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Annual Report


Chair of the Board and CEO Report

Amy Rhodes Chair

Marianne Hendron CEO

In this most unusual of years, it is hard to write a report that is not completely overshadowed by the context of COVID-19, however we were actually managing the ‘COVID reality’ for only four out of the last twelve months. So happily, this report reflects a substantial body of achievements prior to lockdown, as well as our adaption to “Business as Unusual”.

Women’s Health Grampians (WHG) has been lucky to be able to maintain our staffing levels throughout the last year, although we did farewell the wonderful Shiree Pilkinton, whose final project with us, Unstoppable Women, was completed in July 2019. Shiree has left a tremendous legacy in terms of her work with migrant and refugee women which luckily continues in other ways. We also bade a fond farewell to Pat Loughnan, our longstanding, patient and hardworking Finance Officer who was with WHG for some 17 years. Pat has gone on to enjoy retirement and is sorely missed.

Key areas of work were progressed with the expansion of the CoRE Alliance and we welcomed ongoing funding for training and workforce development that so importantly strengthens it. The work of CoRE has been greatly enhanced by the initiatives that speak to diversity such as the Equality for All advocacy program that has seen an extension of funding. Other important elements that contribute to the initiative are CoRE Hi-Vis, focused on gender equality in male-dominated industries, and Act@Play, engaging sporting clubs to become more inclusive for women and girls.

We have been delighted to progress our research partnership work with University of Melbourne through the Increasing Reproductive Choices report and project. This has enabled fruitful collaboration with agencies across the region to highlight areas of need in terms of vital healthcare for women and young people, and ensure their needs are identified no matter how remotely they live.

As a Board, we are proud of the way WHG has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Business as usual continued with a swift shift to online platforms, allowing us to reach our communities on many key topics. Staff and guest speakers shared their expertise through a series of webinars, particularly with respect to the gendered impact of COVID and rise in family violence during lockdowns. The ability to not just remain relevant but actually increase our impact during these times is outstanding. The hard work of the staff and CEO is recognised by the Board; we are incredibly proud of the team.

We’re also proud of how hard our board continues to work to achieve balance in board membership with consideration to cultural diversity, rural and regional locations, age and professional backgrounds, particularly over the past year. The Board continues to strive for stronger and more accountable governance. Over the last year, we’ve strengthened processes such as our CEO appraisal, Board KPIs, meeting agendas, and policy review schedule, and completed several major pieces of work including a revised constitution and strategic plan review.

Over the past twelve months we welcomed three new members – Dianne Thomson from Horsham, Shawna Dominelli from Ararat and Julie-Ann Zajac (JAZ) from Ballarat. Julie-Ann has also stepped into the role of Treasurer, following the departure of Debbie Bach due to work commitments. We thank Debbie for her contribution.

We look forward to a year of recovery and consolidation ahead, with the health and wellbeing of our communities across the Grampians remaining a key priority.

Marianne Hendron CEO

Amy Rhodes, Chair

About WHG

Strategic Plan 2017 – 2021

Our strategic plan provides a solid foundation for Women’s Health Grampians’ role as the regional leader in translating evidence into practice to support improvement in women’s equality, health and wellbeing.

Working within a Feminist Framework

Women’s Health Grampians’ work emphasises the role of gender in the formation of traditional roles and stereotypes and the ways in which these reflect and perpetuate bias against women. Women as a group experience disadvantage and discrimination in many different forms and the barriers to equality and full participation go across multiple levels: structural, institutional, cultural and individual.

The negative consequences of inequality are exemplified in poor health outcomes, poverty and violence against women. These are amplified for women in rural areas. The intersection of gender with other forms of discrimination and disadvantage further compounds inequality for (for example), Aboriginal women and girls, women from migrant backgrounds and women who live with disabilities.

Women’s Health Grampians has an inclusive definition of ‘woman’. We work to support everyone who identifies as a woman.

