About Us

For more background information please see:



Building futures free from violence

Who we are

Starick is a not for profit organisation which provides multi-layered support services in Perth’s south-east metropolitan area to women and children experiencing family and domestic violence.

Starick’s services include two refuges for women with children, Counselling, supported community housing, court support, advocacy, children’s programs, community outreach services and an Op Shop.

Starick receives grants from the Department for Child Protection and Family Support and Lotterywest to provide these vital services.  In addition, financial and material donations from a myriad of individuals and community groups allow Starick to add value to its client services.

Along with its partners, Starick contributes to the development of state and national policy and provides input into important research to advance good practice in the family and domestic violence sector.

Starick’s services are staffed by trained and dedicated personnel, who in turn are supported by an active and experienced Board of Management.


The Starick of today evolved from the hard work and commitment of strong women who were dedicated to their vision of providing safety and support to women and children who were experiencing family and domestic violence in their community.

Starick had its beginnings in 1982 when approximately eighty people attended a public meeting in Gosnells to discuss the need for a refuge for women and children in the south eastern suburbs of Perth.

A steering group was formed and in 1985 Starick House was opened as a purpose built refuge providing safe emergency accommodation, information, advice and support to women and children escaping family and domestic violence.

The name Starick commemorates Nurse Henrietta Starick (1851- 1941) who worked as a Registered Maternity Nurse in the Gosnells area from 1905 to 1935.  Nurse Starick’s work extended through the areas of Maddington, Gosnells, Cannington, Southern River and Canning Vale and she covered many miles on foot tending to her patients.  Nurse Starick was extremely proud of the fact that she never lost a mother in all her years of working as a maternity nurse.  She had twelve children of her own and several of her grandchildren still live in the Gosnells area.

Since the opening of Starick House, Starick has grown into a multi-facted service.

In 1999 Starick took over the management of Mary Smith Night Shelter.  This refuge owes its origins to Mary Smith, a determined woman originally from Scotland.  In 1975, the International Year of Women, Mary Smith and a group of women from the International Women’s Year Committee initiated the “Night Shelter” project.  An advisory committee was formed, a property leased and the Association was incorporated in 1976.   Mary Smith Night Shelter (named after her by the City of Canning) opened its doors in 1978 to women and children escaping family and domestic violence, experiencing mental health issues and homelessness.   Twenty years later, Mary Smith Night Shelter was dissolved and incorporated into Starick Services Inc.

Mary Smith was passionate and committed to the protection of women and children up until she passed away in 1997 at 72 years if age. She was also involved in the Women's Council for Domestic & Family Violence and other committees relating to domestic violence.  She was a founder and patron of CLAN and a member of the committee that established the Family Law Act.   She became a well-known and respected community figure in the City of Canning and deservedly earned awards and recognition for her commitment to these causes.

Other important Starick milestones include:

1988: The HOWIC (Housing of Women in Community) program began with the purchase of three houses. A further two houses were purchased in 1995.

1995: The SPEARS program was funded by the (then) Department for Community Development, and Starick was the first not for profit organisation in Australia to provide a domestic violence outreach service at a Police Station (Armadale).