a preliminary report found “very high” non-­compliance levels.

That investigation is ongoing but in April, the Ombudsman Sandra Parker said: “Our intelligence indicates that Adelaide’s Chinatown precinct employs many workers on visas who may also have limited ­English skills, which can lead to vulnerability and exploitation.” It is expected the Ombudsman will file charges year end.

Part of the solution may be for universities to provide more information to its students when they arrive in the country to tell them what their rights are and what support is available to them.

Meng Liu came to Australia in 2018 to study social work at Flinders. She, too, was ripped off by an employer.

“The first month I was here, I realised that everyone around me was doing an underpaid job, like all the international students I knew,” Liu says. “At that stage I didn’t know that was illegal.

 

 

Submit your story: tell us what our service means to you

While the SA Working Women’s Centre has sustainable funding from state and federal governments, our sisters at the NT and Qld Working Women’s Centres are experiencing a funding crisis.

We can only win this fight if we can show governments how Working Women’s Centres make a difference in the lives of women. Help us show them: tell us how the Working Women’s Centre helped you.
Today, we launch a fight to save our Working Women’s Centres. While the SA Working Women’s Centre has sustainable funding from state and federal governments, our sisters at the NT and Qld Working Women’s Centres are experiencing a funding crisis.

We’ve recovered $1.2 million for workers

The numbers are in, and here at the South Australian Working Women’s Centre SA we have recovered $622k of stolen wages, compensation and penalties for workers in the past financial year.

That means that over the past two years, we’ve won back $1.2 million.  

We are incredibly proud of all the workers that have taken a stand against injustice in the past year. With the support of our small team, they have fought for what they are owed.

Support the work that we do standing up for workers by donating to the Working Women’s Centre.

 

 

Media release: Working Women’s Centres ask Morrison: what has happened to Recommendation 49?

As the Women’s Safety Summit gets delayed, Working Women’s Centres have launched a fight for survival. Working Women’s Centres provide free advice, support and representation to thousands of working women every year about workplace issues.

Two out of five Australian women experienced sexual harassment at work in the past five years, but the Federal Government has failed to properly fund the Working Women’s Centres which provide a first point of contact for women experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace.

Recommendation 49 of the Respect@Work Report is that ‘Australian governments provide increased and recurrent funding to working women’s centres to provide information, advice and assistance to vulnerable workers who experience sexual harassment.

Quotes attributable to Nicki Petrou, Director of the NT Working Women’s Centre:

“Today, we are launching a fight for the survival of our specialised women’s services, services that support working women to ensure their workplaces are safe and fair. A key recommendation of the Respect@Work report was to provide increased and recurrent funding for Working Women’s Centres, but the Federal Government has not yet made any announcement of ongoing funding to the QLD and NT Working Women’s Centres.”

“With our one-off interim Federal funding running out in September, and without a further funding commitment from the Federal government, we will have to close the NT Working Women’s Centre by the end of the year. We will need to tell Territory women that we will no longer be there when things go wrong in the workplace, when they need our support.

“Whilst we are grateful for the interim funding from the Northern Territory and Federal Governments, this will not last forever and neither will we if we do not receive funding certainty soon. The time for our service is fast ticking away. We’ve been told that we needed to wait for discussions between state/territory and the federal government, for the Women’s Safety Summit in July. Discussions have been had, and the Summit has now been postponed until September., and now what? We can’t wait that long.

“The need for this funding is urgent: there has been a national outcry against workplace sexual assault that we know occurs in every industry. We cannot delay this. We cannot continue turning women away.

“To achieve safety for women in the workplace, all 55 Recommendations of the Respect@Work Report must be implemented and funded.

“Providing funding certainty to the NT Working Women’s Centre would cost less than $1 million per year. It costs less than $1 million to support women in the NT with our world leading model for tackling workplace sexual harassment and violence. How much are women in Northern Territory worth to this Governement?”

Quote attributable to Fiona Hunt, Director of Working Women Qld:

“Working Women Qld has been operating a reduced service since we lost Federal Funding in 2016. This has meant that hundreds of women in Queensland who have been treated unfairly or been sexually harassed in their workplaces have not been able to get the advice, support and representation they deserve and need to address these issues. Without the support of the Qld Government, the service would have been forced to shut down years ago. Now is the time for the Federal Government to respond to the Respect@Work recommendations and support vulnerable workers across Queensland. Working Women Qld needs Federal funding to operate a full service 5 days a week and to make sure that every woman in Queensland can be safe and equal at work.”

Quotes attributable to Abbey Kendall, Director of the Working Women’s Centre SA:

“The Working Women’s Centre SA is an example of what our service can achieve with sustainable funding. The South Australian Working Women’s Centre receives ongoing funding from both our state and federal governments. In the past two years, we recovered $1.2 million in compensation, stolen wages and penalties for workers.

“Women come to us when they are facing very complex, personal choices about how they respond to harassment in the workplace. Being armed with the facts about their options empowers them at a time when they are incredibly vulnerable. Our model of advice, education and advocacy is world leading. Funding Working Women’s Centres is an easy, immediate and tangible solution for the prevention of sexual violence.”

[End]

Save our Working Women’s Centres website:

https://saveourworkingwomenscentres.com.au/

MEDIA CONTACTS:

WWC NT Director Nicki Petrou

WWC QLD DirectorFiona Hunt

WWC SA Director Abbey Kendall

VOLUNTEER BLOG: an international student’s experience volunteering at the WWCSA

It all happened quite quickly. We arrived here as international students in February 2020, attended our orientation for two weeks, got lost on campus a few times and before we knew it, the pandemic had taken over most parts of the world and Australia closed its international borders indefinitely. No new international students would arrive, or indeed anyone who wasn’t an Australian citizen. I realized soon that I had to make the best of the situation. I missed home terribly and was concerned about my friends and family at home but could do nothing all the way from here. I decided to google all the things that I was interested in and tried to find organisations in South Australia I could get involved in, but I had no luck.  

My glimmer of hope was an Ad put out by the Working Women’s Centre asking for volunteers on a project examining how young women in South Australia were impacted by COVID19. I was soon at the Centre every Monday amongst the most passionate women who were all collectively trying to improve the lives and wellbeing of women and vulnerable workers at the workplace. It was the most meaningful work I could ever have the pleasure of working on. Soon enough, we were picking up momentum by collecting more survey responses and holding consultations with international students (some of whom were my dear friends) to identify what challenges we were facing and how to make our voices heard. The result was the report titled “Loss of work, isolation & worry: the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on young women” which was released in April, 2021.    

There were many extraordinary things that came from the report, which presented findings from:  
  • A survey of women under the age of 30 (293 respondents) 
  • An online consultation open to all young women  
  • A consultation of female international students   
  • A consultation with female Youth Ambassadors from the Australian Refugee Association 
  • A consultation with Industrial Officers at the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation 
  • Interviews with young women working in male-dominated trades, and 
  • A consultation with young women working in Education 

We found that most COVID-19 related job losses occurred for part-time workers, who are disproportionately women and young people.  Furthermore, international students who lost work due to COVID-19 had no access to government support like Jobkeeper or Jobseeker and had to rely on university support to make ends meet.

international students participating in a consultation about the impact of COVID19 on young women, how it effects their experience in the workplace

 

Pictured above: some of the participants from our consultation exploring the impact of the COVID19 pandemic on young women, with young international students based in South Australia. 

Our consultation of female international students held in December revealed that finding a new job after losing one was one of the hardest tasks during a pandemic. In some cases, students reported a call-back rate of less than 10% when applying for jobs.  Young women faced undue financial hardship as a result of this and had significant anxiety and worries over money matters. In addition to this, 44% of the survey respondents felt more discouraged about the prospect of finding work since COVID-19. 

It is so difficult for young women to access safe and secure jobs, it is no wonder that we are stressed about being able to get one in the future.  

  

In order to tackle the challenges facing young women, the report makes several recommendations including : 
  •  Investment in the creation of secure jobs for women through: 
  • a commitment to minimum job security requirements in services that receive government funding 
  • Investment that will create jobs in feminised sectors like mental health or domestic violence services 
  • Offering better supports to international students. This would allow international students to better  support themselves, continue their education and contribute to the  South Australian economy by as active and empowered participants. It would also reduce financial stress and stop international students from having to work  unsafe, low-paying jobs to continue their education.  

 

This engagement with the Working Women’s Centre is what helped me get through the pandemic. It offered me a kind and supportive space to grow and learn. More importantly, I finally felt like I was part of a community that shared the same values as I did, advocating for those groups in society that often go unvoiced. If this is something you need as well, the Working Women’s Centre is the place for you. 

Learn more about our Young Women & COVID19 project. 
The full report from our survey is available on our website
international student's experience volunteering at the working womens centre sa inc

UPCOMING EVENT: Feminist action session – discussion on combatting sexual harassment at work

Come along to our Feminist Action Session to help the Working Women’s Centre develop practical tools that can be used in workplaces.  

1 in 3 Australians have experienced sexual harassment at work, yet only 18% of victims report their experience (according to the Respect@Work Report 2020).  

The Working Women’s Centre SA has recently completed research that found that workplace posters are effective and engaging tools to highlight inappropriate behaviour and connect victims with support avenues. In the upcoming Feminist Action session, we will discuss ways in which we can combat sexual harassment in our workplaces and communities and support victims of sexual harassment. We’ll also share ideas for a meaningful poster for South Australian workplaces.  

In this session you will have the opportunity to share your ideas and discuss the topic with like-minded individuals. 

  • Bring a laptop or phone if handy, and a willingness to contribute ideas and listen to others.
  • Complimentary hot food and drinks will be provided.
  • The venue is wheelchair accessible. The nearest disability access bathrooms are at the Adelaide Train Station.

CONTENT NOTE: This event will involve a discussion of workplace sexual violence.

WHEN

29 Jul 2021
5.30-7.00pm

EVENT TYPE

Workshop

WHERE

The Working Women’s Centre SA, Level 1 Station Arcade, 52 Hindley Street

ACCESSIBILITY

Wheelchair Accessibility

REGISTER HERE

We acknowledge that this event is on Kaurna land and we pay our respect to the traditional custodians of the land, past and present . Sovereignty was never ceded.

Volunteer with us

Fill out an expression of interest to volunteer here! We have a range of volunteering programs.

Volunteer Expression of interest

Fill out this form to let us know you are interested in volunteering
What are your pronouns?(Required)
MM slash DD slash YYYY
Do you identify as any of the following?
This question is optional! At the Working Women's Centre we aim to create a community that encourages, supports, and values diversity. We ask this question to ensure inclusion of people from a diverse range of genders, cultures, abilities and experiences.
To promote inclusivity, we will try to cater for your needs where possible. While the entrance to our office can be accessed via elevator, it's not a completely accessible space. Please refer to our access guide for more detailed information on this.
What kind of volunteering are you interested in? What kind of skills do you have? What skills are you interested in developing?
Are you happy to receive occasional emails from the Working Women’s Centre?(Required)
How did you hear about volunteering with us?
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

young women volunteering for the working womens centre sa

Centres for working women at risk

This story is about our fight to save the Working Women’s Centres in the NT and Queensland. It was published by The Saturday Paper on 22 May 2021. 

Find the full story here. 

Despite this month’s federal budget pledging $3.2 billion to women, a critical front-line service has lost much of its funding and will likely close before the end of the year.

 

MEDIA STATEMENT: Working Women’s Centres train political parties in prevention of sexual harassment

Working Women’s Centre’s provide prevention of sexual harassment workplace training to federal and state political parties. 

We are pleased to announce major political parties have engaged the Working Women’s Centres to assist with workplace training. Since February, multiple political offices have contacted us to book our training ‘Preventing and Responding to Sexual Harassment’ and ‘When violence comes to work.’ This parties include:

    • The federal Australian Labor Party
    • SA Labor
    • SA Greens

We are pleased that political parties are taking proactive steps to prevent sexual assault in their offices by booking our training programs.

We will be working with Federal Labor and SA Labor over the next 6 months to roll out training for MPs, staff and volunteers.

 

Over May, the Working Women’s Centers educators travelled to Canberra to train all Federal Labor Chief of Staffs in the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace. We are in the process of rolling out training for federal Labor offices across the country.

The Working Women’s Centre’s will also provide prevention of sexual harassment training to the Prime Minister and Cabinet department in the coming month. We have a long training relationship with the PMC team.

In South Australia, the SA Labor party passed a motion that commits to ensuring all South Australian Labor Members of Parliament, their staff, elected party officials, office bearers, campaign coordinators and campaign managers will undertake mandatory unconscious Bias training, Preventing and Addressing Sexual Harassment training and Bullying training within the next six months.

Further Senator Wong’s office has booked the suite of Working Women’s training program to be conducted in early July 2021.

We urge all states and territory governments and political parties to do the same. Leadership comes from the top.

 

Training programs 

We encourage all political parties’ and employers to contact the Working Women’s Centres to discuss our training programs. In February 2021, after the allegations of sexual violence and harassment in Parliament House and political parties, we wrote to all political parties, their leaders in every state and territory to encourage them to take the crucial step of engaging workplace training.  A previous media release about our correspondence with political parties can be found: here: https://wwcsa.org.au/call-for-all-political-parties-to-undertake-training-on-workplace-sexual-harassment/

 

Quotes attributable to Abbey Kendall, Director of the South Australian Working Women’s Centre.

 

Workplace training is crucial to eliminating violence against women in the workplace and the community. The training must be evidence based, trauma informed and mandatory. We wrote to every political party in the country asking them to lead in this area and we are really pleased that our training programs have been taken up.

 

Working Women’s Centre Training Officer Cassandra Deon-Wierda says

Workplace training and education programs are a vital tool to improving organisational and team culture. Through action based and cooperative learning staff can become empowered and confident in their skills, knowledge, and communication with one another. As we start to gain a better understanding of the intersection of unconscious bias and serious issues within the work environment, the need for employers to maintain an inclusive environment committed to equity and respect are essential.

 

 

Despite our crucial work, Working Women’s Centre’s in NT and QLD are in a funding crisis. We are asking the federal government to save the NT and QLD WWC and establish Working Women’s Centre’s in every state and territory in line with recommendation 49 of the Respect@Work Report. Media releases about this fight can be found here: https://wwcsa.org.au/media/media-releases/

Unless the Federal Government steps and provides ongoing and sustainable funding to the NT and QLD Working Women’s Centre, they will not be able to provide this crucial training.

In the Northern Territory –the NT Working Women’s Centre continues to receive requests for workplace training in a broad range of areas including sexual harassment, domestic and family violence and bullying. ‘All Work Aware training has a violence prevention focus. It is intended to provide safer workplaces by assisting employers/employees understand the issues and how to better respond and support workers on the ground. It is about changing the culture and making workplaces fair and safe for all, proofing your organisations against avoidable risks.’ To date, we have delivered training to a number of Government departments, not for profits and small businesses. It would be helpful if Working Women’s Centres training was available more broadly to workplaces, that we could be funded to roll this out to workplaces across Australia and not just to those who can afford it.

 

Media Contacts:

 

WWC SA Director – Abbey Kendall –  08 8410 6499 – reception@wwc.org.au

 

WWC NT Director – Nicki Petrou

 

WWC QLD Director – Fiona Hunt

 

MEDIA RELEASE: Call for coalition government to immediately save the Northern Territory and Queensland Working Women’s Centres  Media Statement 

The Working Women’s Centres call on the Federal Government to immediately take action and fund the Northern Territory and Queensland Working Women’s Centres.

 

The funding and establishment of Working Women’s Centres in every Australian state and territory is essential to addressing workplace sexual harassment, and forms a key part of the Respect@Work report, appearing at recommendation 49.

 

The recommendation is that ‘Australian governments provide increased and recurrent funding to working women’s centres, to provide information, advice and assistance to vulnerable workers who experience sexual harassment, taking into account particular needs of workers facing intersectional discrimination.’

 

The Federal Government has agreed to this recommendation in the Roadmap for Respect. However, the government has failed to provide certainty as to its funding commitment or timeframes around these discussions.

 

We cannot wait. The Northern Territory and Queensland WWCs have 10 weeks to find funding or face the prospect of closing.  This will be devastating to working women in QLD and the NT and it will fly in the face of the federal governments promises to address gendered violence in the workplace.

 

The Government must act now and immediately fund the NT and QLD services. Our clients, communities and working women are depending on us. Working Women are depending on the government to save their services, who work and understand the local environment and the challenges in which they live and work.

 

Funding Working Women’s Centres is an easy, immediate and tangible solution for the prevention of sexual violence. This is the first test for the new Attorney General and the federal government since their response to the Report’s 55 recommendations.

 

Experts and leaders in gender equity regularly talk about the Working Women’s Centre holistic model as world leading. WWCs form the backbone of the fight to eliminate gendered violence in our workplaces and the community.

 

Director of the QLD Working Women’s Centre Fiona Hunt says: “All women deserve safe workplaces and someone to champion them when they are treated unfairly. WWC QLD works with the most vulnerable women in QLD to keep them employed, to get what they are entitled and to walk away fairly if needed.”

 

Director, of the NT WWC Nicki Petrou says: “In a climate when women’s safety at work has again hit the headlines, when the Federal Government has committed to building women’s workforce participation, economic security and making women’s homes and  workplaces safe, funding specialist women’s services such as the Working Women’s Centres who are here now continuing to do the work, in supporting women with workplace issues and throughout COVID is especially critical. This also makes good sense.”

Director of the SA WWC Abbey Kendall says: “The South Australian WWC is a great example of what a secure and funded and working women’s center can do for workplaces, vulnerable people and working women. We make a big impact in South Australia but we need a national approach to this issue. We need an alliance of well funded Working Women’s Centres in every state and territory and the first step to achieving that is to save the NT and QLD centres”. 

Media contacts: 

WWC NT Director – Nicki Petrou,

WWC QLD Director – Fiona Hunt

WWC SA Director  – Abbey Kendall

 

Background on WWC  

The Working Women’s Centres are not-for-profit organisations which providefree advice, representation and support to vulnerable, workers about their rights at work. Additionally, the WWC’s advocate for systemic change to improve women’s workplace conditions and safety, and offer a range of free and fee for service training for workers and employers about workplace rights. This includes bullying, sexual harassment, and appropriately responding to disclosures of domestic violence.

There are currently 3 WWCs across the country (SA, NT and QLD). The only WWC with secure funding is WWC SA with the QLD service now a program of the Basic Rights Centre following non continuation of its funding 4 years earlier.

The Working Women’s Centre is made up of three arms:

Industrial/Legal support – we provide advice and representation to vulnerable workers who contact the Centre with work issues through 1:1 clinic appointments

Advocacy – we conduct advocacy to resolve systemic issues that affect women and other vulnerable workers, such as sexual harassment and precarious work

Education – we provide fee-for-service and free training for workers and employers about workplace rights. This includes bullying, sexual harassment, and appropriately responding to disclosures of domestic violence.

Core practices of the WWC  

The Working Women’s Centre model is unique due to the combination of a number of core practices.

  • Our advocacy and training work is informed by the issues experienced by our clients. We notice patterns in our industrial work and use our advocacy and education work to address these issues at a systemic level.
  • We apply a gender lens to our work and are specialists in gendered work issues. The Working Women’s Centre is seen as a safe space for women to gain support on issues such as sexual harassment and assault.
  • We support and empower women through our industrial work. We always provide them with the support to make the decisions that are right for them.
  • We are connected to grassroots movements. We work with communities who are experiencing issues such as wage theft and support them to push back against exploitation.

Radio Interview on The Wire: GENDER LENS ON BUDGET SHOWS CRUCIAL FUNDS MISSING

This interview was published by The Wire May 13 2021.

Listen to the full interview on The Wire here.

In a bid to repair their relationship with the women of Australia, the Federal Government is committing $3.4 billion to improving women’s safety, economic security, and health and wellbeing.

Women’s organisations say far more funds are needed to address workplace sexual harassment and violence.

Meanwhile, advocates welcome long-awaited recognition of violence against women and girls with disabilities.

 

Photos of the Women’s March 4 Justice in Victoria Square

This article was published by Glam Adelaide 16 March 2021.

Read the full article and see the photo on Glam Adelaide’s Website

March participants congregated at midday in Victoria Square to hear speeches before heading down to North Terrace.

Speakers included human rights barrister Claire O’Connor, Director of the Working Women’s Centre SA Abbey Kendall, founder of SA Aboriginal Action Group Janette Milera, and Dr. Afsaneh Moradi.

Hosted by March 4 Justice, the event championed inclusion, and people of all genders were in attendance.

“The March is not just for women. It’s for everyone who wants an end to gendered violence – people from all backgrounds are welcome,” they say.

See photos from the rally here.

COVID-19 wrap: vaccination news, how young women are faring, and useful resources

This article was published by Croaky May 12 2021.

Read the full article on Croaky’s website here

Introduction by Croakey: The “shocking global disparity” in access to vaccines remains one of the biggest risks to ending the pandemic, the World Health Organization’s Director-General warned this week.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said high and upper-middle income countries, representing 53 percent of the world’s population, have received 83 percent of the world’s vaccines.

By contrast, low and lower-middle income countries account for 47 percent of the world’s population but have received just 17 percent of the world’s vaccines.

Speaking to a media briefing on 10 May, Dr Tedros cautioned against complacency as the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths plateau globally, notwithstanding rapidly increasing cases numbers and deaths in the South-East Asia region.

“Any decline is welcome, but we have been here before,” he said. “Over the past year, many countries have experienced a declining trend in cases and deaths, have relaxed public health and social measures too quickly, and individuals have let down their guard, only for those hard-won gains to be lost.”

The WHO Foundation has launched a “Together for India” appeal to raise funds to support WHO’s work in India, including the purchase of oxygen, personal protective equipment and medicines.

Dr Tedros said the spread of variants, increased social mixing, the relaxation of public health and social measures and inequitable vaccination are all driving transmission.

“My message to leaders is, use every tool at your disposal to drive transmission down, right now,” he said.

“Even if your country has a downward trend, now is the time to surge your capacities. Even in countries with the highest vaccination rates, public health capacities must be strengthened to prepare for the possibility of vaccine-evading variants, and for future emergencies.”

Meanwhile, public health researcher Alison Barrett details some of the latest research news on COVID vaccination and useful vaccination resources in the latest edition of the COVID-19 wrap, as well as reporting on the pandemic’s impact on women.

