Roots of Change is a storytelling platform dedicated to the Alumni community of The Funding Network Australia. Here we share their stories of ingenuity, courage, determination, spirit, growth and the impact these grassroots organisations have had, as a direct result of funds and support received from The Funding Network community.




Providing crisis and prevention services for women and children experiencing domestic violence.

Emerge has been offering crisis and prevention services for women and children experiencing domestic violence for 40 years; including a high security communal refuge, and therapeutic, educational and support programs. 

2019 Pitch
Funds raised: $49,100

For women fleeing domestic violence, the journey doesn’t end in leaving the relationship and the home. In order to start a new life and live securely they need to find new accommodation. Beth was pitching for funding for the ‘Fresh Start Fund’, which financially supports women accessing safe, private accommodation.   

2016 Pitch
Funds raised: $41,350

Emerge pitched at a TFN Melbourne event in November 2016 and managed to raise $41,350 to support the development of an important Art Therapy program to empower women and children in their care to overcome the trauma of domestic violence.

The impact...

Women and children fleeing family violence are often left vulnerable and under-supported. When they leave the relationship, they take with them the ill-health effects of the trauma they have endured. After noticing this significant and critical gap, Emerge started an art therapy program that works with women and their children to overcome trauma and rebuild their lives. Family violence is responsible for more ill-health and premature deaths in Victoria for women aged 14-45 than any other well known risk factor, which is what makes Emerge’s work so vital.  

Paula Westhead, Emerge’s Executive Officer, pitched at TFN Live in Melbourne for funding to develop and implement a new program ‘Black and White to Colour’; a trauma-focused program for women and children aged 6 - 13 years who have experienced family violence, separation, bullying, or family breakdown. The generosity of the donors at TFN Melbourne enabled Emerge to provide 60 women and children in Victoria access to this program, which has equipped them with the skills and strategies to cope with their emotional trauma and change the trajectory of their futures. It has been extremely successful and the participants have reported a reduction in depression and anxiety as well as an increase in emotional awareness, which sets them up for a better life.


“I met a new friend today I cried I did not want to tell her why, I feel much better, I love the painting of feathers and the drumming. I get it.” – program participant

Read their Impact Report

Learn more about Emerge.

Life Changing Experiences Foundation

Life Changing Experiences Foundation

Project New Dawn

Project New Dawn