Women’s Health Grampians February Newsletter 2017

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Women's Health Grampians Newsletter

February 2017


Welcome to the first newsletter for 2017, we have certainly hit the ground running here at WHG. You will read below updates on the excellent work being undertaken by the team which is so well received around the region.

Briefly on staffing news, we welcome Louise Feery who joins us on secondment from Ballarat Community Health for six months in the role of Acting Program Manager while Darlene is working reduced hours. Louise has extensive experience in health promotion and prevention work and we thank Robyn Reeves and the team at BCH for accommodating this arrangement. We farewelled Kath Deakin who has decided to focus on her Masters studies over the coming months and we wish her well in this work. We also farewelled Kate Souter who has taken up an exciting role with the Respectful Relationships team at Department of Education, so will very much be in the same orbit. We wish Kath and Kate well and thanks for their great contributions to WHG. Our new Regional Consultant for Grampians Pyrenees will commence shortly – watch this space!

We celebrate International Women's Day on 8 March. This year the theme calls for us to #BeBoldForChange: to be responsive and responsible leaders in creating a more gender inclusive world. IWD is an important opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women, because visibility and awareness help drive positive change. We encourage you to attend events being organised in your region, some of which we mention below. Also to think about: How you will #BeBoldForChange ?

Marianne Hendron, CEO, Women's Health Grampians

News & Events

Grampians Community of Practice: Session 7

Our most recent Community of Practice for the Prevention of Violence Against Women, held in Ararat on 16 February, explored a highly requested topic of how to engage men and boys in prevention work. We were fortunate to engage Dr Michael Salter from University of Western Sydney, a Senior Lecturer in Criminology and an expert in the intersection between gender, attitudes and violence. Dr Salter provided unique insight into best-practice approaches and the importance of involving men and boys in advocacy work to stop gendered violence. For those who attended, Dr Salter’s presentation was a key highlight and we sincerely appreciate his commitment to travel to the Grampians region.

We also thank our panel speakers for sharing personal reflections, practical advice and offering a vision for the future of our work to prevent violence against women among different local groups and settings.

Our biggest attendance to date, with 45 members, highlighting a great willingness to take action, learn more, share knowledge and reflect on our own behaviours and opportunities to do things differently. Visit our website for resources from the day including: audio and slides from Dr Salter’s presentation, useful materials to support practitioners in this field, photos and a short video capturing highlights from the day.

Panel Speakers (left to right): Deb Milera Child and Family Services, Greg Anders Golden Plains Shire, Brett Edgington Ballarat Regional Trades & Union Council and Fran Quigley Ballarat Community Health.

Dr Michael Salter, University of Sydney

Some of the WHG Team: Dee, Shannon, Kath, Marianne, Annette and Louise with Dr Michael Salter

Happy, Healthy Homes Program

WHG together with the City of Ballarat is undertaking a project to strengthen CALD Communities by Preventing Violence against Women. The Happy Healthy Homes program intends to lead community action and promote gender equality with participants from a range of ethnic communities.

The first of a series of six workshops was held on 23 February, co-presented by WHG and Handy Girl Australia. Women were introduced to DIY activities as an opportunity learn skills, meet people and start exploring the concepts of gender stereotypes, gender equity and respectful relationships. We were delighted to have full attendance covering a diverse mix of cultures, and, including someone newly arrived in Australia, to someone who has lived here for 47 years.

Our sincere thanks to G Gay & Co Mitre 10 who offered a significant discount to all enable participants to have their own 'take home' toolkits. Also many thanks to our Project Steering Group consisting of community and organisation representatives.

We have places available for "A MAN IS..." workshop on 3 March, free for men and boys (15+) from culturally diverse backgrounds. For more information please contact the project worker, Shiree Pilkinton on shiree@whg.org.au or phone 5322 4100.


International Women's Day - 8 March
In celebration of International Women's Day, WRISC Family Violence Support in partnership with Women's Health Grampians is excited to present "Hidden Figures". Nominated for 3 Oscars including Best Picture, this highly anticipated film brings to light the stories of 3 female mathematicians who worked at NASA during the Space Race in the 1950's.

Tickets $15 each from WRISC, 205 Dana St Ballarat OR Women's Health Grampians, 2 Drummond St S Ballarat. Cash only please. 

