Our Story

Our Story

Our experienced and professional counsellors provide trauma-informed therapeutic interventions for both adults and children.

The birth of Waratah began in November 1980.

A group of women had campaigned for eleven years to secure funding to establish a sexual assault centre for the South West Region of WA.  This group became a constituted body and incorporated in 1981.

The genesis of Waratah as a name came after much discussion between those involved in the Centre. The waratah is a native flower which, when burnt and seemingly destroyed by bush fire, grows back and flowers again. It is a symbol of gentleness, beauty and resilience. Its colour is an intense red which links the flower with our heart; and the green is the symbol of life and growth.

Usually the waratah is a deep red, but occasionally a white one can be found. In the Dreamtime, all waratahs were white. The Dreamtime story tells how the female Wonga pigeon, injured by the hawk, bled from her heart to the white flowers, transforming them to red.  The symbolism of regeneration, healing and strength is one which survivors of family and domestic violence and sexual assault can rightly lay claim.

Waratah is now over 40 years of age and we look back proudly at the women who worked so tirelessly to establish a safe place for women and children to recover and heal. We also look forward to continue being a part of the solution to eliminating violence in our community.  We continue to strengthen our capacity to shape trauma informed, person centred and best practise responses to family and domestic violence and sexual assault in the South West of Western Australia.