Friends of Women’s Refuges Trust

Friends of Women’s Refuges Trust

The Friends of Women’s Refuges Trust (FOWRT), a registered charitable trust since 2007, began life in 1995 to provide financial assistance to women’s refuges in New Zealand. Funds are raised principally through NZ Sculpture OnShore (NZSOS), which FOWRT owns and operates. Since its inception, FOWRT has donated over NZ$ 2.2 million to Women’s Refuge New Zealand, and today it is one of the largest non-governmental funding sources for Women’s Refuge NZ.

Through its donations FOWRT supports the vital work of Women’s Refuge NZ by funding specific projects, activities and resources. These have included:

  • The establishment of a fund to provide ongoing counselling services for women who have accessed Women's Refuges' services
  • The production of “Fresh Start” information packs
  • “Mokopuna” child advocacy kits and financial support for 'Kids in the Middle' programme
Donations are also used in very practical ways for the provision of items for safe houses around the country. Necessities such as whiteware, furniture, bedding and linen have been very gratefully received by the 45 members of the National Collective of Women's Refuges. Our funds have also allowed for such things as provision of winter nightwear packages for women and children in need.

The continuing success of FOWRT relies on a large group of passionate and dedicated people, most of whom give their time and expertise voluntarily. Working alongside the twelve Trustees of FOWRT and its current patrons are eight NZSOS board members, over 400 event volunteers and a small team of paid professionals.

NZSOS is very fortunate to have a number of financial patrons and sponsors.

Patrons : Judy Bailey ONZM and Qiujing Easterbrook-Wong
Past Patrons and Founders: Genevieve Becroft QSM and Lenore Sumpter QSM

Current Trustees of FOWRT (pictured below back row from left to right):
Fiona White, Emma Algie, Jo Eve, Janet Hird, Jo Kitteridge, Victoria Holtelius and Ruth McGill.
Front row (left to right): Trisha Whiting, Fleur Wilson, Rachel Brebner, Kathryn Todd and Lisa McCloskey.


We always look forward to working with our community of people to help stage an engaging, educational and thought provoking NZ Sculpture OnShore exhibition. Come and experience a pre-eminent bi-annual sculpture event at Operetu Fort Takapuna, and help us support Women's Refuge New Zealand.



Women's Refuge New Zealand

Women’s Refuge is New Zealand’s largest nation-wide organisation that supports and helps women and children experiencing domestic violence. Since 1973, Women’s Refuge has pioneered work that improves the lives of women and children affected by domestic violence, providing a wide range of services and programmes delivered by both paid staff and a large network of trained volunteers to ensure that families can live happy violence-free lives.

As well as advocacy and practical support to individuals and their families, we also run training programmes for communities and organisations to help educate people about the impact of domestic and family violence.

As New Zealand’s most significant domestic violence organisation, Women’s Refuge takes a strong advocacy role by working to positively change policy and attitudes about domestic violence. We do this by working closely with the government and running public campaigns – all to help keep women and their children safe.

There are 40 individual women's refuges located throughout New Zealand affiliated to the national collective of independent Women's Refuges. Last year 49,000 women and children were referred to Women's Refuges for support. Women's Refuges provided over 50,000 nights in Safe Houses for women and children who were victims of domestic violence.
The Women's Refuge 24 hour hour crisis line received over 28,600 calls last year, that's 78 calls for help every day.

Women’s Refuge relies heavily on donations and the goodwill of New Zealanders, as it is only partially funded by the government for the round the clock critical services they provide.

Women's Refuge's vision is for all women and children in New Zealand to live free from domestic and family violence.

Find out more at


How You Help

The money raised from this year’s NZ Sculpture OnShore event, will be donated to Women’s Refuge by the Friends of Women’s Refuges Trust for the following initiatives:

Counselling for women

In 2017, the Friends of Women’s Refuge Counselling fund was established to provide sessions with a professional counsellor for women, to support them getting their lives back on track. This year, money raised through NZ Sculpture OnShore will go toward continuing the delivery of this crucial service.

Kids In The Middle

This year, the proceeds from the sale of the artworks will also go toward new spaces for children in Women’s Refuge safe houses around the country, as well as to counselling services for women. This brand-new, child-led initiative comes off the back of Kids in the Middle research, a first of its kind project that asked 19 children who had stayed at safe houses what they needed in order to feel safe and secure after experiencing family violence.

Women’s Refuge chief executive Dr. Ang Jury said children reported that they need fun, cosy, warm, interactive, relaxing, safe spaces to share with other children.

“For children, these items and spaces mean access to security, happiness and belonging. Things that were highly sought after included pillows, cushions of differing sizes and shapes, throws, blankets, shaggy rugs, colourful mats, curtains, different lighting options (night lights, fairy lights, lamps, free standing lights), comfortable child sized chairs and couches, snug beanbags, tactile and sensory toys for relaxation, and items that can be used by multiple children at once.” - Dr. Ang Jury.


Thank You 

A big thank you to everyone involved for helping make this possible. From artists showcasing their works, to visiting the event, purchasing art in person or online, to volunteering and generally spreading the word about us and the work we support, you have helped women and children in New Zealand when they needed it the most.


  • Pakiwaitara o Matariki: Carving the Maori Story (Various Schools)

  • Belmont Primary, Find Your Way

  • Birkenhead College, A Fort

  • Campbells Bay Primary, Not Self But Service

  • Devonport Primary School, Ma te huruhuru ka rere te manu

  • Green Bay College, Stories

  • Kristin School, The Land We Stand On

  • Long Bay College, Culture - local and personal

  • Milford Primary School, Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari ke he toa takitini

  • Monte Cecilia School, Mount Aspiring

  • Ponsonby Intermediate, The Wild Fight of Kapokapowai

  • Remuera Intermediate School, Schooling Fish

  • Stanley Bay Primary School, Fantastic creatures in our moana

  • St Leo's Catholic School, Icons and Whenua

  • Takapuna Grammar School, Kaitaki Creatures And Lost Things

  • Vauxhall Primary School, Ko Wai Ahau? Who Am I?

  • Wakaaranga School, Lizard Lounge