6:35PM Wednesday 8th March, Regent Cinema Ballarat

Grampians Communities of Respect and Equality (CoRE) Alliance

The CoRE Alliance recently worked together to develop two funding submissions to the Community Partnerships for Prevention Funding Program. We are hopeful these will yield positive outcomes to support work with sporting associations, the rural business sector and culturally and linguistically diverse groups across the region.

Following the highly successful CoRE event last November, we have had several new members sign up, including *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|* *|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Berry St, Ballarat Golf Club, UFS Dispensaries, Ballarat White Ribbon Committee, Warracknabeal Secondary College and Sovereign Hill. Welcome to CoRE!

We look forward to reporting on activities with new and existing members in the coming weeks. Remember you can check out our fantastic suite of CoRE resources on the WHG website anytime.

If you would like help with identifying what your organisation can do, please contact your Regional Consultant at WHG. *|END:IF|*

Regional Updates

Regional: Central Highlands

Ballarat White Ribbon Committee (BWRC) holds bi-annual huddle meetings for former and current White Ribbon Ambassadors. The next huddle meeting is Thursday 2 March, and Dee Micevski from WHG will be a guest speaker, talking all things CoRE. As one of our CoRE members, BWRC wanted to provide ambassadors and community members the opportunity to hear about the regional plan to prevent violence against women and how they can get involved.

Hepburn Shire Council recently engaged WHG and CAFS to support 15 new White Ribbon Ambassadors to understand more about the definitions of violence against women, the statistics, causes and how to be active bystanders. Dee Micevski (WHG) and Terry Widdison (CAFS) would like to congratulate the ambassadors and  the Hepburn Shire Council for their commitment to understanding this complex social problem and working to address the issue within your local community.

Hepburn Shire International Women's Day Honour Roll Ceremony will be held on 9 March at the Daylesford Town Hall at 7:00PM.*|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|* *|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* For more information please visit the Hepburn Shire website

Bacchus Marsh Arts Council will present the ‘RISE UP’ Exhibition to raise funds to support victims of domestic violence. At the B-Mac Gallery 18 March–2 April the exhibition includes Video, Poetry, Painting, Metal Cut Outs, Mixed Media, Photography and an installation of 135 ‘Marching Women’ Clay Sculptures

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

Regional: Grampians Pyrenees

Most recently our focus in the Grampians Pyrenees catchment has been to support the council Municipal Health and Wellbeing Planning and consultation phase. It has been impressive to see the depth of community and stakeholder consultation underway. Councils and local health organisations are currently calling for community members in Northern Grampians Shire, Ararat Rural City or Pyrenees Shire to have their say on the health of their community. Visit Your Health Your Say to share your ideas for making your community more liveable and healthy. Online comments are open until 12 March, or alternatively, attend a workshop in person at: St Arnaud Town Hall 2.30-4.30pm 21 March or Stawell Neighbourhood House 27 March 1-3pm or 6–8pm. RSVP  pcphp2@Grampianscommunityhealth.org.au or 5352 6204.

WHG recently appointed a new Regional Consultant for the Grampians Pyrenees region we look forward to introducing her in April.  *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|* *|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*

Our Grampians Community of Practice event held in Ararat on 16 February was a great opportunity to catch up with our partners working to prevent violence against women. Our keynote speaker from University of Sydney commented that hearing about the work going on in our region was inspiring. As we shared on the day VicHealth will be hosting a short course on preventing violence against women: from policy to practice for WHG and our partners on 11 May in Ararat. Providing an overview of policy, evidence, practical tools and resources for planning and delivering prevention programs. You can now register online.

For more information or support in this region, please contact 5322 4100. *|END:IF|*

Regional: Wimmera

In December we welcomed Annette Jones and, Melissa Morris. Melissa and Annette are continuing the work of delivering Act@Work to local councils and supporting CoRE members across the region.

Act@Work training continues with Horsham and Hindmarsh councils hosting their first action group meetings early this year. Hindmarsh and West Wimmera councils are planning their intensive bystander and all staff training sessions for late March, early April.

