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St Kilda Gatehouse is linked to and resourced by community groups, local government, churches and other sponsors.
Local Saints is the St Kilda Gatehouse Ambassador Program. Local Saints contribute to the work of St Kilda Gatehouse in a meaningful way through the use of their skills, networks and advocacy.
Carolyn Creswell is the first patron of St Kilda Gatehouse.
Carolyn is the entrepreneur behind Carman’s Muesli, a tiny cottage industry she bought for $1000 when she was 18 years old, which has now become a multi-national export business. The business has been named one of BRWs 100 Fastest Growing Companies and Carolyn herself has a slew of awards. She first heard about Gatehouse when Tracy Connelly was murdered in her van, which was parked across the road from Gatehouse. Not long after that, Gatehouse started raising money to fund opening the drop-in centre 5 days a week. The Gatehouse Unlocked campaign was a huge success and it was at this event that Carolyn met Sally Tonkin. “I went to meet Sally and the other Gatehouse staff and was so overwhelmed by the compassion and respect they had for the women. It’s so easy to have such preconceptions about women who do this work, I really learned from them how important it is to let those go and see the person not the prejudice.”
“So I asked Sally how I could help, she said they needed a patron. The idea was that it didn’t necessarily have to be someone who had been through this themselves, but it had to be someone who could advocate on their behalf.”
"I’m very grateful for the opportunities I’ve had. I wouldn’t be here now without them. And it’s not just about being grateful, it’s about understanding that you’ve had opportunities that others didn’t and you have everything you have because of that, so you have to give something back. You have to share some of it with people who didn’t have those chances. Because that’s really the only difference between us.”
Gatehouse is a beautiful space in terms of being able to give people some self-respect and opportunities if they want them. It’s a spirit of community. It’s easy to sit in a position of judgement when you don’t know anything about other people’s lives, but once you become part of that community you realise how important it is to just be supportive and to know that this is not about poor choices, it’s often about no choices. It could have happened to any of us.
It’s easy to admire Carolyn for her success in business. What makes her extraordinary, though, is her compassion for people who live a very different life to hers, and the energy and effort she devotes to sharing the opportunities she was given.
Carrie fled Canada and came to Australia when she was twenty. Once here she was assisted by a number of Australian women, and was ultimately encouraged to apply for refugee status in order to stay in this country. So began her battle to be granted asylum in Australia. Carrie stood before the Refugee Review Tribunal and revealed the dark underbelly of child sexual abuse and organised crime rings in our privileged, first-world neighbourhoods. Carrie story is told in 'Flying on Broken Wings'. It is the story of one young woman’s heroic journey to survive, escape and soar above her shocking childhood experiences, and her powerful struggle for freedom and a beautiful life in Australia.
Gatehouse is grateful to have Carrie as an Ambassador for the Young Women's Project. Her story is a message of hope for all of us, but particularly for young women whose lives have been marked by similar trauma and exploitation. In addition, 25% of the book's proceeds go to Young Women's Project - a centre for young women and girls that fosters belonging, ownership and contribution.
You can purchase a copy of the book here. Or visit our office to pick up a copy.
For more details on Carrie's work: flyingonbrokenwings.com
Michael Short has an extensive background in journalism, leadership and management. In 2010, he created The Zone, a widely followed multimedia forum for ideas for change across a range of issues. The Zone runs in The Age and across Fairfax Media’s national suite of online news and current affairs websites. He also writes columns and editorials for the The Age. For more than 25 years he has been involved in print and broadcast media as an executive editor, commentator, reporter and interviewer, including a two-year stint as chief political reporter of The ABC’s flagship current affairs program, The 7:30 Report. In 2002, he was invited to write and deliver a post-graduate course on journalism and media at the Political Sciences Institute in Paris.
Michael is deeply involved in the wider community. He is a regular public speaker, and is a board member and ambassador of a number of organisations. Before launching The Zone, he was Editor, New Media at The Age, as well as regularly editing the newspaper and overseeing a third of its editorial staff.
With a diverse background in philanthropy, government, public relations and general management, Loretta brings a range of skills to the Luke Batty Foundation. An accomplished grant maker, respected philanthropic executive, successful fundraiser and general manager, immediate previous concurrent roles include Executive Officer of the John Button Foundation (2010-2015), Executive Officer of the Andyinc Foundation (2004-2015) and Chief Executive Officer of the Luke Batty Foundation (2015 - 2016).
Since 1998, Katie Bentley has been the Chief Executive Innovator and Owner of Trident Computer Services, a Melbourne based technology integration provider that strives to deliver innovative technical design, thoughtful managed services solutions, useful consulting outcomes and exceptional events. To Katie, her primary responsibility is to provide a joyful and energetic environment for her staff to enable them to provide an exceptional experience to every customer.
An admired business woman, Katie Bentley has a formal background in media, law and management, however it is her fundamental desire to give back to the community, inspire those around her and promote a culture of joy that positon her as an excellent Ambassador for the St Kilda Gatehouse.
For Katie Bentley, the St Kilda Gatehouse is a place where individuals feel valued and important. For many it is recognised as a source of dignity and hope, and Katie hopes that she too can help contribute to this amazing organisation and her community.
Katie grew up near the beach in Black Rock, Victoria, and still enjoys swimming in the bay through winter and summer. She is married, has four children who keep her very busy and enjoys the mental and physical challenge of running marathons.
Rebecca Stockdale is a Lecturer in the School of Health and Social Development, in the Faculty of Health at Deakin University. She is Course Co-ordinator for the Bachelor of Health Sciences and teaches at both undergraduate and post-graduate level. She has a background in Health Education, Health Promotion, working in community health with vulnerable and marginalised population groups. Her research area of focus is on street-based sex work regarding stigma and social isolation. In particular, she is interested in factors that influence people’s perceptions of street-based sex work as a result of media discourse in Australia.
St Kilda Gatehouse 2017 - 2019 Strategic Plan
FEBRUARY NEWS UPDATE: WHAT TO DO ABOUT DONATIONS IN 2017- On January 16 we moved from our administration building at 29A Greeves St, St Kilda. Our new administration space is at Read more...
WE ARE HIRING! YOUNG WOMEN'S PROJECT MANAGER (FULL TIME - SCHCDS 7)- St Kilda Gatehouse is seeking an experienced and creative manager to grow and strengthen the Young Women’s Project ( Read more...