Women’s Safety Services SA (WSSSA) supports women and their children who are experiencing domestic and family violence. We are an organisation committed to helping people find safety and support during and after experiencing abuse.

WSSSA has a range of programs and services over numerous sites to assist people in South Australia.

When you contact us, whether through the Domestic Violence Crisis Line or one of our programs directly, we will believe you, hear your story, talk with you about your concerns, work with you to understand your risk, hear from you about what you want and support your safety.

We believe all women and children have the right to live safely in their homes, and that experiencing domestic and family violence is a fundamental breach of human rights. We advocate for all perpetrators of violence to be held accountable for their actions.

Most of all, we believe domestic violence is everyone’s business and that all levels of society must work together to strive for its elimination.

Our Structure

We are a non government organisation and operate under a board of management.

Our Mission

We provide integrated responses to our clients through the provision of specialised, accessible and flexible models of service delivery that are:

  • informed by the lived experience of women and their children
  • responsive to the diversity of the lives of women and their children
  • easy to access
  • evidence-based and high-quality
  • engaged in effective strategic partnerships
  • strong in advocacy and Influence
  • supported by a sustainable organisation

Our Objectives

Embed the voices of women and their children at all levels of WSSSA’s organisation and services

Acknowledge, respect and reflect the diversity of women and their children

Build and support a sustainable workforce

Develop and strengthen intentional and effective networks and partnerships

Strengthen WSSSA sustainability through improved governance, structure and systems

Our Values

We value and are committed to

  • Violence against women and their children is a breach of human rights

  • The safety of women and their children is central in all responses

  • We recognise and embrace the diversity of women and their children and acknowledge that this shapes their experience of violence

  • We are committed to eliminating barriers to service provision based on culture, race, language, religion, sexuality, ability, class and age

  • We respect women’s rights to make their own decisions and choices for themselves and their children
  • We are committed to providing services which are responsive and flexible to women and their children’s diverse needs.
  • We are committed to the ongoing innovative development of our services.
  • We are committed to continuous quality improvement through the ongoing professional development of staff to ensure that practice is accountable, specialised, consistent, ethical and evidence-based
  • We are committed to including women and their children’s voices in shaping service responses
  • We evaluate the programs we deliver, to inform our practice and to contribute to the safety of women and their children

We are committed to working with others to:

  • Increase the knowledge of the community about men’s violence against women as the root cause of domestic and family violence.
  • Support community responses that promote the safety of women and their children and hold those who commit domestic and family violence to account.

Our Board

Sarah Wendt


Sarah Wendt is Professor of Social Work at Flinders University and is currently the Director for the Social Work Registration Scheme. Her social work expertise is in domestic violence including women’s and children’s experiences of violence, men’s use of violence and how to respond in practice.

Kimberley Wanganeen she/her

Deputy Chair

Kimberley is a First Nations, intersectional feminist, born on Boandik Country and now living and working on Kaurna Country.  Kimberley has extensive experience in providing advice and guidance to government and non-government organisations to achieve best practice cultural safety, practice and governance.  Kimberley has held leadership positions in operational and strategic environments, using her position to influence and advocate for systemic change that advances the experience of First Nations people.  Kimberley has long been an activist for gender equality and violence against women, ensuring that the disproportionate rates of inequality and violence faced by First Nations women are highlighted and considered throughout all conversations.  Kimberley is committed to seeking, hearing and learning from gender-diverse people to also ensure their inclusion in this work.  Kimberley was the South Australian representative on the Our Watch Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Advisory Committee, providing guidance, advice and expertise throughout all phases of the project to publish “Changing the Picture, A National Resource to support the prevention of violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children”.  Her position on the WSSSA Board of Directors further extends Kimberley’s commitment to the safety of women and their children.

Tharani Mahadeva

GAICD and CPA with over fifteen years’ experience in consolidation reporting within both financial and management accounting functions. Expertise encompasses monthly financial, budget and forecasting analysis and the implementation of process improvements. Strengths include strong technical knowledge and interpersonal skills and this combined with an ability to identify trends, risks and opportunities and develop and deliver viable strategies and solutions ensures the achievement of successful business outcomes.


