News and Events

40 Years Strong


Celebrating Victorian Women’s Health in Women’s Hands

This year, Victoria celebrates 40 years of women’s led women’s health services.

Over the past four decades, we’ve seen abortion legalised, sexual harassment outlawed, an Australia-first Royal Commission into Family Violence, and Victoria’s first Gender Equality Strategy. Victorian women’s health services have been there every step of the way, championing women’s health, safety and wellbeing.

To recognise this milestone, Women’s Health West is proud to participate in the 40 Years Strong social media campaign celebrating the contribution of women’s led women’s health services in Victoria.

The campaign will run from 13-16 March and is coordinated by Gender Equity Victoria – the Victorian peak body for gender equity, women’s health and the prevention of violence against women – in collaboration with member organisations like Women’s Health West. 40 Years Strong recognises the history and expertise of Victorian women’s led women’s health services in addressing gender equity, women’s sexual and reproductive health and the prevention of violence against women.

The campaign follows International Women’s Day ​​(March 8), a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year’s theme is #PressForProgress, which calls on collective action to accelerate gender parity.

“The 40 Years Strong campaign is an opportunity to bring Victorian women’s health services together to collaborate, celebrate and drive future change,” said Kristine Olaris, Convenor of Gender Equity Victoria.

Campaign hashtag: #40YearsStrong

For media enquiries: Kelly Ventress, Communications Manager – Women’s Health West via comms@whwest.org.au

About Gender Equity Victoria

Gender Equity Victoria (GEN VIC) is the Victorian peak body for gender equity, women’s health and the prevention of violence against women.

Gender Equity Victoria works with organisations across Victoria to advance a shared vision of gender equality, health, and freedom from violence for every woman and girl, in every community across Victoria.


WHW International Women’s Day free breakfast event

Momentum for change: supporting women’s voices in 2018 is the topic for WHW’s free International Women’s Day breakfast event.

The event takes place on Wednesday 7 March (the day before International Women’s Day), and runs from 8.30am – 10.00am.

This year’s event will be held at the historic Substation, a fantastic light-filled arts venue in Newport.

The speakers (see below) will reflect on how the #metoo and #timesup movements have demonstrated the widespread prevalence of sexual harassment in recent months. They’ll share insights and perspectives on where we go from here, how we can build on recent events to bring about change, and how we can tell the stories of women respectfully and with care.

The speakers will each present different insights and thoughts on the topic, and there’ll also be time for a Q&A.

Book your free place now via Eventbrite.

About the speakers

Kristine Ziwica is a freelance writer based in Melbourne. She started her career at Ms. Magazine in New York. She was a 2002 Burns Journalism Fellowship recipient, spending three months in Munich working for a daily paper. More recently, she has managed strategic communications campaigns for the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission and the media engagement program for Our Watch, the national foundation to prevent violence against women. Check out Kristine’s recent insightful piece in Women’s Agenda.

Tasneem Chopra is a curator, consultant, author and prominent activist. Tasneem Chopra’s passion for addressing social justice issues has embraced many platforms. An independent Cross Cultural Consultant, Tasneem delivers acclaimed workshops on diversity, identity and racism to varied audiences from Supreme Court judges to kindergarten teachers. Have a watch of one Tasneem’s fantastic TEDx talks on YouTube.

Dr Robyn Gregory is Women’s Health West’s CEO. She has a degree in social work and a PhD focused on sexual and reproductive politics. Robyn has a long term interest in women’s health, safety and wellbeing with over 25 years experience working in policy, practice, academia and research-related fields. She has worked at Women’s Health West since May 2005, initially as manager – health promotion, research and development, and as CEO from early 2008.

We hope to see you there!

Our 2017 AGM annual conversation: in video

Women’s Health West’s annual general meeting was held on Wednesday 29 November 2017 at Footscray Community Arts Centre.

The event was a great success, and saw our members and community gather to hear Women’s Health West’s highlights of 2016-17, and to vote on important constitutional changes, which were all passed.

One of these changes reflected our commitment to being inclusive of all genders. Members passed a change to our constitution to include an additional definition being inserted as follows: ‘The words “woman” or “women” are inclusive of females, or people who identify as female’. A small but important change.

Following official AGM business, we moved onto the annual conversation element, which featured:

  • Carly Findlay, writer, speaker and activist
  • Jax Jacki Brown, disability and LGBTI activist
  • Leah Van Poppel, manager of the Youth Disability Advocacy Service
  • Keran Howe, executive director of Women with Disabilities Victoria, as chair.

The speakers discussed the topic ‘why be happy when you could be normal? Perspectives on feminism and disability’.

A full video of the AGM conversation can be viewed here (with captions), or catch the highlights below.

Understanding experiences of Aboriginal people working in mainstream organisations

Are you of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander background?

Do you work in a mainstream organisation?

If so, we would love to hear from you.

Women’s Health West is conducting a survey about ‘Experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Staff Working in Mainstream Organisations’, which is part of our Reconciliation Action Plan’s employment and retention strategy.

The information obtained will be used to develop a resource that Women’s Health West and other mainstream organisations can use to understand and improve the experiences and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander employees working in mainstream organisations.

The survey will take about 15-20 minutes and is available here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QBMRQ3J

By completing this survey, you can go into a draw to win a $100 Coles Group gift card. This survey is completely anonymous, unless you opt to enter the prize draw. The survey will close on Friday 30 March 2018.

Thank you for your time in completing this survey and sharing your valuable responses.

Please share the survey with any colleagues or networks who are able to contribute.

New prevention funding for women’s health organisations

The Victorian government yesterday announced important new funding of $3.8 million over four years for the women’s health sector, to enhance our work in primary prevention.

L-R: WHW CEO Dr Robyn Gregory, Minister Natalie Hutchins, WDV director Keran Howe