COVID-19 wrap: vaccination news, how young women are faring, and useful resources

The Working Women’s Centre wants to keep young women in SA

This article was published by City Mag May 10 2021.

Read the full article on CityMag’s website here

report conducted by not-for-profit organisation Working Women’s Centre has found South Australian women were “disproportionally” impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Between September 2020 and February 2021, the organisation collected written and online responses from 293 women, non-binary and genderqueer people under the age of 30. It found respondents were “hit hard” by the loss of work, increased pressure at work and home, and the mental health impacts of COVID-19.

The study revealed 44 per cent of respondents felt “discouraged” about the prospect of finding work, 48 per cent said they were “very worried” or “anxious” about money, a quarter had hours or pay reduced, and one in five lost their jobs.

This survey adds to the extensive media coverage and research conducted over the last year on how women have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAKE SURE THERE ARE BETTER OPPORTUNITIES HERE FOR SECURE WORK?”
— MADDIE SARRE

“The general mood that was conveyed to us by young women was very uncertain, and a lot of them spoke about being really worried about not being able to get work in the future,” Working Women’s Centre Youth Project Officer Maddie Sarre tells CityMag.

“Some of the main findings were that loss of work has been really huge for young women, because they are disproportionately working in a lot of the sectors that were impacted, also often employed casually, or in insecure work.

“But on the other hand, young women who are working in frontline sectors really faced increased pressure and stress. A lot of young women work in healthcare or in education, and about 40 per cent of those that responded to our survey said they were worried about getting COVID through their work, which I think takes a really big toll.”

Recently published ABS data shows women in the 20—34 age range accounted for 70 per cent of South Australia’s net female migration loss in 2019.

Although it’s been reported South Australia’s net interstate migration is at a 30-year high, the ABS data backing this claim shows South Australia is still consistently suffering a net loss in the 25—44 age range. (Though this data isn’t broken down by gender.)

Maddie says more research should be done to understand why this is occurring.

“We need to look into why are young people leaving,” she says, “and what can we do to make sure there are better opportunities here for secure work.”

Maddie says South Australia has “an opportunity right now”, as many of the young women surveyed by the Working Women’s Centre said they came back to South Australia “because of COVID”.

“It’s a real opportunity to retain those skills,” she says.

The WWC report includes four recommendations on how to improve outcomes for working women:

  1. Invest in the creation of secure jobs for women;
  2. fund programs specifically for female apprentices or trainees;
  3. introduce “gender responsive” budgeting;
  4. develop a new mechanism for young women to be heard at a policy-making level.
The Working Women’s Centre wants to keep young women in SA

MEDIA RELEASE: Funding cut to Working Women’s Centres that Respect@Work Inquiry called to expand

Two out of five Australian women experienced sexual harassment at work in the past five years.  Despite this national crisis, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has refused to commit to funding the services that provide a first-point-of contact for women who are sexually harassed at work. 

“Working Women’s Centres provide free, expert and impartial information to women about their rights and options when they are sexually harassed at work. The Queensland Working Women’s Centre was defunded by the federal government in 2016 and NT Working Women’s Centre was defunded in 2020.” said Fiona Hunt, Director of the Queensland Working Women’s Centre. 

“The Respect@Work Inquiry specifically recommended that the Prime Minister do the opposite. It proposed we be funded to establish a Working Women’s Centre in every state and territory.

“We run on the smell of an oily rag, but the services we provide change women’s lives every day.  Many women don’t know where to turn when they experience sexual harassment at work.  They face difficult decisions and often face choosing between their safety and their livelihoods.  

“The model is proven. We provide free information to women and already there is a huge unmet need.  It’s absurd that we are now faced with closing the Northern Territory and Queensland Working Women’s Centres when the Respect@Work Report said we should operate in every state and territory.  

“It would cost approximately $20,000,000 to properly establish and fund Working Women’s Centres in every state and territory.  Given workplace sexual harassment costs the economy more than $2.6 billion per year, this is a drop in the ocean.

“We help women from all walks of life understand their rights and options. Our staff are experts in workplace law and trained in working with vulnerable clients.  We also offer workplace training on preventing sexual harassment, which changes workplace culture.  

“Recently, we have assisted a young woman who was working in a male dominated industry and was subject to unwanted sexual advances and touching during her probationary period. When she complained she was dismissed. We represented her to make a sexual harassment discrimination complaint, and she won substantial compensation. We receive hundreds of calls from women in similar situations who need our help,” said Fiona Hunt. 

Nicki Petrou, Director of the NT Working Women’s Centre said: “In a climate when women’s safety at work has again hit the headlines, when the Federal Government has committed to building women’s workforce participation, economic security and making women’s homes and  workplaces safe, funding specialist women’s services such as the Working Women’s Centres who are here now continuing to do the work, in supporting women with workplace issues and throughout COVID is especially critical. This also makes good sense, including economic sense when you look at the costs.” 

“Workplace sexual harassment occurs in every industry, at every level, across every profession, in every region of Australia and cultural group.  If Prime Minister Scott Morrison is genuine about acting to prevent sexual harassment he must immediately reverse the current funding situation for at risk Working Women’s Centres and invest seriously in women’s specialist services to appropriately respond to these issues.” said Nicki Petrou.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS: 

WWC NT Director – Nicki Petrou

WWC QLD Director – Fiona Hunt

WWC SA Acting Director – Nikki Candy

Young women ‘disproportionately’ affected by coronavirus impact on jobs, SA survey finds

This article was published by ABC News Friday 30th April 5.47am 2021.

Read the full article on the ABC’s website here

A sample survey of South Australian women aged under 30 has revealed heightened anxiety and a lack of optimism about job prospects due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Almost 300 women aged under 30 were surveyed by the Working Women’s Centre SA between September 2020 to February 2021.

