Marie-Louise and a little friend sharing a snack!

As 30 June 2019 rapidly comes to pass, Executive Director Marie-Louise Corkhill shares these thoughts with you….

I wish to sincerely thank you for supporting  Karinya House during the 2018/2019 financial year.   The year has been one where we have seen the call on our services continue and at times, this demand has been overwhelming.

The financial support of so many individuals, families, corporate and community partners, philanthropic trusts and foundations, has made such a significant contribution, particularly over the last two years, in supporting our work with women who are pregnant and parenting and experiencing crises. I thank each and every one of you for the care, respect and recognition your gift speaks of to every woman we walk with. Your support also speaks to us.

Midwife Cath multitasking at casework.

By way of a general update, during this year, as well as being inspired by the challenges that are faced and overcome, by the women we walk alongside, I have also valued the commitment of our staff.  The staff team at Karinya House are an amazing collection of women who bring varied gifts to the table. They give generously, with joy and gentleness and a real sense of compassion. Our staff recognise the privilege of walking alongside and learning from the women they support, chat with, sometimes cry with, often laugh with, transport, and advocate for.

I also value our tireless volunteers who provide companionship, transport women, mind babies, deliver food and material aid parcels, clean accommodations, attend to deliveries, look after our gardens, maintain our property and assist with a myriad of fundraising endeavours.  Each of our volunteers is inspirational in their unique way.  The respect and appreciation given through the visionary work of our Karinya Committee, who provide their personal commitment, professional advice, services and time, is also acknowledged as part of a generous voluntary contribution.

To the many corporate partners and small businesses or service owners who provide in kind or pro bono professional services, support and advice, we remain grateful. Our bottom line would be significantly impacted, without your contributions at reduced or no cost.  More importantly the quality and efficiency of our services would be adversely impacted without your professional support and advice. I also wish to thank the many community groups and individuals who have volunteered their services to support the Karinya Group Program with their donated program contributions to various activities, learning opportunities and life skill development sessions.

The financial partnership of our government and non-government community including corporate, philanthropic organisations, community groups, schools, families and individual donors, is valued by us.  Karinya House would not exist without the financial backing of our community of friends and partners, or the funded service partnerships with the ACT Government.

As you will well know, the call for donations is a continual one in an increasingly competitive market.  Karinya House has maintained a 50% non-government funding platform for 22 years.  Over this time, through to 30 June 2018, the total value of non-government funding generated by Karinya House, to support women (over 2 300 women), who were pregnant or parenting newborns, with little or no support, is over $11 million dollars.  This represents 55% of our total service funding over the 22 year period.

The Karinya House Committee has recognised the unsustainability of this framework and has been working with a (pro-bono) external consultant, funded by one of our corporate partners. The resulting Karinya House Funding Development Report was tabled at the April 2019 Committee Meeting. Arising from this report, and based on the report recommendations, a Sustainability Action Plan has been developed and actioned from June 2019.

Your continued support into 2019/2020 is critical to Karinya House, as we move to develop our funding framework.  We hope we can rely on your continued support and as always,  I would be happy to meet with you at any time to discuss your ongoing partnership with Karinya House.

I would also be happy to meet with people who would like to become Friends or Partners of Karinya House.

Finally, I would please ask you to recommend Karinya House to your colleagues and friends.  Our circle of support does need to increase. I believe the value of knowing of your support makes a real difference to the lives of women, their babies and families. I hope this leads you to have those conversations of introduction about the work of Karinya House and our search for additional partners and friends.  Partners and Friends of Karinya speak of respect and recognition to our women as voices from their community. This is a key reason why having Partners and Friends of Karinya is so important to us.  The financial gift you give each year is critical on so many levels.  We wish to share that gift of giving among many, and not just rely tirelessly on our current loyal Partners and Friends.

Over the course of the financial year, we have generated $656,600 in non-government revenue. (Includes estimates for the last week of June). Our total non-government revenue budget  for the full year is $904,000, so we are a little short ($247,400).  We have controlled costs (primarily staffing costs), so the actual funding shortfall is not as definitive as the budget shortfall.  This financial year is the first year where it is apparent Karinya House is likely to operate at a significant loss, estimated at between $150,000-$190,000.  We are unable to sustain successive losses of this nature, and whilst the Committee has committed to the 2019/2020 budget with a full retention of our major asset (our staff), the actions over the 2019/2020 period to address our funding framework will be critical.

Whilst the Sustainability Action Plan is being implemented, our existing Partners and Friends remain so valued by us. We do hope we can rely on your continued support into the new financial year. New Partners and New Friends are as critical. Your help in championing support for Karinya House is welcome and we thank you.

Our 2018/2019 Annual Report will be released in November 2019, and I look forward to sharing this with you at that time.

Thank you again for your Partnership and Friendship.

Best wishes


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