Women’s Health West celebrates 30 years!

Women’s Health West’s 2018 AGM was a momentous occasion, where we celebrated our 30th birthday.

The event, held on 28 November at Footscray Community Arts Centre, was an opportunity for us to celebrate our achievements over the past year, as well as reflect on the challenges and triumphs of the last 30 years.

We were honoured to have Nelly Thomas act as MC and as always, she bought her sharp wit and insightful humour to the event.

The AGM was opened with a spoken word performance by Fleassy Malay. The poem, entitled Witches, used metaphoric imagery to depict the oppression of women and to inspire unity in today’s society. We highly recommend checking out ‘witches’ on Fleassy’s Youtube channel.

Following Fleassy’s performance, we heard from the chair of the board, Maria DiGregorio and CEO Robyn Gregory, who provided an overview of our work throughout the year, and the changes we had seen in the external environment, too. Robyn revealed that in 2017-18, WHW provided more programs and services, and supported more women and children, than ever before.

They also spoke of the hard work and dedication of our staff, who achieved fantastic results for the women in our community this year. WHW’s treasurer, Jennifer Irvin, provided a great, user-friendly overview of the organisation’s financial position, and outlined the organisation’s investment in training and development for staff over the past year.

As the business side of the AGM came to an end, we moved into the annual conversation. This year our panel reflected on the achievements of the women’s health sector over the past 30 years, and discussed how feminism, gender equity and Women’s Health West as an organisation have evolved and changed over this period.

The panel featured wonderful insights from Mary Draper AM, who worked at the Department of Premier and Cabinet as women’s policy coordinator at the time WHW was established.

Dr Robyn Gregory, CEO of Women’s Health West, provided insights into the history of the organisation and some of our key achievements over the past 30 years.

Tina Kuek, a senior policy officer, activist and writer, spoke about some of the challenges and opportunities facing young women in our community now and in the future. Emily Lee-Ack, CEO of the Office for Women, spoke about how we can all take steps to achieve gender equity. The event was beautifully MC’d, as always, by comedian Nelly Thomas.

The AGM conversation will be available to watch on YouTube shortly. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and keep an eye out for it on our YouTube channel.

There is a selection of photos of the event on our Facebook page.