Ruah is a community services organisation based in Perth, Western Australia. We work in partnership with citizens who require support to improve the quality of their lives, enhance their spirit, and participate in the community. We have a long history of providing a range of services to address the health and social needs of the community. Our aim is to address circumstances of disadvantage and marginalisation, and we believe in the value and strength of the human spirit. We currently provide services in housing and homelessness, mental health, domestic violence, and women leaving prison. Our service delivery approach is:
- Relationship based;
- Person-client centred and family inclusive;
- Culturally sensitive;
- Respectful of diversity;
- Holistic support with case management;
- Community linking, advocacy, and creating pathways to opportunities;
- Collaboration and partnership approaches;
- Skilled staff with support, supervision, and ongoing training, and;
- Evidence based leading-edge practice.
The origins of the word Ruah lie in the Hebrew scriptures where it is used in a spiritual context to express: wind, breath, and the spirit of life.
Ruah is a public company, limited by guarantee, incorporated under the Corporations Law of Australia. It has a limited membership, whose primary role is custodianship of the mission of the company, its spiritual foundation, and preferential option for marginalised people. A Board of Directors is responsible for the governance of the organisation, and a Chief Executive has overall responsibility for operational management.
Vision, Mission, Values
Ruah operates from a spiritual foundation with a strong sense of mission. Our culture is shaped by our members, directors, staff and volunteers, values, and spiritual culture. By bringing a commitment to service, talents, and a sense of spirituality, we build on the traditions of our original founders, the Daughters of Charity. The name Ruah reflects our link to our spiritual heritage, as well as our inclusive approach to spirituality today. For us, Inclusive Spirituality means acknowledging the innate spirit of each person and recognising that there are diverse paths to nurturing spirituality. Our articulated vision, mission, core values, and strategic frameworks provide the basis for a shared reference for our workforce. Learn more about our history
Ruah’s Inclusive Spirituality Signature
At Ruah, we believe that spirituality is a significant and integral aspect of human life. We seek to honour and celebrate diversity, inviting our workers to contribute to our collective spirit from their diverse spiritual worldview and religious traditions. Our understanding of spirituality draws on knowledge and recognition of the creative life energy present in the evolving universe, that is not only located within the human species, but all species and in the Earth itself.
Ruah has a high regard for the value and worth of each person and the natural world, in all our practices and interactions. We take a hands-on approach to pursuing social justice in the community by responding to needs and aspirations in practical ways. We believe in the pursuit of honesty, ethical practice, trustworthiness, and accountability in all interactions, and maintain an openness to innovative ideas and possibilities. Ruah holds a commitment to working with all stakeholders for the common good.
Ruah has a strong commitment to environmental sustainability that is backed up by planned action. We are one of the first community services organisations to begin the carbon neutral journey. We have an ongoing commitment to the environment and believe it is essential to our core business to live lightly on the Earth. In 2006, we started our journey with a Sustainability Taskforce which produced our first Framework. Learn more about our Environmental Sustainability Framework
Ruah has a Strategic Framework for working with Aboriginal People. We hold a position of solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and a deep commitment to making a contribution to the vision and aspirations they have for a better quality of life, honouring of their culture, spirituality and place in Australian society. Our Aboriginal strategic framework is focussed on ensuring a culturally competent workforce, providing Aboriginal people with access to culturally secure services and fostering an organisational culture that celebrates and promotes Aboriginal culture and its rightful place in Australian society. We seek to build an Aboriginal perspective into our organisation, increase the number of Aboriginal staff and provide effective services for Aboriginal people. Learn more about our Aboriginal Framework
Ruah holds a vision of a community that is socially just, compassionate, participative and sustainable. We have built up a commitment to participation with our clients over many years and have sought ways to involve and communicate with them, their families and carers, and community members, in the planning, delivery and evaluation of our programs and services. After several years of development, we launched a Participation Framework at the December 2009 annual staff day. Learn more about our Participation Framework
Ruah’s Reconciliation Statement
At Ruah we endeavour to engage head, heart and hands in the journey of Reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, in order to make a contribution to our shared humanity and Download our Reconciliation Statement
Our Members are responsible for ensuring that the mission and values outlined in the Constitution are upheld.
