Action for Equity

A sexual and reproductive health plan for Melbourne’s west

Melbourne’s west is lagging behind the rest of the state on a range of sexual and reproductive health indicators.

  • Sexually active young people are less likely to report practicing safe sex with a condom
  • Our cervical screening rates are significantly lower than the state average
  • Notifications of chlamydia in the region have increased by 21 per cent in the past 3 years

Action for Equity: a sexual and reproductive health plan for Melbourne’s west is a four-year sexual and reproductive health promotion plan that was developed to reverse these trends.

Action for Equity incorporates primary prevention initiatives that work to redress the social determinants of sexual and reproductive health in order to achieve health equity.

The plan to improve the health of communities in the western region is based on four years of work by the Western Region Sexual and Reproductive Health partnership, led by Women’s Health West.

The plan is a great example of organisations working collaboratively to improve sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing of the entire region.

Action for Equity’s vision is a community where everyone has the:

  • Freedom to express their sexuality
  • Right to a healthy, respectful relationship and pleasurable sex life with the partner of their choice
  • Ability to control their body and to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health free from violence and discrimination

Recognising that factors influencing sexual and reproductive health lie at multiple and interacting levels of influence, Action for Equity incorporates a range of mutually reinforcing objectives that work at the individual, community and societal level. Strategies in the plan are designed to:

  • Increase access to affordable contraceptives and fertility control
  • Influence and inform systemic policy and legislative reform
  • Develop a trained and skilled health promotion workforce
  • Improve the sexual and reproductive health of young people, with a specific focus on young people from migrant and refugee and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds
  • Holistically redress the social factors that cause poor health outcomes for people in and coming out of prison
  • Increase culturally appropriate and responsive cervical screening service delivery and coordination
  • Promote the sexual and reproductive health and human rights of people with a disability
  • Reduce discrimination and violence, increase social inclusion and equitable access to service provision for women in the sex industry
  • Increase inter-sectoral collaboration on the social determinants of sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing
  • Ensure condoms are accessible and affordable and raise awareness of safe sexual practices

Download the plan here, and if you have any queries about our work in this area, please contact Alyce Vella on 9689 9588.

Current Action for Equity partners

  • Brimbank City Council
  • Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health
  • Centre for Multicultural Youth
  • CoHealth
  • Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
  • HealthWest Partnership
  • Hepatitis Victoria
  • Hobsons Bay City Council
  • Inner North West Melbourne Medicare Local
  • ISIS Primary Care
  • Macedon Rangers and North Western Melbourne Medicare Local
  • Melton City Council
  • Maribyrnong City Council
  • Moonee Valley City Council
  • South Western Melbourne Medicare Local
  • Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
  • Women’s Health West
  • Wyndham City Council

We would like to acknowledge the support of the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust