Second Chance

Second Chance exists to ensure that women and girls have lives of safety, dignity and equality. It is a basic female right. It is a human right.

Second Chance was set up in 2001 to address the urgent issue of women’s homelessness. Businesswoman Marjorie Morton and feminist, author Dale Spender became aware of one crisis care bed for homeless women that was to be closed down in Brisbane. Digging deeper they realised there were few beds in SE Qld, compared to those for men. They decided to do something about it.

We have all been attracted to helping at-risk women and children for different reasons. Some of us are particularly motivated to help older women. Others wanted to assist those victims of Domestic Violence.

Our functions.
We fundraise. We identify a problem and solution. We either choose or set-up a project. We partner with various proven organisations such as Brisbane Housing Co. to make it happen. We evolve the solution, as things change.

We are independent, 100% volunteer and receive no government funding.

What works.
Australia has a problem with domestic violence and is facing a tsunami of older women experiencing homelessness. When it comes to homelessness and assisting women & children out of poverty or violence, some things do work. We partner with proven leading providers throughout Qld. It takes targeting spending, responding to complex needs, wraparound support, patience and expertise. But it does work. We know. It saves lives everyday.

What we fund.

Rental subsidies in quality accommodation

Supported crisis care beds

Quality transitional housing

Funding domestic violence shelters

Removalist & storage costs

Primary medical care

Clothing vouchers

Food vouchers

Go-cards for travel & transport

Phone SIM cards - to eliminate stalking

Self-sufficiency life skills

Connection to employment services


The main beneficiaries of Second Chance funds are 20 Domestic Violence Shelters throughout Queensland that make up the Combined Womens Refuge Group; and crisis care and transitional care provided by Anglicare Homelessness Service. 

In a COVID year...
Covid has taught us one thing: In society, you are only as safe as your most vulnerable people. Covid has put the spotlight on the cracks. On the inequality, on those living in crowded housing with insecure jobs. For vulnerable women, covid made everything worse. You are trapped in a violent home, unable to escape to work, which is often your only safe place. Same for children unable to escape to school. Domestic violence cases spiked across every state. Those that work in the sector say 2020/21 will be remembered as the worst year for domestic violence that any of them have ever experienced. One DV service worker reported:

There [have been] just so many more strangulation cases, so many threats to kill, so many more serious head injuries, and sexual assaults [have been] going through the roof.” 

Covid is still having an impact on skyrocketing housing market, which pushes up all prices and rents, which means less affordable housing, which in turn means bottlenecks in shelters as women and children are stuck. Covid made everything worse. As a society, you are only as safe as your most vulnerable people.

Second Chance has taught us several things.
That relatively small amounts of targeted money can make a big difference. That our status as 100% volunteer, anti-waste and our accountability is paramount to our donors. Once you hear these women’s stories, you cannot walk away.

Our message to the rest of the world:
Never underestimate what you can do if you get together with others. The anthropologist Margaret Mead said it: ‘’Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’’

Donations to Second Chance mean we can expand our services to more DV shelters in the State, offering more help. There are many more women needing crisis care beds than there are beds.

Our link to Zephyr.
Zephyr founders started the charity after reading a newspaper column, by Second Chance president Kathleen Noonan, about the needs of schoolchildren staying in DV shelters. Zephyr fills that void, expanding in an extraordinary way. When women and children flee violence, there are everyday hurdles that sometimes are simply too high and hard, and they return to the violent home. Zephyr and Second Chance, in their different ways, work to remove those hurdles. We believe our work keeps women and children alive.

Other info.
The Second Chance Fund Raising Group (ABN 84 194 825 242) is an Incorporated Association. The committee is a Public Benevolent Institution and is registered with the Australian Charities and Not For Profit Commission (ACNC). Second Chance received endorsement by the Australian Taxation Office as a deductible gift recipient, as well as endorsement for charity tax concessions.

December 17, 2021 — Jude Rus