Our Vision

Gender equality improving women’s health

Our Values

We work within a feminist framework valuing:

    • Empowerment

    • Diversity

    • Partnership & Collaboration

    • Respect

About WHG

Organisational Chart

About WHG

Our Board

Amy Rhodes


Rachel Whittaker

Deputy Chairperson

Julie-Ann Zajac


Frances Salenga

Board Member

Shani Cain

Board Member

Jennie Courtney

Board Member

Di Thomson

Board Member

Shawna Dominelli

Board Member

Debbie Bach

Board Member

WHG would also like to acknowledge the contribution of Debbie Bach who departed from the Board in 2019-20.

About WHG

Our Staff

Marianne Hendron

Chief Executive Officer

Rose Durey

Manager Strategy and Programs

Pat Loughnan

Finance Administrator

Valma Ffrost

Office Administrator

Jess Cadwallader

CHIFVC Principal Strategic Advisor

Christy Knapman

Project Support

Kate Diamond-Keith

Regional Consultant – Grampians Pyrenees

Melissa Morris

Regional Consultant - Wimmera

Belinda-Sue Parsons

Project Coordinator – CoRE: Equality for All

Dee Micevski

Regional Consultant – Central Highlands

Shannon Hill

Health Promotion – Sexual Health

Marieke Dam

Reproductive Choices Project Worker

Ange van den Berg

Project Support, Central Highlands Integrated Family Violence Committee

Deb Harris

Regional Consultant Health Promotion

Shiree Pilkinton

Intercultural Engagement Advisor

We would also like to acknowledge the contributions of staff members who departed WHG during 2019-20: Pat Loughnan – Finance Administrator retired, Shiree Pilkinton – Intercultural Engagement Advisor and Christy Knapman – Project Support, Central Highlands Integrated Family Violence Committee.

Region and Partnerships

Women’s Health Grampians extends our thanks and acknowledges the value of partners, organisations and individuals that have contributed to and supported our work in 2019-20. These relationships underpin our capacity to achieve our goals and contribute positively to the health and wellbeing of all women across the Grampians region.

An active partner in regional level action, WHG is represented on a wide range of local and regional networks and committees.


  • Grampians Dhelk Dja Action Group

Central Highlands

  • Central Highlands Integrated Family Violence Committee
  • Central Highlands PCP Alliance and Prevention Network
  • Hepburn Shire Council Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan Committee
  • Hepburn Shire Active Women and Girls Strategy Committee
  • City of Ballarat Health Partners Network
  • City of Ballarat Community Safety Committee
  • Golden Plains Shire Municipal Health and Wellbeing Committee
  • Moorabool Council Municipal Health and Wellbeing Committee
  • Sports Central Board
  • Safer Pathways Governance Group
  • Central Highlands Elder Abuse Prevention Network
  • DEDJTR Activate 2020-2030 Working Group
  • YMCA’s Make Your Move Collaborative Working Group
  • Hepburn Shire Council’s Active Women & Girls Strategy Working Group
  • Ballarat City Council Active Women’s Network

Grampians Pyrenees Region

  • Northern Grampians Health and Wellbeing Plan Working Group
  • Grampians Pyrenees PCP Executive Committee
  • Pyrenees Community Safety Committee


  • Wimmera PCP Executive
  • Western Victoria Primary Health Network Wimmera Community Council
  • Wimmera South West Integrated Family Violence Partnership
  • Horsham CEO Network
  • Wimmera Local Area Planning group

WHG also provided a range of support to local councils across the Grampians to assist in the progression of prevention of violence against women and gender equity elements within their Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plans.

Our Work


This year COVID-19 significantly impacted our work. As we made sense of the impact of the pandemic on women in our region, we are proud of the way we adapted to challenging circumstances and seized opportunities for innovation and new ways of working.

Impact on ‘business as usual’

Many activities and events planned for 2020 were cancelled, rescheduled or reconsidered as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

Work from home orders impacted activities such as external training, meetings and communities of practice, with many activities moved online. The work of many of our partners was also significantly impacted, particularly those in the health and community sector now at the frontline of the pandemic. WHG worked in partnership to reassess gender equality priorities and ways of working across CoRE and in sexual and reproductive health. Projects such as CoRE Hi-Vis and Act@Play were formally paused and extended.

