New community support centre the Karratha Women’s Place was officially opened at the Millars Well Co-op on Friday at an event fitting for International Women’s Day.

The first-of-its-kind centre for Karratha, which will offer services to support the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of local women, was declared open with a series of speeches and a ribbon-cutting ceremony by board members and Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel.

About 40 people attended, including a large number of female community leaders.

Karratha Women’s Place board secretary Nanette Williams said services at the centre would be tailored to the preferences of the women who used them.

“We’re hoping women with different skills will come forward and share those skills,” she said.

“We’re also hoping to just have a chat cafe so that women can come in and have a cup of tea and a chat and talk about any worries or anxieties they’ve got.”

“It’s for anything and everything that women want to do with it.

“We’re not going to be the ones to direct that, we’re going to let the women that come here direct that.”

Karratha Women’s Place, which will operate as a sister organisation to the Hedland Well Women’s Centre, will be open on a drop-in basis as well as offering programs including meditation, financial counselling. grief and loss counselling and the Karratha Stronger Aboriginal Women’s Group.

It will initially be run by board members on a voluntary basis, but in the long term they hope to secure funding for at least one paid staff member and a move into a separate building.

Mr Michel said the centre and its programs would help women feel more more empowered and supported in the Karratha community.

“This centre will be a community support centre run by, and for, the women of Karratha and surrounding areas to empower and enhance the experience of women of all ages, religions and cultural backgrounds,” he said.

“The aim... is to strengthen women, families and the Karratha community by connecting women with each other through a range of programs, activities, workshops and support systems, and connecting women to local services across a whole range of areas.”

The centre, which will be run out of the Millars Well Co-op building on Teesdale Place, will be open each Tuesday and Thursday from 10am-3pm.

For information on programming, go to the Karratha Women’s Place Facebook page.