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Board of Directors.

Safe Waters Community Care Inc. is led by a Board of Directors who are passionate and dedicated to helping those experiencing homelessness, social isolation and other vulnerabilities in their local area of Ulladulla.


Sarah Date - Founder, Director & CEO


Sarah has a strong passion for seeking change within the current social services system. She has over 9 years experience in the community service sector and over 20 years in business and management. She holds a degree in Social Science & Psychology and has a private counselling practice in Ulladulla. Sarah has managed homelessness services in the Shoalhaven and Illawarra areas and ran programs supporting men leaving prison.

In 2019, understanding there was no supported crisis accommodation where she lives in Ulladulla, Sarah founded SWCC with a board of like-minded people. Spiritually led, Sarah feels deep compassion for those who are vulnerable or have lost their voice in this world.

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Chris Martin – Co-Founder & Chair


Chris Martin’s background is in education and drug rehabilitation. For 20 years Chris was head teacher of agriculture at Dubbo TAFE before taking a counselling course and establishing a residential drug rehabilitation program based on a farm, with his wife Jeanie. Relocating to the Ulladulla area, he became heavily involved in the SWCC founding committee, forming the SWCC board of directors. Motivated by his faith in God, Chris is passionate about helping people who have been damaged by life to find a better future.

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Jeanie Martin – Co-Founder & Director

Formerly a primary school teacher in Dubbo, Jeanie Martin loves nurturing people to reach their potential. After studying counselling, with her husband Chris, they began a residential drug rehabilitation program which ran for many years. After moving to Ulladulla, recognising homelessness was a growing problem, she became involved with the SWCC founding committee forming the SWCC board of directors. Jeanie is a Christian who believes that following Jesus means caring for those experiencing poverty and homelessness.

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Adam Gowen – Vice-Chair


A Wiradjuri man, Adam Gowen has a passion for equity, higher education and Indigenous cultural perspectives. Adam is the Centre Manager at Country Universities Centre Southern Shoalhaven and has three young children with his wife Lisa. In 2018, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Indigenous Studies (first class honours) from the University of Wollongong, where he worked previously in a range of roles including student engagement. He also has a Graduate Certificate in Theology from Indigenous perspectives, from the North American Indigenous Institute of Theology (NAIITS) Australia & New Zealand.

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Lisa Gowen – Director


Lisa Gowen has been working with children, youth and families in Ulladulla for 16 years. She joined our Board with her husband Adam, after being concerned that no local services offered safe shelter for people facing homelessness. Lisa has a Christian faith and truly believes in the innate worth and value of each individual and their right to dignity and safety. She looks forward to the day SWCC can  provide people with a pathway into stable housing and out of homelessness.


Kim Vanden-Hengel – Secretary


Kim has worked in the non-profit space for her entire career - in West Africa for 12 years and in Australia for 25 years. She has worked and travelled extensively in Africa and Asia. She has had management/leadership roles for a range of charities, most recently working in philanthropy for Ozharvest and Dementia Australia. Kim has served on the boards of World Vision Australia, Interserve and WorldShare (formerly CNEC/Partners International). Kim holds a B.A. Dip.Ed (French/Italian), Master of Development Studies and Graduate Certificate in HR Management & Coaching. She volunteers in her local community to support those facing homelessness and with her husband, has offered refuge to women and children seeking a safe space, down the years.

Written by: Liz Henderson

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