Chair of the Members: Veronica Goerke
Lecturer at Curtin University in academic staff development. Part-time worker and volunteer at Anawim in the mid-1980’s.
Member: Eva Skira
Background in the financial sector. Deputy Chair St John of God Health Care Group and Deputy Chancellor Murdoch University. Ruah Director 1994 – 1999.
Member: Gabrielle Whiteley
Manager of Anawim from 1989 – 2007. Daughter of Charity from 1965 – 1988, Manager at Ruah Refuge 1982 – 1988.
Member: Michael Wood
Professor of Management at the University of Notre Dame; previously Executive Dean of the Curtin Business School. Inaugural Chair, Ruah Board of Directors 1994 – 2000.
Member: Jane Ablett
Daughter of Charity currently engaged in parish ministry in South Hedland. Manager Ruah Refuge 1973 – 1979 and 1994 – 1998; Ruah Director 2002 – 2004 and 2007 – 2009.
Member: John Gherardi – Member
Employee of Ruah for 17 years; at the Ruah Centre 1990 – 1996, then Chief Executive from 1996 to retirement in 2007.
Member: Andrew Beech
Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia. Ruah Director 1997 – 2006, Chairperson from 2004 – 2006.
Our Directors meet monthly to ensure that the strategic direction of our organisation is being progressed.
Chairperson of the Directors: Lori Grech
Lori is a Management Consultant providing services in cultural transformation, leadership development and executive coaching. She has been a Ruah Director since May 2009.
Director: Ken Pendergast
Ken is a partner in the Perth of Ernst & Young and has over 20 years experience in providing financial and corporate advice to clients. Ken has previously been a member of one of the advisory committees set up by the local chamber of commerce and is a strong supporter of the initiatives organised by the Ernst & Young Foundation, including the St Vinnie’s Homework Centre.
Director: Prof. Dorothy Jones
Dorothy is a senior medical executive with extensive health sector experience and is the Foundation Professor of Clinical Safety and Quality at Curtin University. She was the foundation director of WA Health’s Office of Safety & Quality and is a demonstrated national leader of clinical improvement & Clinical Governance systems. In her current role she has carriage of key national reforms around Activity Based Funding and Management and how to ensure safe high quality services are delivered. Above all else, Dorothy is most interested in making Australian public health services safe, effective and a high quality experience for patients and their families. She has a particular interest in leadership development and how to enable all those who work in the complex adaptive system of health care to survive, thrive and deliver great care.
Director: Bettina Gibney
Bettina is a business advisor with 13 years experience as a director and executive director in the small/medium enterprise sector. In addition to being a Non-executive Director of Ruah, Bettina sits on the Board of Management of Midland Information Debt & Legal Advocacy Services and also chairs and is a member of several Committees. Bettina’s focus is governance, strategic planning and business development. Bettina previously spent many years with Woodside Energy Ltd in Company Secretariat maintaining the regulatory compliance of a large group of subsidiaries and administratively coordinated several committees. Bettina has a Master of Business Administration, Master of Commerce in International Business, Graduate Certificate in Business Law, and is a Graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.
Director: Kim Hawkins
Kim is the Executive Director of Health, Education and Social Sciences at West Coast Institute. Kim is a member of a number of committees including the Aboriginal Employment Education and Training Committee, the Joondalup/Wanneroo Homelessness Action Group a is a Cabinet appointed member of the Ministerial Advisory Council on Disability. Kim has a background in a variety of community sectors and a strong interest in Aboriginal education, training and employment. Kim holds a degree in Social Science, a Diploma in Disability and a Master’s Degree in Educational Studies.