WHG put into place:

  • Alternate modes of sharing of information, including online communities of practice, webinars and the development of online training courses
  • A review of systems and processes used to support CoRE members, made possible by a downturn in some activities
  • A focus on resource development and planning in some projects

Pivot to ‘business as unusual’

WHG examined how the pandemic and resulting economic downturn is affecting women and men differently, and how it affects diverse groups of women in different ways. WHG is committed to a gendered response and recovery, and carried out the following initiatives:

  • Delivery of a series of five webinars: WHG Conversations: A gender spotlight on COVID-19 from March to June 2020
  • Writing to our politicians about: free childcare; early childhood educators and JobKeeper allowance; the gendered impact of COVID-19; and a gendered social and economic recovery from COVID-19
  • Sexual and reproductive health advocacy to ensure access to services is not restricted by COVID-19
  • Presentations on a gender equitable recovery from COVID-19 at various meetings across the region
  • Input into a GEN VIC series of resources regarding the gendered impact and recovery of COVID-19
  • Responding to requests from CoRE members to provide more information on the gendered nature of this pandemic
  • A family violence and working from home resource for employers (currently in development)

Adapting WHG to our new COVID context

WHG Board and Management developed a Pandemic Policy and procedure, a revised Business Continuity Plan and updated our Risk Management Framework.

We have had a strong focus on staff health and wellbeing and OH&S in a working from home context, with staff well supported with appropriate equipment, furniture and communication strategies. Staff have been encouraged to utilise leave provisions and EAP.

The staff group also worked hard to stay connected, through scheduled weekly ‘virtual’ morning teas, socially-distanced walking meetings (when restrictions allowed), and a one-on-one buddy system which enabled staff to catch up informally and supportively.

We continue to monitor capacity to deliver remotely and follow all directives from the Victorian Chief Health Officer.

Advocacy and Influence

Members of Parliament

This year, we have advocated to our Ministers and Members of Parliament on a range of issues impacting on women in our region, including:

  • The second exposure drafts of the Religious Discrimination Bill
  • The proposed decision to end the universal childcare measures put in place in response to COVID-19 and the loss of the JobKeeper allowance for early childhood educators
  • How this pandemic and resulting economic downturn is affecting women and men differently, and how it affects diverse groups of women in different ways
  • Ensuring women are central to the Federal government’s budgetary response to the COVID-19 crisis
  • Supporting ongoing funding for Primary Care Partnerships across our region
  • The impact of statewide referral criteria on abortion in rural areas
  • The shift of gynaecological surgery from a public to private hospital in Ballarat to cope with COVID-19

We also met with Member for Wendouree, Julianna Addison MP, and Member for Buninyong, Michaela Settle MP. Michaela Settle MP highlighted the work of WHG and CoRE during legislative debate on the Gender Equality Bill.

Consultations and Submissions

This year, we made submissions to the following:

  • Religious Discrimination Bill
  • Federal Parliamentary Inquiry into Family, Domestic and Sexual Violence
  • Horsham Rural City Council Open Space Strategy
  • Central Highlands Sport and Active Recreation Plan
  • Respect Victoria re: primary prevention infrastructure
  • B4Kids initiative led by Ballarat Health Service

media articles published


WHG webinar views


stakeholders receiving WHG newsletters


website visitors


Tweets favourited or re-tweeted


followers on Twitter


top Facebook post reached people


Facebook followers

Celebrations and Events

Wimmera Leading Change

Horsham, October 2019

75 people from a range of agencies and councils gathered for this event. All attendees reported high satisfaction, an increased understanding of how men and women experience and recover from disasters differently, and an increased understanding of the role their organisation can play in supporting communities with a culture of respect, free from sexism and discrimination. The event received positive media coverage and a number of organisations expressed an interest in joining the CoRE Alliance.

Not in My Workplace

Ballarat, December 2019

This forum discussed issues relating to workplace sexual harassment, giving participants practical tools and resources to identify risks and prevent sexual harassment, and to navigate legal and industrial requirements. The event was a collaboration between Not in My Workplace and WHG, supported by Sovereign Hill, Committee for Ballarat, Commerce Ballarat, City of Ballarat and UFS Dispensaries. 100 guests attended, representing business, local government, emergency and health services.

