New era for Pat Thomas House as the organisation rebrands to become OVIS Community Services

Pat Thomas House chair Paula Downing and chief executive Dawn Smith. Photo: Kaylee Meerton.
Pat Thomas House chair Paula Downing and chief executive Dawn Smith. Photo: Kaylee Meerton.

Overcoming Violence and Inspiring Safety.

Those are the words that will define a "new era" for Pat Thomas House, now to be known as OVIS Community Services.

Mandurah's primary family and domestic violence service will launch the new brand on February 17, in the hopes of better empowering all people to live a life free of abuse.

OVIS will continue to drive events like the Peel Regional Silent March and deliver vital services, now under four, easily identifiable pillars - crisis accommodation and support, early intervention, post crisis-support and community education programs.

As part of their new vision, the organisation hopes to expand community education services and diversify their client base by providing holistic help to men, women and children.

OVIS Community Services chair Paula Downing said the transformation would ensure the organisation stays relevant and accessible.

"It became evident that Pat Thomas House was often seen as just a refuge and not offering the suite of services that we do," she said.

"Sometimes there was an element of confusion regarding the name - what is Pat Thomas House, who was Pat Thomas?

"We need to look and act the part and effectively communicate what we are doing.This is a new era and we will continue to play a key leadership role as the primary provider of family and domestic services currently in the Peel region."

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The local crisis accommodation and support centre will still go by the name of Pat Thomas Refuge.

Ms Downing said this was particularly important to acknowledge their 30-year history embedded in the Mandurah community.

"We need to pay homage and recognise the efforts and tenacity of those early pioneers - Pat and her team overcame a lot of hurdles," she said.

"It was a pretty difficult but important decision to look at a brand and name change.

"One of the biggest challenges for us as we move forward is recognising our past as well as going forward, not only in the community sector but we want to expand our services."

Chief executive Dawn Smith, who only took on her role at the end of 2019, said it had been an exciting few months.

"I know this is the right place for me - I love the work we do and I think it's so important," she said.

"We've made so many changes, including this rebrand, but it is a pivotal point in our journey."

The new logo, created by a local designer, aims to reflect the heart of the Peel region and everyone's different journeys through life.

For more information, visit the OVIS Community Services website at