Director: Michael Tindall
Michael has a depth of experience in the public sector having held senior managerial positions in a range of State and Commonwealth Departments and Agencies. Those positions included 3 years as Australia’s Consul-General and Senior Trade Commissioner in Milan, Italy. It was in Milan that Michael first dealt with the issue of homelessness having responsibility for the welfare of many homeless Australian Citizens living on the streets of Milan. More recently, Michael was the Regional Director for the Australian Bureau of Statistics in Western Australia. He had the daunting task of ensuring that the Australian Census accurately recorded information on both indigenous people and homeless people. Michael led a number of strategies to get indigenous people engaged with the Census to ensure that decision makers have best and most accurate information possible for policy decision making. Michael has an MBA from the Australian National University and Arts and Law degrees from the University of Melbourne.
Ruah’s Executive team manage and lead the operations of our organisation.
Chief Executive: Francis Lynch
Francis is the Chief Executive of Ruah Community Services, an organisation which operates services in the areas of homelessness, mental health, domestic violence, and prison release services. He has worked in the non-government community services sector for many years, across a wide range of service types including children’s services, child welfare, youth services, AOD services, emergency relief, community development, employment services, mental health, and homelessness and counselling services. Francis has been involved in a range of social policy activities including advocacy on child welfare issues. Francis is Past President of the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), and also a Past President of WACOSS. He is also on the Board of Community Employers WA. He has a Bachelor of Social Work, Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management, Master of Social Work and a Master of Business Administration.
Executive Manager: Ros Mulley
Ros has worked in both the government and non-government sectors: in the Western Australian and Queensland Departments of Health and more recently in the not for profit sector in Queensland; in the provision of state-wide services in child protection, early childhood, social housing, disability services and alcohol and drug rehabilitation. Ros has participated on Queensland’s Child Protection Partnership Forum, which was engaged in identifying and addressing critical areas of child safety and well-being; and as a member of the Management Committee of the Australian Association of Social Workers (Qld). Ros has been involved in coordination of Registry Week (August 2013) in relation to people sleeping rough in inner city Perth and more recently working in collaboration with non-government agencies across Australia, who are focused on addressing homelessness. Her tertiary qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Aboriginal Anthropology), Bachelor and Masters degrees in Social Work and a Post-Graduate Diploma of Business. Ros has a strong interest in advocating for individuals and groups who are disadvantaged and vulnerable and seeks to involve the wider community in developing and implementing solutions for social issues.
Executive Manager: Simone Hosgood
Simone has 14 years experience in the mental health sector, commencing her role at Ruah in frontline service delivery through to management and leadership roles. She has been in her current role for three years. During her time at Ruah Simone has experienced significant change in the mental health landscape and seeks opportunities for continuous improvement and developing innovative contemporary practices. This includes the strengthening of the recovery paradigm across the sector, the importance of evaluating outcomes, the growth in employing people with a lived experience and the development of service models that are co-designed with the person and their family allowing more choice and control. Simone is a strong advocate for diversity, and plays a pivotal role in strengthening Ruah’s practices to support Aboriginal people and people from a culturally and linguistically diverse background. Simone is passionate to continue her leadership role in the mental health sector with the aim to improve services, increase community participation and active citizenship for individuals and their families living in the communities of Western Australia, and has been a Board Director of the Western Australian Association of Mental Health since 2011 and also sits on the Finance Committee.
Executive Manager: Shawn Phillips
Shawn moved to Ruah in July 2013 as Executive Manager, Culture and Workforce Development. He was drawn to Ruah’s strong sense of mission, bold vision and values that were congruent with his own. He believes that Ruah’s inclusive spirituality signature offers a unique opportunity to create a safe place where people from different perspectives can come and work together on important social issues. Before coming to Ruah, Shawn worked for many years in development roles in community services, in various social policy fields at local, regional, state and national levels. A consistent theme has been the development of innovative approaches to collaboration. In addition to holding degrees in Theology, Social Administration and Planning, Shawn recently completed his PhD at UWA. His thesis focussed on the role that meanings, values and beliefs play in developing shared understanding and collective action to address complex social issues.
