Profit for Purpose

YWCA Australia has proudly been supporting women and young people for 140 years. Our programs are dependent on funding – much of which has been made possible because of our innovative Profit for Purpose business model.

Over the past four years our businesses have gone through a dramatic transformation to maximise profit to support our programs and services. We successfully run the following businesses: Song Hotels (Sydney & Redfern); Song Kitchen, Song Catering and Food for Futures, as well as venue hire services in Rockhampton.

Q and A with Jon Ackary, General Manager, Song Businesses

What is Profit for Purpose?

YWCA’s Song Hotel and Kitchen are part of our Profit for Purpose business model. That is, we’re operating a business that is traditionally seen as commercial but the profits are reinvested in our community programs supporting women, young women and girls.

What do your profits cover?

Our businesses are operated as stand-alone units and over time generate a return to support YWCA programs across Australia. These services empower women through leadership, advocacy and the provision of critical frontline services. Key examples being crisis support, child protection, early intervention, health and community wellbeing, mentoring, education and development skills.

How do you balance the demands/expectations of the social impact goals with the demands of running a restaurant?

Above all we want diners to come to our restaurant because it’s a terrific experience. If we achieve this, with consistency and professionalism the Profit for Purpose will be fulfilled.

It’s when you add that social value, that something shifts inside you. You feel better about being selfish. If I’m going to drop $200 on a meal, I like the idea of the profits going to people who need it – and I don’t mean in order to buy a Maserati.

The food has to be good in its own right, however – and it is, modestly and rather sweetly. Well done, Song Kitchen, you did good.

Jill Dupleix, Good Food Guide

How do you measure social impact?

The YWCA has a long history, founded in 1880 to provide a safe haven for migrant women arriving who were extremely vulnerable to exploitation and poverty.

Today we continue to push for gender equality for women, young women and girls by challenging the systems, structures and policies that act as barriers to women achieving their full potential. Our programs and services offer support with housing, homelessness, safety and wellbeing and we aim to positively impact the lives of more than two million women, young women and girls by the end of 2023.

Learn more about our businesses

Song Hotels

Our leadership role and commitment to the concept of Profit for Purpose enables us to use our commercial acumen to deliver a sustainable contribution to the community.

Make your next stay in Sydney a socially-conscious stay and help to power YWCA programs.

If value for money and Profit for Purpose resonate with you, we’re singing your song. The hotel’s 153 rooms (including hostel-style rooms with shared bathrooms) range in price from $117-$450+ (prices hike for peak periods such as Mardi Gras and New Year’s Eve).

If a central Sydney City location is what you want, you’ve found it. We’re in the centre of the city near Hyde Park, Pitt Street Mall, and Sydney Tower and also in South Sydney. We’re also on the doorstep of the vibrant inner city suburbs of Darlinghurst and Surry Hills.

The Song Hotel and its sister hotel in Redfern (also called Song Hotel), are Australia’s only ‘profit for purpose’ hotels, meaning that their profits go to support the YWCA’s programs, such as aiding women and children at risk of violence, and training girls in leadership.

We can also help with corporate conferences and events and adding Song Hotel to your company’s travel policy – just get in touch!

Feminist-themed hotel rooms

Song Hotel has Australia’s only feminist-themed hotel rooms, featuring well-known loved Australian female celebrities.

‘Singing the Praises of Inspirational Women’ is a themed hotel room series including tributes to iconic Australian women Sia, Lee-Lin Chin, Nakkiah Lui, Missy Higgins, Tina Arena, Bindi Irwin, Sally Rugg and Deborah Mailman – as well as a room honouring Australian feminists.

These rooms pay homage to successful Australian women who have blazed a trail in music, journalism, conservation, activism and acting. Their talent, drive, individuality, and collaboration with others to build a better community for all represent the values of YWCA Australia.

Song Kitchen

Our leadership role and commitment to the concept of Profit for Purpose enables us to use our commercial acumen to deliver a sustainable contribution to the community.

There is a sign you see as you leave Song Kitchen that says, “You did good.” And you did, too, because profits of this Hyde Park restaurant go directly to supporting YWCA programs and services for women, young women and girls.

Song Kitchen is open for breakfast and coffee seven days a week, for lunch Tuesday to Friday and for dinner Tuesday to Saturday.

In 2016, YWCA joined forces with Mirvac to open a unique café concept at Mirvac’s newly completed 200 George Street headquarters in Sydney.

Known as the The Song Kitchen Catering, this profit for purpose café provides premium catering services to Mirvac head office employees along with their guests. 100% of the profits from the café will go directly towards funding YWCA services for women.

Food for Futures is a conference and catering social enterprise which supports the diverse range of YWCA programs run in Darwin. The social enterprise aims to support the sustainability of our community programs to support those that need it the most.

By supporting Food for Futures, you and your organisation will be making a conscious decision in effecting social change.

To find out more, call 08 8936 0500.