Prevention Showcase

Beaufort, December 2019

A collaborative effort between Central Highlands Integrated Family Violence Committee (CHIFVC) and the CoRE Alliance, this event showcased violence prevention initiatives involving children and young people from across the Central Highlands region. Participants reported feeling inspired and many noted they will take away actions for implementation in their respective areas of influence with children and young people.

The work we are doing counts, and we need to keep educating our children in what respectful relationships look like, feel like and sound like. We are making a difference for the future.

Event attendee

International Women’s Day

March 2020

International Women’s Day events were held this year in Ballarat and Horsham. These events and supporting social media campaign were based on two themes: #GenerationEquality and #EachForEqual.

In Ballarat, 25 people attended a garden party celebrating the launch of WHG’s Equality for All Intersectionality Guide and WRISC Family Violence Support’s Rainbow Tick accreditation.

Horsham hosted 80 people at a breakfast at the Town Hall. A panel of speakers addressed the twin themes. This annual event in Horsham is in its sixth year and is supported by Horsham East Rotary Club, WHG, the Sexual Assault and Family Violence Centre, Wimmera Development Association and Horsham Rural City Council.

A very powerful morning that I will not forget any time soon.

Horsham IWD attendee

Sexual and Reproductive Health

Increasing Reproductive Choices project

The Increasing Reproductive Choices in the Grampians Pyrenees and Wimmera Regions project drew to a close in 2019-20. An evaluation led by University of Melbourne highlighted that WHG: established strong and enduring relationships with key stakeholders; provided support to health services; facilitated closer working relationships between experts and local providers; and increased awareness of medical abortion. The evaluation found:

  • a 16% increase in the proportion of GPs who would ‘always’ discuss medical abortion (from 27% in 2017 to 43% in 2019)
  • 60% of participants described the range, number of services and referral pathways available to patients with unintended pregnancy as improved

The strength for me is the collaboration around the table, by using our local relationships, we can try and get better intelligence about what places do have the emergency options and if they don’t, how we can advocate for those.

IRC Project Reference Group Member

Building capacity and supporting our sexual and reproductive health workforce

Throughout the year, WHG linked sexual and reproductive health champions with relevant online training, support and networks. WHG participated in a number of sexual and reproductive health sector coalitions providing a rural and regional women’s perspective, and brought the latest evidence and knowledge back to our partners. We shared COVID-related changes, including issues relating to telehealth funding changes and recommendations for early medical abortion and long-acting reversible contraception.

The Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health (CERSH) SEXRurality Conference was hosted in Creswick in August 2019. The WHG Sexual Health Adviser sat on the organising committee and our Increasing Reproductive Choices Project Worker presented at the event.

WHG accepted the invitation to co-chair the GEN VIC Sexual and Reproductive Health Community of Practice quarterly forums.

Advocating for better access to sexual and reproductive health services

Advocacy to ensure that access to sexual and reproductive health services are not restricted by COVID-19 has been a focus in 2020. Direct advocacy was made to the Victorian Minister for Health and Human Services, utilising the support of Michaela Settle MP, regarding the shift of gynaecological surgical lists from a public to private hospital in Ballarat in order to cope with increased demand following COVID-19.

In 2019-20, advocacy regarding the impact of statewide referral criteria on abortion options in rural areas resulted in an amendment being made to the criteria.

Increasing women’s sexual and reproductive health literacy

Following a region-wide campaign, the 1800 My Options website is now showing 11 publicly-listed providers of sexual and reproductive services within our region, an increase of nine in the past two years.

WHG began development of a video raising awareness of 1800 My Options and abortion options available to women in our region, to be launched in the second half of 2020. 1800 My Options was promoted as the key referral source for sexual and reproductive health services at the Moorabool Women’s Health Forum and WHG Conversations: COVID and Sexual and Reproductive Health webinar.

WHG has also connected regional partners with youth-focused campaigns to improve sexual and reproductive health including My Town Condom Count and Be Proud of Your Choices.

