News and Events

Women’s Health West’s year to date

Women’s Health West have compiled some key statistics and information about our year to date.

The flyer provides a snapshot of the demand on our services, and some of the challenges and successes we’ve had so far this financial year. The information covers the period 1 July 2016 – 30 April 2017.

These include:

  • We received 9,297 police family violence referrals.
  • We supported 1,073 women at court, and provided 243 children with counselling support.
  • We have experienced a significant decrease in ongoing recurrent family violence funding relative to non-recurrent funding in recent years, which impacts significantly on our ability to offer staff permanent contracts and sustainably plan for growth.

The flyer can be downloaded here.

Action for Equity strategy launched

In late April, the second iteration of our regional sexual and reproductive health strategy for Melbourne’s west, Action for Equity, was launched by the Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy MP.

People, and in particular women, in the western region of Melbourne have poorer sexual and reproductive health outcomes when compared to other regions in Victoria. This is particularly the case in relation to sexually transmitted infections, teenage fertility, and cervical screening rates. Despite this, and our rapid population growth out west, our region still lacks a dedicated sexual health clinical service.

This newly-launched strategy is designed to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes for communities in the west in a coordinated way, to increase impact throughout the region. It was developed by the Action for Equity partnership, led by WHW, and other key experts. The other 15 partners cover a wide range of health and community services – including community health, and local and state government, among others. Action for Equity has also been influenced by current state and federal policies, including Victoria’s first ever sexual and reproductive health strategy, launched by Minister Hennessy last year.

Action for Equity’s first strategy ran from 2013-2017. It was visionary and ambitious. It was instrumental in supporting partners to align their efforts to improve sexual and reproductive health in Melbourne’s west under a common agenda. And it enabled them to identify shared measures of success, drawing on the diverse expertise of a range of sectors.

The new strategy, Action for Equity 2018-2022, is as bold and impressive as the first, and we are looking forward to it having an even greater impact on our community across the next four years. Melbourne’s west is one of Victoria’s most vibrant and diverse regions, and our goal is to achieve the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health for everyone in our community.

The Action for Equity strategy can be downloaded here.

Women’s Health West on film

Earlier this year we embarked on a mission to shine a light on the work we do here at Women’s Health West. We are often so busy there isn’t much time to reflect or step back, but that was just what we did in the process of putting together these two short films.

In the first film we’ve captured some of the amazing feedback we have had from clients and program participants over the years. Filming these statements was powerful; many of them evoke hard times and the hope that follows.

The second film reveals the diversity of work that we do here at Women’s Health West. From direct services to health promotion, the video showcases all of the many facets of the organisation. It offers a sneak peek inside our Barkly Street offices, and some of our own staff make an appearance!

Many thanks for Big Review TV for their assistance and direction in making these films. 

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!