Honour roll

The Honour Roll recognises past State and
Territory and National Award recipients

Local Hero

Nominee

2013 WA Local Hero Nominee

Linda Watson

Town: Perth
State: Western Australia

Women's advocate

Linda Watson knows from experience how difficult it can be for women to leave prostitution. A former prostitute herself, Linda was determined to help other women get out of prostitution, and escape the cycle of exploitation, drugs and abuse that she had witnessed over a 20-year career in the sex industry. With the support of the Catholic Archbishop of Perth, Barry Hickey, Linda founded the House of Hope in 1997 to help women leave prostitution.  There, women have a secure home, are provided with meals and receive the support needed to change their lives. No time limits are set, they can stay for as long as they need to. In its first year, around 200 women were helped through Linda's House of Hope and demand is so great that Linda is now looking for larger premises. By bravely speaking out to expose the dangers of prostitution, Linda herself has been subjected to abuse and attack. At times the refuge too has been shot at, fire bombed and vandalised. Undeterred, Linda continues to provide a safe haven for vulnerable women, helping them heal and restore their dignity and honour.

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