Sexual and reproductive health presentations

  • Abortion in the Grampians Pyrenees and Wimmera area, SexRurality conference, Creswick
  • Theory of Change: Mapping a Vision for Women’s Sexual Health and Wellbeing, SexRurality conference, Creswick
  • Impact of COVID-19 on sexual and reproductive health, Regional Development Victoria discussion in the Wimmera
  • Abortion and conscientious objection in rural areas, Children by Choice conference, Brisbane

Communities of Respect and Equality (CoRE)

Since launching in May 2016, the CoRE strategy has engaged 122 organisations, clubs and networks across the Grampians region. Four new members joined CoRE in 2019-20, reflecting our focus on consolidating membership and enabling meaningful action.  Leadership briefings were conducted at 10 CoRE Alliance member organisations and the CoRE Leadership Group met four times.

Members of the CoRE Alliance are diverse and represent a range of industries:

Local Government (all local councils in the Grampians region)


Health, Community Health & Social Services sector

Community Organisations


State Government Department

Education and Training


New Resources

In 2019-20 the following new resources were developed to support CoRE members:

  • Equality for All Intersectionality Guide for CoRE members
  • Gendered Impact of COVID-19 resource for CoRE members
  • Gender Equity and COVID-19 factsheet – co-authored with GEN VIC
  • Refresh of all Act@Play resources
  • CoRE Hi-Vis Taking Action Guide

Communities of Practice

WHG leads CoRE communities of practice in all sub-regions, plus two region-wide sessions targeted to communications staff and trainers. All participants reported high satisfaction with these events; that learning outcomes were consistently achieved; and that content was relevant.

  • Sessions held: 7 (4 cancelled due to COVID-19)
  • Organisations represented: 35
  • People attended: 67

CoRE Training

The impact of COVID-19 on our training program was considerable, and face-to-face training remains one of the most significantly affected areas of our work.

The comparison between the number of training sessions, participants and organisations in 2018-19 and 2019-20 below highlights the disruption caused by COVID-19.

  • Training sessions: 13 (45 in 2018-19)
  • Participants: 180 (955 in 2018-19)
  • Organisations: 8 (32 in 2018-19)

Nevertheless, participant satisfaction across our Intensive Bystander training, Introduction to the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Gender Equity Training for Managers remains consistently high:

  • ‘How do you feel about being a member of the CoRE Alliance or Act@Work?’
    95% reported they were happy or very happy
  • ‘Would you recommend this workshop to other staff in your organisation?’
    89% would recommend it to all staff

Managing Resistance and Backlash training sessions were also provided to three organisations and WHG partnered with Women’s Health Victoria to deliver the Storytelling for Change masterclass in February 2020. In addition, WHG was contracted to develop and deliver a workshop to Horsham Rural City Council as part of the pilot implementation of Gender Equality Act resources.

WHG has now pivoted to online delivery of our training.

WHG Conversations webinar series

In response to the pandemic we developed a webinar series: WHG Conversations: A gender spotlight on COVID-19. This series of 30-minute webinars enhanced the understanding of the way in which COVID-19 has specifically impacted women, and women from diverse backgrounds.

The following webinars are available on our webinars page:

  • Gender, relationships and parenting in the pandemic
  • Family violence in the pandemic
  • Diversity and inclusion: women’s experiences in the pandemic
  • Supporting women’s sexual and reproductive health in the pandemic and beyond
  • Impact of COVID-19 on gender equality in sport

More than 90% of attendees stayed for the duration of the webinar. 77% of survey respondents rated the webinars as very good or excellent, and 41% of attendees had not attended a WHG event before.

Great work. This is such a great resource to be able to share women's experiences and impacts on different and emerging issues. I liked that it was only 30mins, it was purposeful, informative and time efficient. Thank you.

Webinar attendee

CoRE systems and processes review

WHG Regional Consultants reviewed systems and processes used to support CoRE members to ensure meaningful and sustainable membership is promoted. This was made possible by the shift to working from home and reduction in training that resulted from the onset of COVID-19.

