WHG Newsletter August 2019

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Women's Health Grampians Newsletter
August 2019



Hard to believe we are already well into the third quarter of 2019 and AGM time is almost upon us! On behalf of the WHG Board I invite you to join us at our Annual General Meeting, to be held in Ballarat at the Lucas Community Hub at 11am Wednesday 20 November. We are delighted to welcome our guest speaker, Professor Jane Fisher, a highly engaging speaker who has had extensive experience in many areas of women’s health, both in Australia and internationally. See the link below to further details.

Our AGM is a time to connect and communicate with our members and partners, and also acknowledge the contribution and hard work of our wonderful Board. This year we will farewell two of our long term Board members. Katherine Gillespie joined the Board in 2013, and served as Chair from 2014-2018 and has been a highly committed member and tremendous support to myself over this time. Jo Millard joined the Board in 2014 and has been a consistent and considered member. Jo is leaving the region for an exciting new work opportunity. Jude Channon was a Board member since late 2017 and resigned in May due to change in work circumstances. We thank these three wonderful women and wish them well for the future.

We are now calling for expressions of interest from potential new Board members and encourage WHG members to consider this opportunity, especially if you have previous Board experience and/or are from the Wimmera end of our region. We try to facilitate participation through use of Zoom and support for travel as well as rotating meetings when possible - our Board is a supportive, engaging and dynamic experience! Further details outlined below.

We have had welcomes and farewells among staff over the past few months. Jess Cadwallader joined us in the role of Principal Strategic Advisor with the Central Highlands Integrated Family Violence Committee. Jess has extensive experience in disability advocacy and policy development and as an academic. We said very fond farewells to Shiree Pilkinton who has been with WHG for almost three years and undertaken tremendous work with women from migrant and refugees backgrounds – she leaves a huge legacy in this area and we very much hope to work with her again in the future.

Cheers for now,
Marianne Hendron, CEO, Women's Health Grampians                       

News & Events

WHG Board Recruitment

Interested in being part of a dynamic and progressive
organisation working for women in the Grampians region?

We are seeking three new voluntary Board members for the next Board term commencing November 2019. Women from the Grampians region are invited to contact the current Chair, Amy Rhodes or CEO Marianne Hendron to discuss and to request a Prospective Board Members kit. You will be asked to complete an Expression of Interest with details of your experience and skills.There will be three vacancies; an election may be required if nominations exceed vacancies. Board nominees must be members of WHG.

The Board has determined the particular skills it is seeking as follows:
  • Experience in leadership and transformational change
  • Lived experience of diversity and or discrimination
  • Business development experience
  • Prior Board experience/governance knowledge
  • Location in the Western part of the Grampians region
Please note: it is not necessary to hold or experience all the above; one or more is sufficient to submit an expression of interest - or have a discussion. 
Please contact:
CEO Marianne Hendron: marianne@whg.org.au or 03 5322 4100
Chair Amy Rhodes: amy.maree.rhodes@gmail.com, 0417 583 421 

CoRE: Central Highlands Community of Practice

Our next CoP for Central Highlands CoRE Alliance members will be Monday 7 October 2019 at Ballarat Community Health, 12 Lilburne St Lucas. The intention for this CoP is to understand the power of imagery and communications and how different communication channels, such as images and social media, can be strong vehicles for change when it comes to improving our attitudes towards women.

For more information please contact Deb Harris at deb@whg.org.au or 03 5322 4100. 


CoRE Alliance Training

Gender Equity Training for Managers
Ballarat  |  12 September  |  10am-12pm

For managers seeking to understand gender equity and explore how key concepts can be applied in their organisation. Key concepts include: unconscious bias, gender equity vs equality, equality for all (intersectionality), a transformational approach, and universal design. For information and to register visit https://whg.eventbrite.com.au  

CoRE Event | Not in My Workplace 

An exciting partnership event coming up on December 4 at Sovereign Hill – this forum will focus on sexual harassment in the workplace with keynote presenter, Australian Human Rights Commissioner Kate Jenkins, who will shortly launch the report of her Inquiry into Workplace Sexual Harassment. Supported by Committee for Ballarat and Commerce Ballarat, the event is aimed particularly at supporting small and medium sized businesses in identifying and preventing this significant workplace issue. More details will be publicised shortly.

Unstoppable Women

Sadly this program came to an end in mid-July, with a fantastic Women of the World event bringing together 35 girls and women ranging from 12 years old to 70+ from a range of cultural backgrounds (pictured). The event saw intergenerational skills exchange with cookery demonstrations, traditional Aboriginal basket weaving, making beeswax food covers, make up sessions and much more. Shiree Pilkinton has led our work in gender equality and prevention of violence with migrant and refugee women over the past 3 years through Happy Healthy Homes, It Takes Courage and Unstoppable Women and it has been a wonderful and productive partnership with ongoing legacies including the Safer Pathways project, It Takes a Community (based at Ballarat Community Health) as well as the fantastic social enterprise A Pot of Courage which you can find out more about on their website - https://www.ittakescourage.org.au or on Facebook A Pot of Courage.

Updates across the region


CoRE: Sports Project Act@Play Pilot

Our pilot program has formally ended with AFL Goldfields and Basketball Ballarat. It was an enjoyable 6-months working with these associations. Both have become CoRE members, formalising their commitment to support improved outcomes for females in an ongoing manner.

The program culminated in the development of a gender equity action plan to guide actions for promoting gender equality long-term. Major milestones to achieve through their action plans include:
  • Recruitment and retention strategies to attract and retain women and girls across all different roles of the club
  • Communications strategies to raise awareness of violence against women and the need for bystander action
  • Collecting and using gender specific data to inform their programs and pathways (i.e. school clinics, holiday programs)
  • Offering bystander training to their wider membership to encourage a speak up culture in clubs around sexism, discrimination and violence against women.
The intention is for Act@Play to continue and we are currently sourcing funding opportunities to support this program beyond the pilot.

For more information please contact Dee Micevski at dee@whg.org.au or 03 5322 4100.         

CoRE Project: Equality for All

Equality for All recently celebrated the Speak Up for Equality event to launch the Equality Advocates short films, sharing their lived experiences of discrimination and gender inequality. This event was a success, celebrating diversity and inclusion with over 55 individuals from our CoRE member organisations and the local community, to further raise awareness of and empower local women to lead change.
For more information contact Belinda-Sue Parsons on belinda-sue@whg.au or 5322 4100.

WIN News Ballarat shared highlights from the event
The Equality Advocates films are now available our website

Regional: Central Highlands

CoRE Members
Central Highlands ever-growing number of CoRE members is currently at 67. A great show of commitment and leadership. Most recent member news includes:

Ballarat Community Legal Service changed their logo and branding, formerly known as Central Highlands Community Legal Centre. Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre Network officially became a CoRE member in May. We look forward to unpacking the potential this network, which such a close relationship with the community, for promoting gender equality. Springs Medical in Daylesford have joined CoRE, we look forward to working with the team over coming months

Inclusion Award for Ballarat Golf Club
Big congratulations are due to CoRE member Ballarat Golf Club on winning the Inclusion Award at the Victorian Golf Industry Awards at the Arts Centre in Melbourne last weekend. The Inclusion Initiative of the Year Award is designed to recognise clubs, individuals or organisations who take significant steps to attract, welcome or include people with a disability, cultural or diverse backgrounds or indigenous communities into their club activities.

Ballarat Golf Club has three qualified PGA All Ability Coaches and has generously hosted numerous inclusion events.  They hosted the 2018 Victorian Amputee Championships and will host the 40th year of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Championship later this year, have introduced new membership categories to increase younger membership and taken great steps to improve gender equality.

Over the past year women have held positions on the board, in administration as ground staff and in the pro shop, the club has held the Australian Ladies Pro-Am tournament with world-class players, and moved towards open time sheets with women and men now having equal access to the green for Saturday competitions.

Ongoing efforts to grow golf in Ballarat have seen culturally diverse days and open days held by the club.  We look forward to continuing to work with Ballarat Golf Club and supporting their leadership in this area.

For more information or support in this region, please contact Dee Micevski at dee@whg.org.au or 5322 4100.

Image: President Daylesford Football Netball Club Carson White, Kirsten Holden Equality Advocate, Sergeant Nathan Gardener

CoRE & Sport
Local sporting clubs have been involved with raising awareness of the prevention of violence against women through White Ribbon themed dinners. A number of sporting clubs including Daylesford Football Netball Club and Newlyn Football Netball Club invited WHG Equality Advocate, Kirsten Holden, to speak to their footy and netball players about her experience of family violence as a woman, with a disability, and representative of the LGBTIQA+ community. Kirsten’s presentation was very well received and helped spelled out what violence against looks like and why it is important for clubs to support females in their clubs.

Regional: Grampians Pyrenees

Grampians Pyrenees Community of Practice
Community attitudes was the theme of our Community of Practice in April. We discussed what the latest National Community Attitudes data means for CoRE members. We heard lived experience stories of gender and discrimination from our Equality Advocates and how to take action to create equality in workplaces. Grampians Pyrenees PCP provided insight into the FarmHer project aiming to raise the profile of rural women through sharing local stories of women on farms. The next COP will be held on 3 September 10:30am at the Grampians LLEN, Ararat.

