The following content may be distressing for some readers. It contains references to historical actions and policies that were unjust and harmful to First Nations peoples.
Women’s Health West recognises that the land on which we work and provide our services always was and always will be Aboriginal land. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.
We proudly acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Melbourne’s west, their rich cultures, diversity, histories and knowledges, and the deep contribution they make to the life of this region.
We acknowledge the ongoing impacts of colonisation, as well as the strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and express solidarity with the ongoing struggle for land rights, self-determination, sovereignty, and recognition of past injustices.
Our Vision for Reconciliation
Women’s Health West’s vision for reconciliation is one where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ right to self-determination, connection to land and waters, identity, cultures and histories are respected and celebrated across Australia.
We commit to ongoing learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, cultures, histories, and rich diversity across the nation, with a focus on the Western Metropolitan region of Melbourne. We seek to actively contribute towards reconciliation for a future where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s wellbeing is treated with respect and equity.
Reconciliation for our organisation includes the recognition of, and healing from, past injustices and moving towards a connected, healthy, and united Western Melbourne, Victorian and Australian community together.
Our Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2020-22
We have an Innovate reconciliation action plan that was recently endorsed by Reconciliation Australia, with the focus of the following objectives:
Strengthen reciprocal relationships and partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, communities, and organisations.
To ensure cultural safety is embedding in our workplace, in our staff and in our practices.
To increase employment and procerement opportunites for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members and to employ and retain staff in all levels of our organisation.
WHW is currently undergoing a significant Re-Brand Project, from September 2020 and into 2021. This means that the vital and exciting opportunity to engage an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander artist for our Innovate RAP artwork will occur from March 2021. Currently on the first page of our RAP, we have the amazing artwork by local Aboriginal artist Melinda Kirby, that is hung in our reception area.
After consulting with our Aboriginal Advisory Committee, we collectively felt it important to proceed with our internal staff launch in October 2020, so that we can communicate and commence the vital work of reconciliation far sooner, ensuring WHW staff are engaged and committed to playing their part. From March 2021, we look forward to celebrating more broadly with our local community and the unveiling of our Innovate RAP artwork in future is something we are committed to, and greatly excited by.
Aboriginal Advisory Committee
Our RAP work is supported by our Aboriginal Advisory Committee which include Aboriginal women with different experiences and areas of expertise. These women provide valuable cultural advice and guidance to help our staff progress our reconciliation work.
Aunty Darlene Babinall
Wurundjeri Aboriginal Elder
Aunty Darlene is a Wurundjeri Aboriginal Elder who has been living on Wurundjeri country for over 20 years. She is a mother of five, a grandmother of 18 and a great-grandmother of two.
Her background work has been all around community services and she sits on several different groups. She is passionate about the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and she enjoys spending time with community, family and friends.
Aunty Maggie Binks
Gunnai Kurnai Aboriginal Elder
“I am a 69 year old woman, a mother and grandmother. My mob are traditionally from Gippsland, but l have lived most of my life in the suburbs of Melbourne. My background work has been very diverse but my last jobs before retirement was as a youth worker and then a tutor at University. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Sociology and Psychology. And Honours in Sociology. I belong to several Aboriginal community groups and like to support the local community”.
Wiradjuri Country, Aboriginal Wellbeing Program Coordinator, Headspace
Kate is a Wiradjuri woman; her mob is from Central New South Wales, and she was privileged to grow up on the land of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people in Victoria, enjoying regular trips back to ngurambang (home, country).
Kate coordinates First Nations social and emotional wellbeing programs at headspace Werribee and engages young people both in individual counselling and in group social programs. Her passion is supporting young people to engage in healing practices through art and runs an art group called Art Mob for First Nations young people.
Kate’s professional background is in Clinical Psychology; she completed a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology), Bachelor of Applied Science (Psychology) (Honours) and Master of Clinical Psychology at RMIT University. She is currently studying Wiradjuri language with mob at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga under the guidance and support of Wiradjuri elders, Uncle Stan Gran Snr, Aunty Flo Grant and the Wiradjuri Council of Elders. Kate is passionate about art and painting, as well as hiking and connecting to nature.
Gamilaraay/Gomeroi Country, Manager Emerging Practice Team, Our Watch
Karla works at Our Watch as Manager – Emerging Practice where her role focuses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and young people.
Before transitioning to the Practice Leadership team, Karla completed research and consultation as a member of the Policy team on Changing the Picture: A national resource to support the prevention of violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children. The resource is designed to contribute to the development of culturally safe and appropriate solutions to the prevention of violence against women.
Before joining Our Watch Karla spent six years in Indigenous Health on projects that focused on improving the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people. Karla has worked across government and non-government sectors for over fifteen years in Indigenous community development roles.
Jingili/Mudburra descendent and Director of Jinkigi Consultancy
Jacqueline is a descendant of Jingili/Mudburra people of Elliott in the Northern Territory. Born in Darwin and raised in Alice Springs.
She has always been a strong advocate of Aboriginal affairs especially in Education and Health.
Jacqueline has extensive experience in mentoring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from early childhood through to secondary education throughout her career, including education of teaching staff. She has worked with different early childhood organisations and secondary schools throughout Australia.
Currently changing her career in health in particular health promotion in public health ensuring the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families are provided with the importance of preventative measures to ensure good health and good decisions.
Jacqueline has developed strong leadership and strategic skills throughout her career which has seen her in management and executive roles.