Emma House

About Emma House

Our Vision

A society where women and children live free from violence.

Our Mission

Emma House Domestic Violence Services is a courageous feminist, client-lead organisation that aims to reduce the impact of domestic and family violence on individuals, women and children and our community.

Our Values

Compassion: We will adopt a compassionate and empathetic approach to leadership that welcomes different perspectives, values collaboration and promotes empowerment and safety.

Courage: We will do what needs to be done to build thriving culture, to operate differently by sharing power and promoting equality.

Growth: We adopt a growth mindset, valuing learning and perseverance. We present feedback that inspires future success and recognise the potential for growth.

Integrity: We will do what we say we will do by building strong organisational clarity, transparency and accountability to our people, women and children and the community

How does this shape our work

  • We believe in gender equality.
  • We include women and children’s voices in everything we do.
  • We support our workforce to be the best they can be.
  • We deliver a contemporary best practice model of specialist family violence services to women and children, focusing on critical safety responses.
  • We are a shining example of an effective and accountable feminist organisation.
  • We hold perpetrators of violence accountable for their actions.
  • We prioritise protection of women, provision of services and prevention of further violence
  • We support and encourage the community to understand and address family violence, emphasising zero tolerance.

Emma House supports:

  • Women and children affected by family violence from partner, parent, or other family member
  • Woman and children of all ages, backgrounds and spiritual or religious beliefs
  • Women with a disability
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children
  • Culturally and linguistically diverse women and children
  • Women who chose to remain with their partner who is using violence and women who have left or wish to leave
  • Women of all sexual orientations as well as transgender women and intersex women
  • Women and children who are currently being affected by family violence and who have been affected by it in the past

Emma House actively values and promotes diversity in our community and affirms our commitment to always be inclusive and respectful to all, regardless of gender, age, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, level of ability, cultural or language background.

Emma House complies with the Child Safe Standards and is committed to:

  • Providing a safe environment for all children which promotes their health, safety and wellbeing;
  • Promoting an organisational culture of child safety in which children feel valued, respected and cared for;
  • Identifying, reducing and removing the risks of child abuse;
  • Intervening  when a child may be at risk of abuse
  • Making staff aware of their legal and moral obligations in reporting child abuse

Our Board

Board Chair Gabrielle Toscan

Gabrille Toscan Gabrielle is the Chair of Emma House and has been a board member since 2018. Gabrielle is passionate about gender equity and contributing to the essential work Emma House does in the South West community to end violence against women and children. Currently the Director of Operations and Compliance for a local insurance brokerage, Gabrielle has previously practiced as a lawyer and in the government relations and community engagement sectors. Gabrielle holds a BA and LLB.

Board Member & Deputy Chair Faye Oliver

Faye Oliver Profile Photo In the early 80’s as a young mum Faye was assisted by the Coffs Harbour Women’s Refuge. The care she received was genuine, supportive and loving. Thus her passion is for women and children to be safe from harm and one of the ways she thought she could contribute and also say thank you was to join the Emma House Board (collective).
Faye’s work history: Printing Supervisor in the disability sector, Trainer/supervisor/policy in an Aboriginal Co-operative, owner operator of Pizza shop and lastly as a Kinesiologist

Board Member & Treasurer Rebecca Ratcliffe

Rebecca Ratcliffe Rebecca has worked in the finance and finance education industry for the past 25 years, taking a few years off to gain a Diploma in Community Services and work as a domestic violence caseworker and a relationship counsellor. Rebecca currently lectures across finance, economics and property units at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels at Deakin University, after gaining 15 years’ experience as a research analyst for international stockbroking firms such as Citigroup and Deutsche Bank. Rebecca also holds a Masters in Human Resource Management.


Board Member & Secretary Leah Heinrich

Leah Headshots With a background in journalism and communications, Leah brings to Emma House 25 years’ experience in writing, editing, content creation and public relations. After many years in the media and in local government, she now works as a freelance writer, editor and content creator.

Leah is passionate about educating younger generations of women about gender inequality and what they can do to change the story, and has embarked on an advocate and campaigning journey in the family violence space, with personal experience as a victim-survivor guiding her. She has taken part in a PhD study as a victim-survivor and in 2018, presented at a state-wide family violence conference alongside prominent campaigner Rosie Batty.

Leah wants to use her experience – both personal and professional – for good as a board member of Emma House.

Board Member Sue Kelly

Sue Kelly Sue has extensive experience in Human Resource Management and is the Director of HR4Business, a Human Resource Management consultancy in Geelong. Her passion for giving back to the community is achieved by contributing in a professional sense by sitting on Boards and Committees of Management which she finds very rewarding. In her volunteer roles Sue shares her broad business acumen and insight and skills in HR and people management. In addition to Emma House, Sue is currently a member of a local Football Club Committee in Geelong, is Convenor of the Australian HR Institute Geelong Network and previously sat on the Barwon Network of Neighbourhood Houses Committee of Management for many years.

Sue is an avid supporter of the work the staff at Emma House undertake and is proud to be part of an organisation which creates a difference to the daily lives of individuals affected by family violence

Board Member Simone Renyard

Simone Renyard

Simone is passionate about women and children having access to services like Emma House in times of need.  Much of her professional life has been spent in the counselling areas (B Arts – Psychology)  locally from community health, student support, after hours crisis teams and research.  She owns and operates a Dairy Business with her husband in Timboon and has Chaired a Strategic Board for the last seven years in extension and business support for dairy farmers.  She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Director’s Course.   She is very pleased to be on a Board with other purpose driven women to ensure Emma House is there well into the future for the region.


About Emma House