CoRE Communications Community of Practice
In April, Communications professionals from across the region came together in Ballarat to discuss diversity and inclusion in communications. Equality Advocate and local professional photographer, Michelle Dunn, provided attendees with an insight in the power of images in promoting diversity and inclusion and how to be innovative, inclusive and equal when using images on social media, websites and publications. Equality Advocates, Kirsten Holden, Joy Juma & Sumira Chhabra Gambhir gave their community perspectives on communications and what organisations can do be more inclusive of women from diverse backgrounds.

The next Communications Community of Practice will be held in late 2019, presented by Women’s Health Victoria it will be a Prevention of Violence Against Women Communications Master Class. 

For further information please contact, Kate Diamond-Keith on 53224100, kate@whg.org.au 

Elder Abuse Prevention Forum
Ballarat Community Health held an Elder Abuse Awareness forum in June for members of the Elder Abuse Prevention Network. Gerard Mansour, Commissioner for Seniors Rights Victoria spoke about the importance of raising awareness of elder abuse in the community and Kathy Day, General Manager-People & Community Support at Grampians Community Health provided valuable insights into her research about Elder Abuse.


Regional: Wimmera

Wimmera Leading Change Event
Gender and Emergency Management
Save the Date: Thursday 24 October 2019,  2:00PM

Horsham Town Hall, 71 Pynsent Street
The Wimmera is affected by natural emergencies on a regular basis whether flood, fire, drought, heatwave or storm. The purpose of the event is to strengthen the skills of CoRE member agencies and showcase examples of how various agencies have considered gender in emergency management or how they have implemented gender equality and diversity initiatives and what the benefits have been. Speakers include Stephen O’Malley, Gender and Disaster POD regarding gender and emergency management; Amanda Lamont, Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience and Australian Women in Emergencies Network and Di Thomson, Victoria Police.  Further details will be circulated soon.

Studies have shown that the incidence of family violence increases post-disaster and that there are significant differences in how men and women experience and recover from disasters. In developed countries men are more likely to die in floods and bushfires than women, and men strongly influence family decisions to stay and defend homes during bushfires, sometimes with tragic results. Mental health issues, including suicide, can also manifest in different ways for men and women. To positively affect such outcomes, the influence of gender roles and differences must be understood and addressed. (MAV Gender and Emergency Management Factsheet)

Central Highlands Integrated Family Violence Committee

Upcoming Community of Practice event
Male Perpetrator Accountability: Good practice and local services

This session will focus on:
  • Showcasing programs from around the region which work with male perpetrators;
  • Holding perpetrators to account while avoiding collusion;
  • Workshopping best practice in the area of perpetrator intervention
  • Keynote address from Dr Margaret Kertesz from University of Melbourne
Date: Thursday 19 September 2019
Time: 9.00am -1.30pm (networking lunch provided) Note: registration from 9.00am for a 9:15am sharp start
Venue: Ballarat Mechanics Institute

Visit www.chifvc.org.au for more information and tickets.
Prevention Showcase Event
CHIFVC and Women’s Health Grampians are partnering to deliver an event which will showcase a range of exciting new initiatives in the Central Highlands and Grampians Pyrenees working with children and young people to prevent family violence.  The event will be held on Wednesday 4 December, as part of the 16 Days of Activism, and will feature short presentations and panel discussion from local initiatives and programs. More details will be available shortly on the CHIFVC and WHG websites.

Community of Practice
Information Sharing Reforms: From Implementation to Maximised Outcomes

CHIFVC welcomed a group of 60 attendees to Bacchus Marsh on the very chilly morning of May 30, for the fifth in the series of CHIFVC Community of Practice forums: Information Sharing Reforms: From implementation to maximised outcomes. After introductions by Libby Jewson, Chair of CHIFVC, Dee Healey from DVVIC and Ebony Westman from No to Violence delivered a presentation on information sharing reforms and the MARAM.
Following on from the keynote, Peter Rademaker from CAFS, Sally Goldstraw from WRISC Family Violence Support and Brent Goodes from Centacare presented a case study to the group and led attendees through an interactive physical representation of the case, where participants each represented an individual or agency involved with the case.
The group then moved into a reflective activity, identifying barriers, gaps and opportunities for practice. Common themes which came through from this activity were: the importance of prioritising the voice of the family; avoiding crowding or overwhelming the family; the need to coordinate service delivery; and the importance of working collaboratively.  

