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Biyani House Revesby Women’s Shelter

Left to right Director Gordon Brian, Kylie Wilkinson Deputy Chair of Biyani House, Club President Neville Maloney, Annabelle Daniel CEO of Woman’s Community Shelters.

Campsie RSL is pleased to share its support for Biyani House – Revesby Women’s Shelter – which is about to open its doors to homeless women in the area.

DV as an issue in Canterbury Bankstown

Canterbury-Bankstown recorded 1,354 incidents of domestic violence related assault between April 2020 and March 2021. In terms of raw incidents this is the third highest number of incidents per LGA. Given that many women do not report incidents, it is highly likely this figure does not represent the true picture of domestic violence in the Canterbury-Bankstown LGA. Unfortunately, the number of women that die in Australia from domestic violence is still more than 1 per week.

Existing services cannot meet the demand for crisis accommodation for homeless women. Every night, more than 50% of women across Australia who seek a bedin a crisis shelter are turned away, mostly due to a lack of space. This figure does not include women who are unaware of the option to seek refuge in a crisis shelter.

To enable a woman to extract herself from a domestically violent relationship and/or homelessness, she needs access to both affordable housing options and support services such as counselling, health care, assistance to navigate government bureaucracy, legal assistance and further education and employment to re-claim control over her life.

Biyani House is born

Biyani House Revesby Women’s Shelter is a not-for-profit association that was incorporated on the 21 April 2021. The volunteer board is made up of locals with a mix of skills to support the staff in the shelter and oversee its governance, as well as raising funds to keep the shelter going.

On 16 June 2021 the lease of up to 20 years for the property was signed with the Revesby Workers Club for a peppercorn rent of $1 per year.

They chose the name Biyani as it is the indigenous name of a women’s ceremony specifically for the healing of women. Biyani is from the Sydney D’harawal language which contains many words that also overlap with other Sydney language groups who also share this Country, such as those of the Dharug, Gundungara and Guringai people.

The design of their logo, which you can see above, reflects the structure of the dianella flower which tells the local D’harawal story of Pokulbi, the wren, who suffered violence inflicted on her by her partner. The story teaches people the important lesson that violence will never be tolerated in our communities.

The shelter will offer crisis accommodation for up to 5 women, with or without dependent children, who are homeless and/or escaping domestic violence.

Next steps

Campsie RSL has donated $30k along with other clubs within the area, Bankstown District Sports, Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL, Canterbury Leagues and Revesby Workers Club have contributed to the shelter and will continue to donate for the next 5 years. Biyani House Board’s fundraising activities (along with support from Women’s Community Shelters) will cover the remaining running costs. Biyani House does not receive any government funding for its operations.

Want to help?

You can make a donation to Biyani House via Give Now


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