More than 70 per cent of respondents said they had become “more anxious, sad or depressed” due to the pandemic, and 44 per cent said they were “discouraged” about the prospect of finding work.

“The social and economic ramifications of COVID-19 have disproportionately affected young women compared to other demographics,” the report stated.

More than half of respondents found “their way of working disrupted” and more than a quarter “had their hours or pay reduced”.

Nearly half said they were “very worried or anxious” about money.

“Between the time that SA’s first COVID-19 restrictions entered force in March 2020 and January 2021 all-male jobs had recovered, while female jobs remained well below pre-pandemic levels,” the report stated, citing Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

“This is a stark demonstration of the vulnerability of female jobs to disruption.

Working Women’s Centre youth project officer Maddie Sarre said the findings represented “a snapshot” of how young women in SA continued to be affected by coronavirus and its ongoing economic effects.

“On the other hand, those that continued to work during the pandemic faced increased pressure, through increased workloads and stress in frontline sectors such as healthcare.

Young women 'disproportionately' affected by coronavirus impact on jobs, SA survey finds

Loss of work, isolation and worry

Report- Loss of work, isolation and worry – 29 April 2021

The Working Women’s Centre SA has launched a new report: Loss of work, isolation and worry: the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on young women. The report finds that young women have been hit by loss of work, increased pressure at work and home and the mental health impacts of COVID-19.

Issues including insecure work, economy inequality and violence against women, which were exacerbated by COVID-19, position young women as the most in need of support through gender responsive COVID-19 recovery plans.

We are optimistic that the COVID-19 recovery is an opportunity for real and affective change. Our report emphasises that the creation of secure jobs in feminised sectors will improve employment for women and improve the economy through the COVID-19 recovery.

 

Through a survey of 293 women under 30 in South Australia, we found that since the pandemic hit:

  • 44% of survey respondents felt more discouraged about the prospect of finding work
  • 30% became more afraid of losing their job
  • 40% had concerns about contracting COVID-19 because of work
  • 48% said they were very worried or anxious about money
  • 71% had become more anxious, sad or depressed
  • Over 1 in 5 had lost their job
  • Over a quarter had hours or pay reduced

The report is a unique snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 specifically on young women in SA, looking at the combined impact of age and gender on these women’s shared experiences of the pandemic.

 

Our recommendations include:

  1. Investment into the creation of secure jobs for women through investment in feminised sectors and a commitment to minimum job security requirements
  2. The funding of a program of dedicated apprenticeships or traineeships for women
  3. The introduction of gender responsive budgeting
  4. A new mechanism for young women to be heard at a policy making level

Please find the full report here. 

For media enquiries, or to found out how you can support the recommendations, please contact Maddie at maddie@wwc.org.au

A group of young women

Save the Northern Territory and Queensland Working Women’s Centres  

Media Statement

22 April 2021

 

The Working Women’s Centres call on the Federal Government to immediately take action and fund the Northern Territory and Queensland Working Women’s Centres.

The funding and establishment of Working Women’s Centres in every Australian state and territory is essential to addressing workplace sexual harassment, and forms a key part of the Respect@Work report, appearing at recommendation 49.

The recommendation is that ‘Australian governments provide increased and recurrent funding to working women’s centres, to provide information, advice and assistance to vulnerable workers who experience sexual harassment, taking into account particular needs of workers facing intersectional discrimination.’

The Federal Government has agreed to this recommendation in the Roadmap for Respect. However, the government has failed to provide certainty as to its funding commitment or timeframes around these discussions.

We cannot wait. The Northern Territory and Queensland WWCs have 10 weeks to find funding or face the prospect of closing.  This will be devastating to working women in QLD and the NT and it will fly in the face of the federal governments promises to address gendered violence in the workplace.

*

The Government must act now and immediately fund the NT and QLD services. Our clients, communities and working women are depending on us. Working Women are depending on the government to save their services, who work and understand the local environment and the challenges in which they live and work.

Funding Working Women’s Centres is an easy, immediate and tangible solution for the prevention of sexual violence. This is the first test for the new Attorney General and the federal government since their response to the Report’s 55 recommendations.

Experts and leaders in gender equity regularly talk about the Working Women’s Centre holistic model as world leading. WWCs form the backbone of the fight to eliminate gendered violence in our workplaces and the community.

*

Director of the QLD Working Women’s Centre Fiona Hunt says: “All women deserve safe workplaces and someone to champion them when they are treated unfairly. WWC QLD works with the most vulnerable women in QLD to keep them employed, to get what they are entitled and to walk away fairly if needed.”

Director, of the NT WWC Nicki Petrou says: “In a climate when women’s safety at work has again hit the headlines, when the Federal Government has committed to building women’s workforce participation, economic security and making women’s homes and  workplaces safe, funding specialist women’s services such as the Working Women’s Centres who are here now continuing to do the work, in supporting women with workplace issues and throughout COVID is especially critical. This also makes good sense.”

Director of the SA WWC Abbey Kendall says: “The South Australian WWC is a great example of what a secure and funded and working women’s centre can do for workplaces, vulnerable people and working women. We make a big impact in South Australia but we need a national approach to this issue. We need an alliance of well funded Working Women’s Centres in every state and territory and the first step to achieving that is to save the NT and QLD centres”. 

Media contacts: 

WWC NT Director – Nicki Petrou, – 08 8981 0655 -  nicki@ntwwc.com.au

WWC QLD Director - Fiona Hunt, 07 3847 5532 - fionah@brq.org.au

tor Abbey Kendall, 08 8410 6499, abbey@wwc.org.au

###

 

 

Background on WWC  

The Working Women’s Centres are not-for-profit organisations which providefree advice, representation and support to vulnerable, workers about their rights at work. Additionally, the WWC’s advocate for systemic change to improve women’s workplace conditions and safety, and offer a range of free and fee for service training for workers and employers about workplace rights. This includes bullying, sexual harassment, and appropriately responding to disclosures of domestic violence.

