Zonta House Refuge Association grew from a need which was first recognised by Dianne Annear, the inaugural Coordinator of the Refuge.  Whilst there was crisis accommodation for women with children in the 1980’s, there was no support for women without children. Dianne recognised that there were many women who suffered long term abuse, remaining in the family home until the children were no longer dependent. Lack of alternative accommodation and support made their position intolerable.

As a member of the Zonta Club of South Perth at the time, Dianne approached her club for assistance in supporting a venture to house lone, homeless women who were in crisis and who had no alternative accommodation.

The club agreed and in 1982 the first house was established. Zonta club members gave their services in a voluntary capacity covering 24 hour rosters, shopping, and transporting clients. The club contributed financially and in kind and Di worked in a voluntary capacity for several years.  Her contribution over 20 years cannot be over-estimated.

After much hard work, government funding was approved and permission to establish a Refuge was approved by the then Minister for Local Government.

Zonta House Refuge Inc was officially established on 16 April 1984 and is recognised today by the ACNC.


Buff Denny Trust

In 2011 Zonta House Refuge Association Inc established the Buff Denny Trust to harness the goodwill and charitable spirit of our supporters to provide funding for our programs, in particular our Positive Pathways programs. Positive Pathways is only 40% government funded and is reliant on donations and sponsorships from individuals and organisations. Donations are applied to support our Positive Pathways programs and to further develop services and programs to meet our client and community needs.

The Buff Denny Trust is named in recognition of one of our major supporters, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, also known as Buff Denny. Buff Denny’s many achievements include: a Board member of the first refuge in Perth; the first civil engineer in the British Army; a member of the ambulance corps in World War 2; played cricket for England; played squash for Kenya in the Commonwealth Games; the author of two books and;  the recipient of many awards. We are very proud and privileged to have her support.