Friends with Dignity Achieves Major Milestone with Completion of 800th Sanctuary

Today, Friends with Dignity is celebrating a significant milestone in their mission to support victim-survivors of domestic violence, with the completion of their 800th Sanctuary.

This major achievement highlights the charity’s unwavering commitment to providing safe,  dignified, and welcoming environments for families seeking to rebuild their lives after escaping domestic violence.


Reflecting on this achievement, Manuela Whitford, Founder & CEO of Friends with Dignity says that reaching the 800th Sanctuary is a profound testament to the dedication of the organisation’s volunteers, and the generosity of their supporters.


“It’s a milestone that underscores our collective commitment to making a tangible difference in the lives of domestic violence victim-survivors,” Ms Whitford said.


The Sanctuary Program stands as a cornerstone of the organisation’s efforts, transforming houses into homes for families escaping domestic violence.


It represents more than just a physical shelter; it offers survivors a foundation for a new beginning, filled with dignity and hope.  Ms Whitford further elaborated on the impact of community support, noting that every donation, no matter how small, contributes to a monumental change in the lives of the deserving family who move into the Sanctuary.


“From providing essential kitchen items to furnishing a complete linen pack for a family, these contributions are pivotal in turning a space into a true home,” Ms Whitford said.


Volunteers are at the heart of the Sanctuary setup process, carefully curating each home to ensure it meets the needs of its new residents. This involves not just the physical arrangement of furniture and appliances, but also adding personal touches that make the space feel welcoming and secure.


“The transformation from an empty house to a warm and inviting home is nothing short of magical,” Ms Whitford said.


“It’s not just about creating a safe space; it’s about fostering an environment where victim-survivors feel valued, respected, and supported on their journey towards rebuilding their lives,” she added.

As Friends with Dignity looks ahead, the importance of ongoing support from the community remains critical. The community based organisation relies on donations to continue its vital work, with the cost of setting up a single Sanctuary highlighting the need for continued generosity. Ms. Whitford expressed her gratitude to all who have supported the mission of Friends with Dignity, noting that the community support has been instrumental in reaching this milestone.

“Together, we have made a real difference in the lives of families impacted by domestic violence, offering them hope and dignity as they start anew,” Ms Whitford said.

For more information or to make a donation, please visit

For media inquiries or interviews with Founder and CEO Manuela Whitford, please contact Karleigh Pearson, director of Lucky Boy, at 0478 098 600 or