There are currently 3 WWCs across the country (SA, NT and QLD). The only WWC with secure funding is WWC SA with the QLD service now a program of the Basic Rights Centre following non continuation of its funding 4 years earlier.

The Working Women’s Centre is made up of three arms:

Industrial/Legal support – we provide advice and representation to vulnerable workers who contact the Centre with work issues through 1:1 clinic appointments

Advocacy – we conduct advocacy to resolve systemic issues that affect women and other vulnerable workers, such as sexual harassment and precarious work

‘We’re here for all the women that came before us and all the women that will come ahead of us’

This article was published by City Mag 18 March 2021.

Listen to the full interview on The Wire here.

On Monday, March 4 Justice Adelaide was one of 35 protests held nationally campaigning against recent sexual assault claims in Federal Parliament.
Men and women wore black and brandished placards, like “DITCH THE DICKS” and “I’m with her”, in an act of solidarity with the women who have made these claims.

Recent cases instigating this public action include the alleged rape of former Liberal Party staffer Brittany Higgins by a colleague, and a historical 1988 rape accusation levelled at Attorney-General Christian Porter (which he denies).

From within the crowd, CityMag saw speeches in the Square, before protesters marched to Parliament House and back. The first speaker was Kaurna and Wirangu woman Rosemary Wanganeen.

Rosemary tells the crowd colonisation and the “Western patriarchal construct” created the “greater potential” for society’s male elite “to live in privilege”.

“Those living in a society with a Western patriarchal and colonised mindset depend on us as women to fall into a rabbit warren of hopelessness, in the hope that believing is all too hard. But we’re not going to do that, are we?” Rosemary says. The crowd responds: “No”.

“We are going to keep making noise,” Rosemary continues, “and yes, we’re going to get emotional.”

CityMag speaks to a number of protesters while the speeches rage on, including a 67-year-old “survivor of sexual assault”, who we’ve chosen not to name.

She says while working in the corporate world she’d “seen a lot” in terms of sexual harassment. “Enough is enough,” she says.

In another group of protesters, we meet Barbara and Quintin McIntyre. We ask why they’re here. Barbara breaks into tears. Quintin, her husband, answers: “[Barbara] told me before that she wants things to change so her granddaughters don’t go through what she went through.

“You don’t need another review. You need things to actually change.”

Bolstered by a petition boasting almost 22,000 signatures, the March 4 Justice organisers and protesters have gathered to demand four things:
  •  investigations into all cases of gendered violence;
  •  implement all recommendations by the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Respect@Work report;
  •  increase public funding for gendered violence prevention;
  •  enact a federal Gender Equality Act to promote gender equality, which includes an equity audit into Parliament.

Barrister Clare O’Connor also spoke at the event, saying this national effort was spurred on by the last three weeks of “disgusting information” emanating from Canberra, and government leaders need to commit to reform.

“There’s been a very, very good inquiry with 55 recommendations that came down from the Human Rights Commission. It explained how to make a workplace safe,” she says, referring to the Respect@Work report.

“We need to demand action from our politicians in relation to these things. We need to demand action in relation to those workers who are protected, those who do not have to be investigated – those parliamentarians in Canberra. Why are they above the law?”

South Australia has been in the throes of its own toxic parliamentary issues, with the publication of the Acting Equal Opportunity Commissioner’s recent report into parliament finding sexual harassment “prevalent” and “the problem and its solutions sit at an organisational and cultural level”.

The report includes 16 recommendations aiming to prevent and appropriately handle sexual and discriminatory harassment in this particular workplace, however the document reiterates sexism will only really be eliminated “through concerted efforts to create cultural change”.

This is a reckoning’: Women march for justice in Adelaide

This interview was published by InDaily Monday March 15 2021

Read the full article on InDaily here.

The crowd of mostly women gathered on the steps of Victoria Square to the sound of John Farnham’s You’re The Voice with placards warning “I’m angry”, “enough is enough”, “no Porter in the house” and “we believe you Brittany”.

They then marched down King William Street towards Parliament House chanting “justice for women now” and “we will not be silenced”, before heading back to Victoria Square.

Among the protestors were SA politicians including SA Best MLC Connie Bonaros and Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas, and human rights barrister Claire O’Connor SC.

The inaugural Adelaide March4Justice event, which started at noon, coincided with 35 protests across Australia, including in every capital city and many regional centres.

The protests supported a national march in Canberra, where a petition was delivered calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to act on gendered violence against women, including female Members of Parliament and staff.

The Adelaide protestors joined an estimated 100,000 people across the country calling for independent investigations into all cases of sexual harassment and assault.

South Australian protestors also called for SA Parliament to fully implement all 16 recommendations made in the Equal Opportunity Commission’s recent damning review into sexual harassment in State Parliament.

The protest’s co-organiser Dr Samantha Battams told reporters the review’s findings were not surprising.

“Women are silenced about these things – they don’t often speak up and tell their friends and family because they actually fear the consequences,” she said.

“We have already seen that with some of the national cases where women have lost their jobs.”

Barrister Claire O’Connor SC said she was the victim of violence and harassment in her workplace.

She said “every woman is here because she knows and she has experienced the pain and suffering that comes from being treated unfairly in the worksite, being treated unfairly in the home, being the victim of sexual assault and knowing that our voice doesn’t matter”.

“Enough is enough of the culture of not listening, not acting and blaming. That’s why we’re here.”

Former Federal Liberal staffer Chelsey Potter, who survived an alleged sexual assault by another former colleague in 2015, attended the Adelaide march.

She told InDaily that today was a “crucial moment for women in this country”.

“It’s actually quite emotional to feel that every woman has stood up and said ‘yeah this has happened to me’, or ‘I know someone this has happened to or you know what? I just don’t want this to happen anymore’,” she said.

“That’s an incredible thing – I’ve never actually witnessed something like this before and it’s a credit to Brittany Higgins and all the women who have stood up and said something.”

Potter said she hoped today would be “the beginning of an era where women will start calling assault and harassment out”.

Today is not the start of the social movement, but it is the start of a new notion and a new movement in Australia

She said there was was “no way” that politicians could ignore the protests happening across the country.

“They’re doing a very good job of trying to – particularly in not attending the march and I’m hoping there will be a minute to midnight change for government MPs, particularly for Coalition women to attend the march,” she said.

“I do feel like there’s no way but forward now.

“There certainly can’t be anymore ignorance on the issue, there certainly can’t be any more closed doors meetings, it has to be a conversation with women.”

SA Working Women’s Centre director Abbey Kendall said women sought support from the centre “every single day who have either been raped, sexually assaulted or sexually harassed in the workplace”.

“It is happening all over the country in all types of workplaces: small, large, private and public,” she said.

“This is a reckoning.

“Today is not the start of the social movement, but it is the start of a new notion and a new movement in Australia.

“Nothing will stop this movement.”

The protest also heard from Kaurna and Arabunna woman Janette Milera, who organised the Black Lives Matter protest in Adelaide last year.

“Our women have been fighting the colonial white men from the day of colonisation,” she said.

“Our women have been raped, they have been taken and stolen and made as sex slaves since colonisation.

“We all need a change as women because this man’s law that we live under, it doesn’t work for any of us.”

One protestor, who InDaily has chosen not to name, held a sign that read: “Hear me rage. Justice for rape victims”.

“I’ve been raped and sexually abused four times in my life,” she said.

“I’ve reported it to police on four different occasions and… I haven’t taken it to court because of the damage it will do to me and my family.

“I haven’t been able to let out my rage and this is about me settling into my power and rage.”

This is a reckoning': Women march for justice in Adelaide

Joint letter in support of the legalisation of abortion in SA.

Fair Agenda & the South Australian Abortion Action Coalition are also calling for all supporters to share their own message of support with their local MP by:

Finding out where you local MP stands on the issue and sending them a message using them to vote yes to the bill to provide safe, legal and compassionate access to abortion care. Which can be done easily by using this tool: https://www.voteprochoice.org.au/

Leaving a voice mail message for your local MP, you can find a guide and talking points on how to leave a message for your MP if a staffer picks up or via voicemail message. https://fair-agenda.good.do/sadecrim/callMP/

Joining a calling party – an online get together providing a briefing and cheering on the call numbers together. 5:30-6.45pm Mon 15 Feb. Register here: https://www.fairagenda.org/sa_calling_party

The joint letter, led by Fair Agenda and South Australian Abortion Action Coalition reads:

Call for all political parties to undertake training on workplace sexual harassment.

The Working Women’s Centre SA has today written to all major political parties, urging them to commit to tackling sexual violence in their offices. The Working Women’s Centre SA Inc said that after Brittany Higgins’ story, and revelations about other sexual assaults within political offices, political parties need mandated training for their staff about preventing and responding to sexual harassment.

Today, the Working Women’s Centre sent a letter to the secretaries of the Liberal Party, the Labor Party and the Greens at a federal and South Australian state level, as well as numerous political offices, asking them to take responsibility for addressing this issue. The Working Women’s Centre SA has proposed that all political parties engage in a tailored training program that aims to prevent and safely respond to incidents of sexual violence in the workplace.

They hope to see parties make commitments to changing their workplace culture through immediate action in line with the recommendations of the Respect@Work National Inquiry Report into sexual harassment.

Abbey Kendall, Director of the Working Women’s Centre SA, said “There is something deeply wrong when the workplaces of the country’s most powerful decision-makers are failing to maintain a safe workplace and culture for women. Given the significant resources our elected representatives and their offices have, there is no excuse for failing to provide a workplace free of sexual violence. No woman should lose her job because she is assaulted.’

‘These are not the first women working in politics to come forward with stories of sexual assault. There will be more stories, from all corners of politics. The systems, the attitudes, and the culture all need to change.’

‘For us, this is not about party politics. This is about ensuring that every working woman in the country can work safely and without fear of sexual violence or harassment. Every political party in the country needs to act.’

Media contact:
Abbey Kendall
08 8410 6499
abbey@wwc.org.au

Media statements

How to take action on: Wage theft & Violence in the workplace

The shocking video that many people saw earlier this week is unfortunately a familiar story of wage theft and gendered workplace violence that is common in our South Australian workplaces. Now that a spotlight has been put on the issue, we have the opportunity to change things for the better.

Will you join us and seize this moment, take action and make your voice heard?

How to take action on: Wage theft & Violence in the workplace

Young women & COVID survey giveaway!

By filling out this survey between 16th December 2020 and 31st January 2021, you will go in the draw to win one of our fantastic giveaway prizes! If you would like to go in the draw, please make sure you provide us with your contact details. You will have a chance of winning:

  • one of two $50 groceries vouchers
  • a $100 voucher to buy some lush plants
  • a stack of feminist books, or
  • a set of Working Women’s Centre merchandise (a t-shirt, socks and a tea towel).

    Each winner will win one of these giveaways. By filling out the survey, you automatically go in the draw to win one of these prizes as long as you provide us with your contact details.

how has covid effected your life

If you need to make a quick escape...

Click this ESC button if you need to hide your window. It will close this website and take you to the weather.