Prevention of violence against women presentations

  • CoRE, Equality for All and LGBTI representation, Our Watch, September 2019
  • CoRE update for Leading Change Wimmera, Horsham, October 2019
  • White Ribbon Ambassadors training, Horsham, October 2019
  • Preventing and Responding to Family Violence, Daughters of the West, Ballarat, October 2019
  • 16 Days of Activism, City of Ballarat, November 2019
  • Women’s Journey, Horsham, November 2019
  • Preventing Violence Against Women through CoRE membership, Not in My Workplace, December 2019
  • Intersectionality and Unstoppable Women (co-presentation with Ballarat Community Health), Stop DV conference, Gold Coast, December 2019
  • Partnering with organisations to prevent violence against women in rural Victoria, Stop DV conference, Gold Coast, December 2019
  • Equality for All poster presentation, Stop DV conference, Gold Coast, December 2019
  • Why gender still matters session, December 2019
  • Preventing and Responding to Family Violence, Daughters of the West, Horsham, March 2020
  • Open Doors presentation, June 2020


The Act@Work program began in 2012 and has now been rolled out across 18 organisations in the Grampians region. It is estimated that over 5,000 employees have participated in the program, with considerable reach into the wider community as participants discuss the issues with friends, family and other networks.
Three organisations took part in Act@Work in 2019-20: Hepburn Shire Council; Golden Plains Shire Council; and Moorabool Shire Council. We congratulate them for their efforts and commitment to preventing violence against women.


CoRE membership from the sport and recreation sector is growing and currently stands at 21 members (17% of total CoRE membership). The Act@Play program and partnership with Sports Central has further strengthened our ability to reach sporting clubs and raise awareness of violence against women and its prevention.
The first phase with AFL Goldfields and Ballarat Basketball Association was completed. and the pilot was extended for a second year by Sport and Recreation Victoria. Much work in 2019-20 focused on resource refinement and recruitment to the pilot, rather than active delivery. Work has now begun with Ballarat City Football Club.
COVID-19 had a considerable impact on Act@Play, as community sports were shut down and restrictions on exercise in groups imposed. Sport and Recreation Victoria granted an extension of two months due to the pandemic.

CoRE Hi-Vis

CoRE Hi-Vis is a three-year project funded by Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and City of Ballarat. This project aims to support organisations to attract and retain women in construction and manufacturing in the Central Highlands region. The literature review, Taking Action Guide and branding development have been completed. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the project was formally suspended for three months in April 2020.

Equality for All

The Equality for All project was extended in May 2019. Over a period of 19 months, WHG recruited, trained and supported a team of 11 Equality Advocates with lived experiences of discrimination related to their culture, race, appearance, language, abilities, sexuality and gender, to encourage organisations to create supportive, inclusive workplaces.

 “It has made me confident in speaking about topics usually deemed sensitive. I am empowered with the correct information.”

Equality Advocate

Equality for All has influenced CoRE members to make changes within their workplaces, clubs and networks to address gender equality and intersectionality issues. Evaluation data shows evidence of direct changes and early indicators that future changes are likely. A variety of methods were used to influence CoRE members, including:

  • 59 presentations to CoRE members
  • Presentations during WHG community of practice sessions, training sessions, staff meetings, network meetings and special events such as International Women’s Day and 16 Days of Activism
  • One-on-one support sessions with CoRE members
  • Image audits of organisations’ visual materials (websites, newsletters, brochures etc.)
  • Short films about the Equality Advocates’ lived-experiences of discrimination, and
  • Intersectionality Guide: A tool for CoRE members

Personal lived-experience is such a powerful message to give to community and facilitates difficult discussions to take place that help create awareness to strengthen community knowledge and understanding.

CoRE member

Central Highlands Integrated Family Violence Committee

Auspiced by Women’s Health Grampians, the Central Highlands Integrated Family Violence Committee (CHIFVC) provides leadership, advocacy and specialist expertise to strengthen, integrate and improve the family violence system and help end family violence across Victoria’s Central Highlands. CHIFVC has representation from specialist family violence services as well as broader cross-sector organisations and alliances whose work intersects with family violence response, early intervention and prevention.

COVID-19 has posed particular challenges for CHIFVC, with agencies navigating escalations in demand and risk levels. In recognition of the heightened demand, working groups were suspended for a period of time, and a focus on strategies to support the navigation of demand were prioritised.