Horsham is celebrating International Women’s Day with a lunch at Horsham Town Hall 15 March 12:00-1:15PM.*|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|* *|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Along with music from a group of local musicians, four dynamic speakers will reflect this year’s theme #BeBoldforChange. Speakers include; Kate Dooley, a local woman working in Brussels in the area of international climate change policy, local pharmacist, Bec Burns, train driver, Stacy Whitehorse and dynamic older woman Maureen O’Day. Tickets are available from  www.horshamtownhall.com.au

Please note Melissa is currently on leave and will  return to work on 3rd April. For more information or support in this region, please contact Annette*|END:IF|*


WHG Strategic Plan 2017-2021: our Board and CEO developed a new Strategic Plan guiding us through to 2021. This plan articulates our role as a regional leader in women’s health and health promotion, our commitment to excellence and our proud connection to feminist values. In order to achieve the greatest outcomes for women across the region, our work is primarily with policy and program planners and decision makers whose actions impact on every aspect of women’s lives.

Community based prevention of violence against women and their children toolkit for practitioners: Launched by Our Watch in December last year, this includes a suite of tools and processes for practitioners and community organisations to collaboratively engage the local community to prevent violence against women and their children. 

Playing our part: Lessons Learned from Implementing Workplace Responses to Domestic and Family Violence: Recognising that domestic and family violence is a workplace issue this report covers: workplace responses, examples other workplaces can build on and emerging solutions to challenges to accelerate progress.

Violence against women in Australia: Research summary: This publication presents a synopsis of the latest published research examining violence against women in Australia and its prevention. It also includes responses to violence against women and primary prevention actions.

Sexual & Reproductive Health

SRH Research: Unintended Pregnancy Study in Grampians, Pyrenees and Wimmera regions

With great support from our reference group made up of health professionals from the catchment, the scope and plan for engaging general practice in this research is well underway. Melbourne University have received ethics approval to invite general practitioners to participate in telephone interviews starting in March.*|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|* *|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*

We know unintended pregnancy options for girls and women in regional Victoria are known to be limited. Teen pregnancy rates in some parts of the Grampians region are significantly higher than the state average. Information on the range of options available to women with unintended pregnancies is limited and direct services are scarce. This important area of research will inform advocacy, planning, training and service development.

If you would like further information about this research project please contact Shannon Hill *|END:IF|*

SRH Training and Events

Save the Date CERSH SEXrurality Conference will be held in 1-2 August at a central Victorian location. Keep an eye on their website for more details. 

If you would be interested in discussing training opportunities in sexual health please email shannon@whg.org.au or contact Shannon Hill on 5322 4100.

SRH Resources

Sexual and Reproductive Health in the Grampians Region: WHG have prepared a summary of data outlining the sexual and reproductive health outcomes experienced women living in the Central Highlands, Grampians Pyrenees and Wimmera catchment areas. 

Other items of note

The State Government announced 40 new projects have been funded to prevent and raise awareness of family violence in Aboriginal communities across Victoria including: Healing Our Mob in the Ballarat area which will bring the community together to talk about the impact of family violence and how to address the problem

The State Government joined VicHealth to launch  Changing Our Game; Advancing gender equality in sport program with $7.5 million to improve gender equality in sport, both on and off the field. The program aims to create new opportunities in sport for female participation, increasing the profile of females in sport and improving policy and practice to create inclusive environments.

Funding opportunities exist for  State and National Sporting Organisations to engage less active women and girls to be more active, or, to promote gender equality in sport.

LGBTI Equality RoadshowVictoria's first Gender and Sexuality Commissioner is undertaking a roadshow across Ballarat, Stawell and Horsham between 14-17 March aiming to reduce discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, and promote their inclusion in everyday rural and regional life. For more information contact Daniel Witthaus or on 0427 346 206 or Rowena Doo on 9097 7146.

Victorian Women’s Benevolent Trust Grant Applications:  Community organisations contributing to social inclusion and addressing disadvantage for women and girls in rural and regional Victoria are invited to apply for grant funding from a pool of around $150,000. Applications for the 2017 General Grants close on 24 March.

Jean Hailes Women’s Health Survey 2017 is a national online survey that asks women about the health information they need and trust. Women deserve access to reliable health information, based on real research and expert advice.
All women over 18 living in Australia are invited to take part and responses will remain anonymous. Help complete the puzzle of women’s health: go to the survey and have your say.


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