Our history

You Matter commenced operations in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne in early 2019, in recognition of the contribution that could be made to women and their families escaping family violence.

In early 2019, co-founders Maxine Gross and Rochelle Anderson heard about a woman and her children, who had to flee a violent relationship. They called out to their community for the furniture and household goods needed to set up the property that ‘Lara’ had secured and then went about doing what You Matter does today to ensure that she and her children had a comfortable, safe haven to call home filled with the love and support of the community.

From this first interaction and the generous reaction from the community, the need and the important life changing impact of this service for women was clear.  By September 2019, You Matter became a project auspiced by the Surrey Hills Neighbourhood Centre.  Supporters and volunteers grew and soon the co-founders outgrew the use of their homes and garages as warehouses and working bee spaces. It was clear that the need for this service that turned houses into ‘Havens’ for recovery, would expand throughout Greater Melbourne.

In May 2020, You Matter registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission in its own right. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, operations slowed somewhat, but volunteers continued to source goods, establish a warehouse and most importantly, continued to create Havens for women and their children.

Volunteer numbers swelled, robust partnerships with a number of family violence support agencies were formed, donations of goods and funds grew such that by 2022 a small paid staff team was established to consolidate and expand our reach.

From modest beginnings supporting one woman’s relocation which was enabled through call outs to family and friends, You Matter has delivered an average of eight Havens per month for women and children.  You Matter continues from strength to strength, building strong partnerships with referring agencies, with donors and funding partners, and with the community across the northern and eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

Without the support of these amazing people, I couldn’t have started a new life for my kids, free from domestic violence. Going back would have been so much easier than trying to furnish a house on my own with no savings.

Skip to content