In early 2020, the CHIFVC formalised its Strategic Plan for 2020-2023. In preparing for the Strategic Plan, we hosted a day-long strategic planning session with CHIFVC members, looking at what direction the Committee should take over the coming years. The discussion was an important re-focus, which saw us develop our clear vision statement: ‘Our vision for Central Highlands is that all people are safe, respected and valued, and live free from family violence. Four strategic priorities were also identified:

  • System Integration & Improvement
  • Data, Outcomes & Evidence
  • Workforce
  • Governance

The Prevention Showcase graphic recording can be found on the CHIFVC website here:

Key Achievements:

Community of Practice

Working with Male Perpetrators: Good practice and local services

CHIFVC welcomed 80 attendees to their sixth CoP in September 2019. We were joined by Dr Margaret Kertesz from the University of Melbourne, who delivered the keynote address: ‘Keeping the Perpetrator Visible: An all of family approach to working with fathers who use violence and control’. Local services presented on their experiences of working with male perpetrators, and Michael Brandenburg from No To Violence facilitated an interactive activity which resulted in some excellent group discussions on what engagement and collusion can look like and the development of strategies to incorporate into their practice.

Prevention Showcase: Working with Children & Young People to Prevent Violence Against Women

December 2019 saw CHIFVC host a Prevention Showcase: Working with Children & Young People to Prevent Violence Against Women, which was attended by over 90 people, including the Hon. Gabrielle Williams, Minister for Youth, Minister for Women and Minister for Prevention of Family Violence, as well as schools, local government and healthcare representatives. The Showcase focused on services and projects in the region working with children and young people which reinforce gender equality and aim to prevent violence against women before it happens. We were lucky to have a number of young people present on the day, and MC Jack Ward from Ararat did a beautiful job of guiding us through the day. The event was funded by Respect Victoria, SalvoConnect Western Region, City of Ballarat and Moorabool Shire Council.

Data Press progress

After receiving funding from RE Ross Trust in early 2019, phase 1 of the Data Press project was completed in mid-2020. The project involved the development of an IT platform supporting the collection, collation and display of data both from CHIFVC members and from publicly-available data sets. It is already enabling CHIFVC to take an evidence-based approach to its work, and the newly formed Data, Outcomes and Evidence Working Group will be taking this project to the next phase in the coming months.

The Collaborative Network

This year has seen the development of the Central Highlands Collaborative Network., aimed at supporting cross-sectoral collaboration with a particular focus on family violence, family services, care services and homelessness. Core to the Collaborative Network has been the development of a PSA Hub, located at Women’s Health Grampians, where the Principal Strategic Advisors (PSAs) from CHIFVC, the Family Services Alliance, the Care Services Alliance and the Homelessness Alliance will work alongside each other, supporting increased collaboration between the sectors. Women’s Health Grampians has also auspiced a new administration role to support the PSAs in the Hub.

Joint Allocations/CDM

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and expected fluctuations in demand, CHIFVC developed a plan to run a Collaborative Demand Management meeting weekly between specialist family violence services, to discuss capacity, identify all available resources across agencies, and support identification of themes across the system. The COVID-19 plan also involved development of the first joint allocations process for specialist family violence services in Victoria. A protocol to support joint allocations was developed through an iterative co-design process over a period of months leading up to a pilot.

Annual General Meeting

Women’s Health Grampians (WHG) Annual General Meeting was held on 18 November 2020 via Zoom due to COVID-19, where the 2019-20 Annual Report was presented.  Audited Financial Reports for 2019-20 are provided as a supplement within the report.  The WHG Annual Report and Financial Reports are available via the WHG website.


WHG encourages all women and supporters to join as members and receive our informative newsletters. Membership is free. If you are interested in joining visit our website.

Financial Report

Download Financial Report

WHG is a member of Gender Equity Victoria (GEN VIC), the peak body for gender equity, women’s health and the prevention of violence against women. GEN VIC 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. Through GEN VIC, WHG is able to advocate, influence and collaborate to improve outcomes in gender equity, women’s health and in the prevention of violence against women at a state-wide level.

WHG acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.

Women’s Health Grampians acknowledges and pays respect to the traditional owners of all the land and waters of the Grampians region, their Elders, past and present and in particular the strong Aboriginal women of these lands who are central to family and community. We are proud and honoured to work with them.

Annual Report design by Small Dog Design. Thank you to Michelle Dunn of MDP for supplying some of the imagery used in this report.

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