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Women’s Health West moves

WOMEN’S Health West will move to Braybrook this year after signing a 21-year lease with Maribyrnong City Council.

The women’s health service, which has operated in Footscray for the past 25 years, will move from its current Barkly St premises to the former Howard Kingham Lodge aged facility on Darnley St.

The council has offered Women’s Health West the site at a peppercorn rental of $104 per year for the first 10 years, and $208 per year for the remainder of the lease.

In return, Women’s Health West will invest $1.5 million to upgrade the premises.

“This is a great outcome,” councillor Nam Quach said.

“The social contribution that Women’s Health West has been making not only to our municipality but the greater West (is great).

“This is another string in the bow for our Revitalising Braybrook program.”

Cr Quach said it was apt that services like Women’s Health West and Melbourne Citymission – which moved to Braybrook last year – were gravitating to the area where people needed help the most.

Women in the City of Maribyrnong experience the poorest health in the West, according to Women’s Health West, experiencing low life expectancies, high rates of family violence and an increasing teenage pregnancy rate.

A Star report last year revealed women in the City of Maribyrnong also experience the highest burden disease rate in the western region, experiencing the highest rates of heart disease, diabetes, depression, borderline personality disorder, asthma and osteoarthritis.

By CHARLENE MACAULAY – Footscray, Yarraville, Braybrook Star News
Posted on 11 March 2014.

West women’s services at risk without funds

Vulnerable women at risk of family violence could be in greater danger without an urgent injection of funding.

Footscray-based Women’s Health West (WHW) is one of a number of domestic violence services with programs at risk because of uncertainty surrounding a homelessness funding agreement between state and federal governments that runs out in June.

The National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) funds a range of homelessness prevention and family violence programs; in 2009, it provided $210 million funding in Victoria.

The Weekly last week revealed a 46 per cent rise in family violence reports in Maribyrnong last year compared with the previous year, and a 24 per cent jump in Hobsons Bay.

WHW chief executive Robyn Gregory has written to MPs warning the service received 2990 police referrals from July to December last year compared with 2207 for the same period the previous year – a 35.5 per cent increase.

Women’s Health West has used NPAH funds to help dozens of women improve home security and obtain court intervention orders as well as supporting families with crisis accommodation.

NPAH money also funds a weekend worker who responded to 737 referrals from Victoria Police in 2012-13.

“Without NPAH funding this program will end,” Dr Gregory said.

Domestic Violence Victoria chief executive Fiona McCormack said family violence was the main driver of homelessness in Victoria.

Council to Homeless Persons chief executive Jenny Smith said ripping funding from homelessness services would force more women and children to sleep in cars and rooming houses or “couch hop”.

A spokeswoman for Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews said the previous government did not commit to a new NPAH after the current agreement expires on June 30. “The Australian government continues to work with the sector and the states and territories on the future of homelessness funding.”

By Ben Millar, Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay Weekly
15:28:PM 11/03/2014

International Women’s Day Update

Unfortunately Women’s Health West has had to postpone the International Women’s Day screening of I AM A GIRL as a result of multiple factors beyond our control.

We are committed to screening the film at some point this year so please watch this space.

We encourage you to support the performance portion of the day which showcases a diverse range of incredibly talented local young women.

7 March 2014
4.30pm – 6.30pm
performances and light supper provided
Visy Cares Hub, 80b Harvester Road, SUNSHINE VIC

 

WANTED: POST GRADUATE STUDENT

To evaluate Action for Equity: A sexual and reproductive health plan for Melbourne’s West 2013-2017 

Women’s Health West is seeking a post-graduate student to develop a monitoring and evaluation framework for Action for Equity: A Sexual and Reproductive Health Plan for Melbourne’s West 2013-2017.

We require a student with an interest and some (academic or work) experience in the study and evaluation design in the areas of partnerships, governance, health, health promotion and/or sexual and reproductive health. An interest in the use of network mapping, network and social network analysis in evaluating community, health or government projects is also desirable.

The successful student will gain valuable industry work experience with community, health and government sectors who are committed to action on the social determinants of sexual and reproductive health.

Who are we and what is Action for Equity?

Women’s Health West is the women’s health service for the western metropolitan region of Melbourne.

Our health promotion team leads the implementation of Action for Equity. Action for Equity is a four year sexual and reproductive health promotion plan for Melbourne’s west that incorporates primary prevention initiatives that work to redress the social determinants of sexual and reproductive health in order to achieve health equity.

The plan integrates long-term strategies across a range of settings and sectors to generate and maintain the social and cultural change needed to achieve optimal sexual and reproductive health via strengthened regional partnerships, sharing of resources and knowledge and a common planning framework.

What do we want to know from an evaluation of Action for Equity?

• How effective has the Action for Equity health promotion plan been as a mechanism for furthering the plan’s sexual and reproductive health goal and objectives?

• Has a regional sexual and reproductive health promotion plan increased service and program integration and coordination across Melbourne’s west?

• Has the regional, partnership approach worked well to increase the sexual and reproductive health outcomes of people in the western region of Melbourne?

Key evaluation literature to inform the Action for Equity evaluation

• ‘Partnership evaluation should assess how a partnership fits in the broader political and institutional environment – and its links to power and other strategic decision-makers outside the partnership [via] analysing network structures’

• ‘Partnerships undertake activities that go beyond what can be achieved by their composite organisations alone…each structure, each organisation (or individual) is “only one small piece of the total picture” and broad social goals will only be met by the joining together to create new policy solutions’

• ‘Examining connections (ties) between people, through the use of network mapping provides information on the connections between people, in relations to various purposes (structure)’ (Pope and Lewis 2008).

If you are interested in this opportunity please email a two page proposal outlining how you would evaluate Action for Equity to Trish Hayes: trishh@whwest.org.au and Elly Taylor elly@whwest.org.au by Friday 28 February 2014. For further information please call Trish or Elly on 9689 9588.

Key references

International Women’s Day 2014 – Update

IWD_Breani-3Unfortunately Women’s Health West has had to postpone the International Women’s Day fundraising screening of I AM A GIRL as a result of multiple factors beyond our control.

We are committed to screening the film at some point this year so please watch this space.

We encourage you to support the performance portion of the day which showcases a diverse range of incredibly talented local young women.

7 March 2014
4.30pm – 6.30pm
performances and light supper provided
Visy Cares Hub, 80b Harvester Road, SUNSHINE VIC

Where can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Please contact veronica@whwest.org.au or phone 9689 9588