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Dawn House Five Year Strategic Plan

August 26, 2013, to August 26, 2018.

Dawn House Women and Children’s Shelter derived its name from ‘Dawn’, meaning ‘the first appearance of light, daybreak, a beginning’; a concept dating back more than 1500 years. Dawn House marks a new beginning for the women who come into it.

The service began in 1976 under the auspice of the Women’s Centre in Spillett House, Smith Street. By 1978, Dawn House had moved to Trower Road in the northern suburbs of Darwin and became a refuge. In 1980, the service moved to its current location.

Dawn House has always been a service that is run by women for women and their children.


The vision of Dawn House is to promote the rights of all people to live a life free of violence.


Dawn House is committed to promoting the rights of women and their children to be safe and live a life free of violence through empowerment, advocacy and education.  


Dawn House values:


Key Goals




Performance indicators

  • 1. Dawn House will advocate and network effectively for its clients and work to raise community awareness about domestic and family violence.
  • Advocate for issues impacting on the delivery of services to clients.
  • Work with key stakeholders to increase housing options for clients and exit points from Dawn House.
  • Through networking, maintain strong relationships within the community service sector to support the provision of high quality services to clients.
  • Participate in community activities to raise awareness of domestic and family violence and how it can be prevented.
  • Promote the work of Dawn House through community activities.
  • Reports to Department of Children and Families identifying trends and highlighting gaps in services for clients
  • Housing Support Worker attends monthly housing network meetings
  • Ops Manager attends monthly domestic violence network meetings
  • Community Educator facilitates monthly domestic violence network meetings
  • Children’s support worker attends monthly DARWYNN meetings (youth network)Letters to the editor
  • Reviewing media
  • Advocacy and liaison with Ministers and government department representatives re needs of clients eg increased exit points
  • Ops Manager attends bi monthly women’s network meetings
  • Participation in IWD, Reclaim the night and other community based activities



    • 2. Dawn House will strive for an effective staff and Board who believe in what they are doing and apply their skills to achieve the desired outcomes for clients.
  • Establish Dawn House as an employer of choice in the community services sector through appropriate rewards for, and recognition of, staff.  
  • Develop a succession plan for Dawn House Board and staff.  
  • Maintain a respectful relationship between Board and staff through bi-annual events.  
  • Performance appraisals
  • Training and professional development opportunities
  • Up to date practice through literature review with DV clearing house
  • Identifying career paths
  • Identifying agencies/ individuals to recruit to the GC (eg Law Society, NT Chamber of Commerce etc)
  • Above award conditions as outlined in EBA
  • AGM, Christmas party, Strategic Planning day, Joint training opportunities


    • 3. Dawn House will embed evidence-informed practice in all aspects of its service delivery and governance.
  • Using the knowledge of staff, Board and related services, examine the appropriateness of strength-based practice for clients of Dawn House.
  • Research and develop a model of service delivery that is inclusive of men as partners. 
  • Research and develop a crisis accommodation model that enables families with young men to stay together. 
  • Literature reviews
  • Skills checks – therapies used
  • Training for staff to identify needs of clients
  • Linking with other agencies that work with males
  • Developing referral links for men as partners
  • Independent assessment for males over 13
  • Linking in to Youth Connect and other agencies for males over 13 needing support services



    • 4. Dawn House will expand its crisis services to meet the demands of women and children affected by family and domestic violence.
  • Define the role that Dawn House plays - as a feminist service - in the delivery of services to a broader client base, including men and boys.
  • Secure crisis accommodation for women and their children requiring assistance.
  • Undertake a gap analysis and build understanding of unmet demand and emerging issues.
  • Review the model of service delivery to ensure it is meeting the needs of clients capturing: existing needs; unmet needs; and emerging needs.
  • Develop referral links for males as partners
  • Advocate and lobby government for expanded housing services for clients
  • Employ a student from Charles Darwin/ Menzies to do a gap analysis
  • Regular feedback from clients about meeting existing needs, what Dawn House could have done to support but didn’t and what needs mayu arise for a client in the future.


    • 5. Develop a long-term sustainable funding approach with multiple funding streams.
  • Diversify funding sources through increased knowledge and securing of alternative and philanthropic funding sources.
  • Explore business capability and micro enterprise suitable for the organisation.
  • Grants, donations, DCF funding
  • Checking for new grant monies that are in line with strategic plan
  • Explore corporate sponsorship opportunities


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