Flat Out Inc.


Flat Out and its staff are committed to supporting the rights, safety, participation and empowerment of all children.

Acknowledgement of Country

Flat Out acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first peoples of Australia.  We pay our respects to the Wurundjeri people of the Woi-wurrung Language Group both past and present that make up part of the Kulin Nation, as the traditional owners of the land on which Flat Out is housed.
We acknowledge the Elders, families and forebears of the tribes of the Kulin Nation who were the custodians of the land which we occupy. We acknowledge that the land on which we meet was the place of age old ceremonies of celebration, initiation and renewal and that the Kulin Nation people’s living culture had and has a unique role in the life of this region.
We recognise the loss and grief held by Indigenous people in Australia caused by alienation from traditional lands, the loss of lives and freedoms, and the forced removal of children.
We defend the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to live according to their own beliefs, values and customs and the importance of their contribution to strengthening and enriching the heritage of all Australians.
We believe that equal partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are integral to addressing the needs of communities.
We believe that that ignorance, apathy, resistance and opposition still exists about reconciliation and the need to overcome Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage is great.
We believe that through understanding the spiritual relationship between the land and its first peoples, we share our future and take the steps towards living equally in harmony with dignity and respect.

Flat Out acknowledge the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung People, Flat Out acknowledge this is the Wurundjeri Land.

Flat Out-a ngarngunj Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Gulinj, Flat Out-a ngarngunj bik mangi Wurundjer-balak-al bik-dhan.

This Office is on Wurundjeri Land, Flat Out gives Respects to the Elders past and present and emerging.

Mangi wilim-warr Wurundjeri-balak-al bik-dhan-dui, Flat Out –a wunga-bunj gahgook-da Nanggit baambuth ba yalingbu ba gamanity.

We thank the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation for the translation of our acknowledgement & permission to use Woi-wurrung language.

Service Overview

Flat Out is a state-wide homelessness support and advocacy service for women 18+ (with/without children), who have had contact with the criminal justice and/or prison system in Victoria.  Flat Out does not have housing.

Flat Out is an independent, not for profit, community based organisation that is managed by and for women.

Flat Out is committed to co-creating safer spaces, fostering support and self-determination for people who identify as sistergirls, intersex, transgender and/or gender diverse women. We respect that identity is for the individual to define, and work collectively to ensure that people with these identities are accorded respect and access to our support and advocacy, and provided ongoing opportunities to inform policies concerning the intersection of their identities with experiences of criminalisation.

The Flat Out Management Collective (Board) embraces fairness and equality through the essential roles of governance, management and leadership that are underpinned by a comprehensive set of values, policies and procedures and delegated authority.

Flat Out receives government funding through the Department of Health and Human Services (Victoria), the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (Commonwealth), and project funds from various sources to increase our capacity to deliver innovative and effective services, advocacy and social change. Government funding is for the purpose of providing individualised support and advocacy for women (with or without children) to address homelessness, drug and alcohol treatment and a range of other support and advocacy to address the underlying causes of criminalisation.

Independent funding is raised through donations, grants and grassroots fundraising for the purposes of Flat Out’s social change and systemic advocacy work.

Flat Out leads and participates in research and community education, seeking to inform the wider community about the harms that occur for women in the criminal justice system. Flat Out works directly with women who have experienced criminalisation and/or incarceration and to improve the rights and conditions of women in prison. Flat Out works to prevent women from going to prison, and keeping women out of prison once they are released.

The theories and values that underpin Flat Out’s work have remained constant since Flat Out’s inception (1988). Through community involvement, education and research, Flat Out works toward having a strong voice in the prison abolition movement in Australia and internationally. Our vision is that eventually prisons will be viewed as antiquated, cruel and ineffective institutions. Not unlike the movements to abolish slavery; movements to end racism; the women’s liberation movement, and the movement to end homelessness. Flat Out seeks to work alongside diverse communities to end all forms of inequality and unfairness. We see all these movements as interconnected.

We strive to honour our commitments to women who are criminalised, friends and supporters of Flat Out, the broader community and our funders.

Flat Out Values

  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people’s as the first peoples of Australia
  • Our organisation being run by & for women
  • Working with women who are criminalised
  • Providing high quality support services & advocacy
  • Freedom, equality & self-determination
  • Social justice & economic opportunities for all
  • Everyone has the right to lead safe, violence-free lives
  • Being part of a movement to end criminalisation and imprisonment
  • Working with the wider community toward our vision

Our Vision

Women are not criminalised or imprisoned

How will we get there

  • We will maintain Flat Out as an independent, not for profit organisation.
  • We will remain focussed on working with women who are criminalised.
  • We will provide high quality woman centred support and advocacy.
  • We will support women to obtain appropriate and affordable housing.
  • We will support women in their journeys to good health and wellbeing.
  • We will support women to reconnect with family and community.
  • We will actively promote effective alternatives to criminalisation and imprisonment.
  • We will lead and contribute to effective social and systemic change.
  • We will work with the wider community towards our vision.

Management Collective (Board) and Employees

  • Flat Out is governed by a Management Collective (Board) made up of, up to 7 women from the community with skills in: finance and accounting, law, housing, individual support and advocacy, co-ops, policy and research, communication and grassroots community campaigns. The Flat Out Management Collective (Board) embraces fairness and equality through the essential roles of governance, management and leadership that are underpinned by a comprehensive set of policies, procedures and delegated authority.
  • The Flat Out employee team consists of an Executive Officer, Manager, Service Practice & Design, Manager, Strategic Systemic Advocacy, Finance Manager, Chief Financial Officer, Administration Resource Coordinator, the Outreach Support and Advocacy & Women Transforming Justice Project team  and a Family Violence Justice Project employee.
  • Organisational exemptions for Flat Out – http://www.flatout.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/H154-2017-order-17.8.17-exemption-valid-to-23-August-2022.pdf

ABN: 68037026364