International Women’s Day 2017 – On 7 March 2017, our Executive Director, Marie-Louise Corkhill, was given the honour of being announced the ACT Woman of the Year. For those of you who know Marie-Louise, you would not be surprised to hear that her main focus in receiving this award was to direct people toward the services of Karinya House and the women in our community who we support. The support of the Canberra and Region community for these services remains critical. We thank our partners – Government, Corporate, Philanthropic, Community and Friends of Karinya. Your continuing and expanding circle of financial support is so valued.   Marie-Louise’s words of acceptance follow.

“Minister Berry, Government and community colleagues and friends.

I thank Minister Berry and the ACT Government for this honour.

I also wish to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land we are meeting on, the Ngunnawal people. I acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

I would also like to acknowledge and welcome other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may be attending this evening’s event.

Congratulations to all the other finalists tonight. Such inspirational women in our community.  I am somewhat overcome and very humbled to receive this award.

I am however very happy to receive the ACT Woman of the Year Award on behalf of the dedicated team of Staff, Committee and Volunteers whose vision, energy and passion have created and indeed grown Karinya House over the last 20 years to a major home grown Canberra charity.

As you know Karinya House for Mothers and Babies provides residential and outreach services to pregnant and parenting women and their children on a 24 hour basis in the Canberra region. This is done with the wonderful support of the ACT government who provide around 50% of our funding.

The other 50% of our annual operating funding comes from the incredible generosity of the Canberra community, our corporate and community partners, through a myriad of fundraising endeavours, sponsorships and donations.

At Karinya, I am privileged and greatly blessed to work each day with women who despite incredible adversity and vulnerability make the most life changing, courageous and heroic choices.  They are my inspiration!

Single mothers who are homeless and face limited opportunities, are never far from judgement, criticism and at times incredible prejudice by some in our community- even in 2017!

This is where Karinya House makes such a difference and I am very happy to be a part of such an amazing organisation.

Thank you.”

Marie-Louise Corkhill

Executive Director – Karinya House for Mothers & Babies


You can read more here.

You can listen to Marie-Louise’s interview on ABC Canberra with Genevieve Jacobs on IWD 2017, 8 March 2017 here.