Susan is an experienced governance, risk and compliance professional. She has led large and diverse teams and has experience in delivering complex organisational changes and designing and delivering on strategy. Susan has a legal background and sits on a number of advisory boards and committees.

Sharon walker-roberts

Sharon is a Senior Sergeant within South Australia Police. Sharon has worked in a variety of positions within SAPOL including general duties policing, family violence specialist response area, Industrial Relations and most recently within the corporate area of Public Protection branch. Her current position is Manager, Family and Domestic Violence Section. Sharon’s experience includes policy development, training development and delivery, strategic planning, and interagency liaison with respect to improving collaborative responses to domestic violence, child protection matters and other victimisation from crime. Sharon was part of the Central Domestic Violence Service Board prior to the merging of services and creation of WSSSA. 

Jodie Stevens

Jodie is an innovative thinker with broad-based experience in human resources, organisational development and safety.  Jodie has a proven ability to analyse and drive business process improvements, constructing robust teams with a strong focus on delivering outcomes.  Jodie takes pride in her skill in creating successful and motivated teams, which are culturally aligned to the organisational goals.

Jodie is a proud Wiradjuri woman who is passionate and driven in her commitment to create opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  Jodie’s current role is People & Culture Manager with the City of Port Adelaide Enfield Council.  This includes overseeing all aspects of the People & Culture function including organisational development, recruitment, industrial relations, payroll, performance management, learning and development and work health & safety.

Previously Jodie has worked for the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, NSW Health, Flinders Port Holdings, the Indigenous Land & Sea Corporation and Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia.

Her qualifications encompass the areas of Positive Psychology, Human Resources and Assessment and Training as well as Women in Leadership.  Jodie is a member of the Australian Human Resources Institute, has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course and is also a Non-Executive Director at Headstart Homes.

Sarah Fitzharris

Sarah Fitzharris is a seasoned marketing and communications professional with over 20 years of experience. Throughout Sarah’s career, she has held senior marketing and communications positions in various sectors, including private, public, and not-for-profit organisations. Some of the notable organisations she has worked with include the Adelaide Festival of Arts, SA Health, the Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation, SA Metropolitan Fire Service, and SA Ambulance Service.

Most recently, as General Manager, Marketing & Communications at Disaster Relief Australia, Sarah played a major role in the brand and reputational development of this growing not-for-profit. With extensive experience in strategic communications, marketing, stakeholder relations, and working with government, not-for-profits, and regional communities, she has successfully led multiple strategies and campaigns, fostering strong relationships with diverse stakeholders. Sarah has also excelled in team building and mentoring, consistently seeking opportunities to enhance organisations’ profiles.

Alexandra Wirth

Alex is a solicitor with the Family Law division of the Legal Services Commission of South Australia. Currently based in Whyalla, she has worked in a number of regional and remote locations across Australia and has a passion for addressing service gaps and promoting access to justice for women in these areas. Alex works collaboratively with interagency groups in the Spencer Gulf and Eyre Peninsula regions, and has been involved in policy development and with respect to improving Family Law outcomes for women experiencing family violence in these areas. She sits on a number of volunteer committees in Whyalla and has a particular interest in promoting youth arts in regional communities as a way of addressing disadvantage.

Maria Hagias

Chief Executive Officer

Maria Hagias has worked in the Domestic Violence Sector of South Australia for over 25 years. She has advocated and informed policy development on gender based violence which has resulted in the implementations of responsive service models that promote women and children’s safety and make men who use violence accountable for their behaviour.

She has participated in a number of National and State committees that inform systemic changes and responses.  Through her role as CEO of WSSSA has worked with the community to change attitudes and address ways of working together to eliminate violence against women.

She is the Deputy Chair of the Premier’s Council for Women and Co-Chair for Embolden SA’s peak and was South Australia’s Representative on the Prime Ministers Advisory Panel which provided advice to COAG on addressing violence against women. She is a member of the National Plan Advisory Group, the group informed and oversaw the development of the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032.