Donations are always welcome at Ruah. We are a Deductible Gift Recipient, which means that donations over $2 may be claimed as a tax deduction. We recently announced two new funds that will be used as a resource to assist people we play a professional support role with.
Ruah’s Client Incentive Fund will be used for clients in our programs, to facilitate their participation in social and recreation inclusion and skill development activities, that can be incorporated into their support/recovery plans. We will match each client on a for dollar-for-dollar basis.
Ruah’s Vocational Inclusion Support Fund will be used to provide financial assistance for our clients to participate in education, training and employment activities, including costs towards TAFE courses and higher education.
We work with a range of community members on low incomes and we have set up these funds as an additional form of support. If you would like to contribute a donation towards either of these funds, to assist our clients in their personal and professional development, please click here and follow the prompts.
All donations are tax deductible. If you would like any further information before deciding to make a donation, please contact Francis Lynch on 08 9485 3939.
Secure Online Donations
We have a secure online facility set-up with a partner site that allows you to safely donate to Ruah. We will send a Tax Receipt to each donor.
Other financial donations can be sent to the Corporate Services Manager.
The Ruah Treasure Trove happily accepts donations of clothing and bric-a-brac. Please deliver items to: 421 Oxford Street, Mount Hawthorn, or call: 08 9443 9968.
The Ruah Treasure Trove raises much needed funds to assist homeless people and the most disadvantaged in our society. The Op Shop is available for use by the public. Our workers also use the Op Shop to assist clients of Ruah. Its primary purpose is to provide one-off crisis assistance to clients in need of household goods and/or clothing.
The Ruah Treasure Trove is managed and run by a faithful group of volunteers. If you have any books, clothes, general bric-a-brac, or furniture that you no longer require, and would like to donate to the op shop please call 08 9443 9968.
Do you have some spare time on your hands? Are you willing to work to help others? You may be the person that we’re looking for! The Ruah Treasure Trove seeks active volunteers willing to give up one day a fortnight to assist in the shop. Work will involve sorting, cleaning, and selling the stock that is donated to the shop. Volunteering offers a chance to have some fun with like-minded people who put their hearts into assisting those less fortunate in our community. If you wish to become involved, please call 9443 9968 and speak to Jill, our Shop Manager.
Manager: Jill Robertson 421 Oxford Street Mount Hawthorn WA 6016 Ph: 08 9443 9968
Monday to Friday: 9.30am – 3.30pm Saturday: 9.00am – 12.00pm
Sustainability issues are considered in every decision Ruah makes.
Sustainability in the organisation
Environmental sustainability is one of Ruah’s three Strategic Frameworks. This means that sustainability concerns are considered in all aspects of Ruah’s decision making. Sustainability workers are employed to ensure that the organisation continues to push the boundaries of what is possible. World’s best practice is only a starting point. Ruah’s GreenTeam is made up of members from every part of the organisation. Not only do they spearhead many of Ruah’s behaviour change campaigns, but initiate them.
Becoming Carbon Neutral
To become carbon neutral, Ruah is monitoring its carbon footprint, taking steps to reduce it and abating the rest through accredited programs.
Community Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP)
On 31 May 2013 Ruah was awarded a grant from the Australian Government through the Community Energy Efficiency Program to help fund energy efficiency activities across a number of sites.
These Energy Efficiency Initiatives include:
- LED lighting
- insulation paint (to keep Ruah’s buildings cool)
- installing heaters that run on energy from the sun
- running energy efficiency workshops
In addition to the activities being undertaken through the CEEP, Ruah is also undertaking other energy efficiency initiatives including:
- All new hybrid fleet vehicles;
- Green procurement policy; and
- Comprehensive recycling practices (including composting at many offices).
Ruah is committed to ensuring that all clients experience a high level of privacy in accordance with the Privacy Act (1988; amended 2001); and that they experience a high level of confidentiality in all Ruah services and programs, except where a risk of harm to self or others exists (duty of care) and/or where there is a court subpoena for information.