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Founded in 1992 by a group of lesbians,
the Matrix Guild's aim is to "provide support
and raise money to assist lesbians who are mar-
ginalised, at risk, disabled and frail." To this day these
issues remain the group's major priority and concern
and over the years they have helped hundreds of older
lesbians in need and provided essential ser vices and
resources to the lesbian community. According to the
Matrix committee's credo, the guild "works towards
enhancing disadvantaged lesbians' wellbeing and
quality of life."
"We do this through provision of information on
care and support services, whilst at the same time pro-
moting and liaising with government agencies and
ser vice providers to develop more appropriate lesbian
friendly ser vices."
e guild remains committed to "the support of
appropriate care and accommodation choices and
alternative lifestyle options for older lesbians in Vic-
In line with this, the guild has recently begun a
new project, made possible by a bequest from the late
Heather Chapple, a lesbian feminist that according to
the guild "loved animals, to dance, to bird watch and
to coax vegetable seedlings from the soil." She was also
an accomplished poet and carpenter. When she died,
Heather le $300,000 to Matrix for the purposes of
providing a ordable rental housing for older, nan-
cially disadvantaged lesbians. e Matrix Real Estate
Task Group (RETG) formed and began looking for a
unit or at to buy with Heather's bequest.
When the Rudd government announced a cash
injection for social housing as part of its economic
stimulus package, the guild took advantage of the
changes to join forces with the Victorian Women's
Housing Association (VWHA). e aim was to see
if they could partner with them to access some of this
social housing money. VWHA is a feminist, non-
pro t organisation, set up to provide low cost hous-
ing options for women who experience disadvantage
(with similar ideals to the Matrix Guild).
With the Matrix Guild providing seeding nance
the VWHA was able to access funds from Rudd's
OoH, the result being that Matrix will be able to
house 3-4 times as many lesbians as Heather's bequest
on its own could have done. VWHA will hold the ti-
tles, but Matrix will always select the lesbian tenants.
In October of last year the Guild and VWHA
purchased three apartments in Brunswick with an
expected completion date of March 2011. e apart-
ments will then be available for lease to older, nan-
cially disadvantaged lesbians who have di culty af-
fording current market rent.
" e intention is to provide universally accessible,
long term, secure housing for those in most need."
For more information, or to express your interest,
contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call
Anneke on 5348 2976. Or visitmatrixguildvic.org.
au to learn more about the Guild's projects.
OWLS began on a
balcony in August
1991, and it was
rst called BOWELS
which, as a couple
of the original
'was alright for the
nurses but a bit of a
turn-off for the rest
of the members'.
After four months
the name was changed to OWLS.
The club was formed speci cally to provide support
for women coming out as lesbians, as at this time in one's
life it's that little extra understanding and comfort which
makes the difference. Our members come from different
backgrounds and age groups, our age group ranges from
the mid forties upwards.
We are a friendly group of women who participate
in and provide a wide range of activities and functions
throughout the year such as sporting activities, dinners,
picnics, meditation, dances, weekly suppers and many
We welcome all lesbian women of all ages to attend
our functions, the only restriction that applies is the
minimum age required for becoming a member (35 years
and over). We have a volunteer committee who dedicate
their time and effort into making the club work. The
committee are the backbone of our club, they are much
appreciated, not to mention our members -- over the
years they have shown their loyalty time and time again,
not just by their membership, but also by the way they
support our functions. Without members the club would
Also I would like to give thanks to all the women who,
over the years, toiled to make OWLS the success it has
For more info about OWLS visit
owlsbrisbane.com.au or email
Eve Petho, OWLS president,
discusses the popular Brissie
Supporting our community...
The Matrix Guild
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