Image: Moorabool Community of Practice

Sexual & Reproductive Health

Local, state and international events

We are buzzing with sexual and reproductive health news from local, state and international events. We have heard about new developments in clinical care, advocacy, communications, research, law reform and policy development. Book a coffee catch up with Marieke or Shannon if you would like to hear more!
Locally, Western Victoria PHN Women’ Health Events hosted around 90 health professionals over two nights in June. Women’s Health Grampians was on hand to share a new 1800 My Options GP Brochure and took the opportunity to chat to GPs and Nurses about local referral pathways for sexual health across the Grampians region.

For more information about our Sexual and Reproductive Health work across the region please contact Shannon Hill on shannon@whg.org.au or
5322 4100.

Statewide, Women’s Health Victoria hosted a forum: Access and Equity: Towards optimal reproductive health in Victoria bringing together 100 thought leaders and champions of sexual and reproductive health from all over the state. The forum report is a great summary of achievements and priorities going forward in areas such as statewide policy, contraception, abortion, equitable access, health promotion and education.

Children by Choice Unplanned Pregnancy and Abortion Conference 2019

This conference in Brisbane hosted 60 speakers and 250 delegates. We were proud to collaborate with Women's Health Victoria and University of Melbourne to share our regional research as an example of the challenges with Conscientious Objection in a rural setting. We highly recommend reading the conference statement which captured emerging themes.

Improving Reproductive Choices

Evaluation: GPs, Nurses and Practice Managers in Grampians Pyrenees and Wimmera

Please keep a look out for our invitation to participate in a follow up survey on health professionals knowledge and referral practices for unintended pregnancies. The 
survey invitation was emailed to Practice Managers earlier this week.

Results of this survey form an important part of our measure of progress, achievement and priorities for future investment.

If you would like to find out more about this evaluation phase of the research, please contact Marieke Dam on 0417 028 823 or marieke@whg.org.au

Some of you may have met Dr Paddy Moore when she visited our region earlier this year as part of the Clinical Champions Project. As a speaker at the Children by Choice Conference, Dr Moore was sharing this project as an example of successful collaboration with rural practitioners. Read more

Children by Choice Conference: Dr Paddy Moore
"The Clinical Champions project has enabled us to travel to local communities across Victoria to offer mentoring and additional medical knowledge to GPs and nurses - the frontline of healthcare.
"Now half-way through the project, the clinicians we have met are very receptive to additional training and increasing access to abortion services for their communities. We are proud of the model and collaboration that we have formed over the course of this project.”

Other Items of Note

Conference Presentations

The team has been busy delivering a number of conference presentations in the last few months and we value the opportunity to learn and share in this way.

At the Public Health Association of Australia Prevention Conference in Melbourne in June, Marianne gave a plenary talk on the prevention of family violence in rural and regional areas, Dee showcased the work of the CoRE Alliance at a tabletop presentation and Kate, Belinda-Sue and two of our Equality Advocates, Shannon and Sumira, discussed intersectionality in the prevention of violence against women. It was a really interesting conference, and we were pleased to see a specific prevention of violence against women stream. We learnt a lot, particularly around making sense of complex public health systems, what works in health promotion messaging, and insights into the politics of prevention.

        Image: PHAAPC infographic

Conference Attendance

Our team has been busy attending a number of PVAW related conferences to support our content expertise. Most recently Gender Equality Victoria’s Under the Radar Conference, aimed at how we can all take a stronger position on intersectionality, and the ways and means we can go about promoting gender equality for all women. Understanding that women of diverse backgrounds have different barriers to achieving equal status and opportunity is integral to feminism and our work. Workplaces need to be aware of how they can support transformational change within their organisation, from:
  • Paying diverse women a consultative fee if they are supporting your workplace to become more diverse and inclusive
  • Cultural competency training
  • Acknowledgement of country or welcome to country for meetings and events

Rock Up Netball Workplace Challenge

Active workers are happy workers!
Thanks to Sports Central for the opportunity to participate in the Rock Up Netball Workplace Challenge.  Women’s Health Grampians, Ballarat Community Health and VicRoads have always had great work partnerships and loved joining forces for Rock Up Netball.  Our first game resulted in a win, not bad for beginners and looking forward to the next 6 weeks.

Highly recommend workplaces give this a go in the future! 

Image: Healthy Misfits at RUN


1800RESPECT Launches 'That is violence'

Women with disability are affected by domestic abuse and violence at a rate higher than other women, suffer for longer and wait on average 3.3 years before reaching out for help. 1800RESPECTs new campaign helps clarify to women with a disability what violence is and the situations or circumstances where it can arise.

Respect Victoria:  Elder Abuse Campaign Launched

Call out elder abuse. Visit the Respect Victoria website website to find our more about this latest family violence prevention campaign .


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