Detour House

Our Team


Detour House Inc Team



Cindi has worked for over 30 years in the human services sector in non-government, state government and local government organisations across Sydney. Cindi has a Masters in Community Management from UTS, and her areas of expertise are in the homelessness and youth sectors. Cindi’s strengths are in developing strategic responses to complex issues and fostering collaboration and coordination in the delivery of services to people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Over her career Cindi has been responsible for the development of the City of Sydney’s Youth Strategy and Youth Interagency, the coordination of 21 services in and around Kings Cross and the establishment of the DCJ funded Inner City Service for Young People Experiencing Homelessness (SHS). Cindi’s initiatives have resulted in two National Local Government Awards for Excellence 2006, NSW Youth Service of the Year 2016 and 3 nominations for the NSW Premier’s Awards for Excellence (runner up 2014). Whether in an organisational setting or project role Cindi strives to reconfigure services to ensure increased capacity through wider partnerships, increased funding, shared resources and community participation.


Operations Manager

Debby has worked over 35 years in the sector from youth worker to CEO, both with Government and the Community sectors specialising in working with those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Debby has a Degree and Master’s in Counselling, a Diploma in Management and Child Sexual Assault Counselling along with Cert IV’s in Training and Assessment, Community Services and Mental Health. Debby’s strengths include working with clients and the community to build capacity, developing and supervising teams, change management, policy, procedure, and service reviews, developing recommendations and action planning for change. Debby is also a Justice of the Peace.


Administration Officer

Monique has worked for Detour House Inc for 5 years and works across both Detour House and The Girls Refuge. Monique previously worked in other NFP organisations, in event management and as a personal assistant in non-government and government settings. Monique has qualifications in Administration, Event Management, Youth Work, Mental Health and Community Services. Monique is dedicated to working in the women’s homelessness sector and draws on her own lived experience to help improve our organisation day by day.

Detour House Team


AOD Case Manager

Kelly has worked for over 15 years in the community sector with youth, and adults with AOD. Kelly has a Cert 4 in AOD, Diploma of counselling, is a member of the ACA and is due to become a qualified Art Therapist Dec 23. Kelly’s strengths include group facilitation and working one on one with clients. Kelly is committed to a person centred, strength based approach and trauma informed practice. Kelly is passionate about advocating and working with her clients towards outcomes for a better future, while being non-judgemental Kelly believes all clients should be well informed and to have a voice and be heard. .


AOD Case Manager

Following a career in media, Wendy took on a major career change to join Detour House 7 years ago. Having cut her teeth as a youth worker at TGR, Wendy soon realised that working with women was her ‘happy place’ and transferred to Detour House. Wendy brings a wealth of lived experience to her role as AOD Case Manager and is committed to educating and improving the lives of women in recovery.


Aftercare Case Manager

Phillippa is the Aftercare Case Manager at Detour House and has worked for Detour House Inc. since 2019, first starting as a Youth Worker at The Girls Refuge. Phillippa has a Masters of Social Work (Qualifying) and has experience working in hospital, street-based outreach, refuge accommodation, and AOD settings. Phillippa works one-on-one with the participants of the Detour House Aftercare program to provide targeted support towards accessing safe and secure accommodation. She also runs the Transition Group together with Kelly every Wednesday, as well as assisting Detour House Aftercare Program participants to apply for brokerage through Detour House and City of Sydney. Phillippa is dedicated to working towards an end to poverty and homelessness for all.

The Girls Refuge Team


Service Coordinator

Shai is a dedicated and accomplished professional with a passion for making positive and long lasting impact change in young people’s lives. Shai holds a Bachelor in Psychological Sciences, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Social Work (Professional Qualifying). Shai has 8 years of experience in overseeing the management of residential settings for young people and adults experiencing homelessness, disability, and trauma. Shai draws on her professional experience, education, and her own lived experience, to provide a unique and distinctive lens when supporting young people and is committed to person centred and trauma informed practice.


Case Manager

Zoe holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and has multiple years’ experience as a mental health clinician working to support young people with complex needs. Zoe’s work is informed by both her professional qualifications as well as her passion for promoting equity...

Jessica Barry

Case Manager

Jess holds a Bachelor of Honours in Early Childhood Studies, and a Master of Social Policy and Practice. Jess has 6 years of experience in homeless services, working with families, young people and adults in both residential and crisis services. Jess is passionate about supporting individuals to exit homelessness and to reach their full potential and has a special interest in harm reduction. Jess’ work is informed by her academic achievements, professional experience and passion for change.

Celebrating Transformation

At Detour House, our success is measured not just by statistics but by the transformation of lives. We are proud to share the inspiring words of the women who have graduated from our program and gone on to lead stable, fulfilling lives.

Lizzy first presented to The Girls Refuge at the age of 14 due to family breakdown. Lizzy was in a situation where the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) were unable to work with and support the family, and the family were not willing to relinquish their parental rights.
As a result, Lizzy has been moving from crisis refuge to crisis refuge and has moved four times in an eighteen-month period.
Lizzy is now 16 years old, does not have the emotional or practical skills at this stage to live independently, and will need to develop these quickly to secure transitional or long-term accommodation.
If Lizzy had been able to remain in the first crisis service she accessed, her circumstances would have greatly improved. She would not have been at risk of re traumatization through changing services, having to retell her story over and over, or continually developing new relationships with staff and clients. This also can have negative impacts on family restoration, with the consistent changing of services and support staff, working not only with Lizzy but with her family.
Lizzy is a good example of why we need more supported medium to longer term accommodation options for under 16s. This case shows that continuum of care models are critical to enable soft transition from crisis services to transitional services and then on to longer term accommodation.


When Susie arrived at TGR she had been transient since the age of 12, experiencing homelessness due to significant domestic and family violence perpetrated by her father. Susie’s mother has her own existing mental health struggles and has often verbally abused Susie as a way of coping with this. Susie has a tumultuous relationship with her separated parents and often found herself needing respite by couch surfing when things became volatile at either home. Upon arrival at TGR, Susie was completely disengaged with school, had a longstanding history of self-harm and suicide ideation, and was having consistent mental health presentations at hospital every 3 to 4 days.

During her time at TGR, Susie has been able to learn about her trauma responses and has worked hard to manage her triggers. The safe and settled environment of TGR played a huge role in Susie feeling safe and settled within herself and we saw that her presentations to hospital became less frequent (and now non-existent). Susie can use her safety plan effectively before things become too overwhelming. Susie is now enrolled, attending, and receiving A grades at school and Susie has also just been accepted into transitional accommodation.


Ruby is a 17-year-old of Middle Eastern descent who was exited from an unsafe situation where her family were supporting an upcoming arranged marriage. The AFP removed Ruby and moved her across the state to The Girls Refuge. Ruby presented with distress and was having difficulty comprehending the situation due to a development delay. Ruby expressed suicidal thoughts and was hospitalised for 3 days in her first week at the refuge. Ruby has remained at the refuge for 5 months due to limited exit opportunities. Given Ruby’s age and vulnerabilities she is unable to live independently and the only option for TGR was to secure Ruby a place at a women’s shelter. Ruby will move into the women’s service on her 18th birthday. TGR have been able to support Ruby to register and attend school, have provided safe and supportive accommodations, assisted Ruby to build her living skills, supported her to access counselling and stabilised her mental health. Ruby has had no further admissions to hospital and has made tremendous growth in her time at TGR.

We acknowledge the Aboriginal land in which we live and practice and the cultures that here gather; our ancestors and future generations. We embrace anti-oppressive feminist practice, holding the hope of creating safety-centred positive change.
Scroll to Top