Women’s Health Grampians May Newsletter 2017

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Women's Health Grampians Newsletter

May 2017


Budgets and Strategies in the NewsIt seems the month of May has been a lot about numbers – mainly thanks to the State and Federal Budgets. We are still analysing and digesting just what $1.9 billion in expenditure in family violence will look like for the state of Victoria, but obviously have never seen this level of resourcing going towards family violence programs before. We very much welcome this news and hope it really does make a difference to the lives of those affected by family violence in a meaningful way. It was pleasing to see a strong focus on improving family violence responses within culturally diverse, LGBTI and Aboriginal populations. We are also impressed with the investment in building the capacity of the family violence and social services workforces to prevent and respond to family violence.

Coinciding with the Victorian budget was the long awaited release of the Victorian Prevention Strategy – Free from Violence which will guide our work over the coming years in terms of community partnerships for prevention, education and workplace programs. We look forward to being part of a statewide collective effort to make a profound and lasting impact addressing the drivers of violence against women. While we welcome the almost $50 million that the budget includes for prevention work over the next three years, we note that this represents just 2.6% of the total family violence expenditure; we will continue to advocate for a greater share of resources to be allocated to primary prevention.

The budget also included almost $6 million to implement Safe and Strong, the Victorian Gender Equality Strategy. The majority of this will be used to increase female participation in sport by increasing representation on sporting boards, expanding the number of female sporting projects and promoting female role models, leaders and coaches. There are also allocations for women’s leadership programs, women in business and financial literacy programs for women and girls.

On International Women’s Day we welcomed the release of the first ever Victorian Sexual & Reproductive Health Plan. In launching it, the Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy, stated: “Access to sexual and reproductive health services is a fundamental right for every Victorian woman. However, there are parts of Victoria where there is little or even no access to the information, support and services that women require.” These words certainly resonate with us here in the Grampians. The plan covers four priority action areas: fertility support, reproductive choices, endometriosis, polycycstic ovary syndrome and menopause, and sexual health and will be supported by $6.6 million in new funding. We have begun work on a sexual and reproductive health plan for the Grampians which will align with and complement the statewide strategy and hopefully enable strong partnership and leveraging opportunities.

Staff News

In delivering all this work effectively, we are very lucky to have skilled and passionate staff and I am pleased to welcome to the team Kate Diamond-Keith, our Regional Consultant for the Grampians Pyrenees region. Kate has already been out and about getting to know our partners in that area. I’m also pleased to welcome Kirsten Wignall to the administration team, she is our new friendly voice on the phone and ensuring all runs smoothly. We are pleased to have been able to extend our contract with Shiree Pilkinton who is doing great work with women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

In April staff gathered at Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka to take some time out of the busy environment of delivering programs and reflect on our new strategic plan and how best to implement it in our region. Staff are pictured here in front of the Eureka Flag – a powerful symbol of democracy and equality.

Photo L-R: Annette, Marianne, Melissa, Dee, Kate, Pat, Louise, Shannon

In late March we farewelled a long standing team member Carly Myers. Carly was our Administration Officer for some 6 years and while we were sad to lose her, we are delighted that she has moved to an exciting role with Women with Disabilities Victoria and look forward to her returning to the region later in the year to deliver an important program to empower women with disabilities in leadership development.

Marianne Hendron, CEO, Women's Health Grampians
New Strategic Advisor

Central Highlands Integrated Family Violence Committee have recently appointed  Pennie Mathieson as the new Principal Strategic Advisor for the region. Pennie is  located at WHG and will work closely with all regional agencies in the family violence sector. Pennie can be contacted at pennie@whg.org.au or on 5322 4100 0417641088.

News & Events

Happy, Healthy Homes Project

Under this project umbrella, sixteen women from twelve different cultures worked together to learn DIY skills with Handy Girl Australia and to discover the artist within - through workshops with Ballarat artist Pauline O'Shannessy-Dowling and the Art Gallery of Ballarat.

Twelve men from eight different cultures also participated in the "A Man Is..." creative workshop with spoken word performer and author Abe Nouk, along with Bob Maika from CaFS.

Woven into all workshops was information and core messaging around gender equality, gender stereotyping, respectful relationships and more.

The women's project culminated in a Public Exhibition held at Ballarat's emerging Welcome Centre (formerly known as Sacred Heart Convent, Ballarat East).  Such an exciting day for this group of women who mostly described themselves as being "unable to do anything artistic" at the start of the project. They prepared dishes from their homelands to share with the full house of exhibition opening guests, and loved watching people viewing, discussing and being moved by their work.

"It was one of the proudest moments of my life" 
"I never thought I was an artist. I am happy that people were touched by my story"

We hope to re-mount this exhibition at another location soon.  Thanks to MAV, City of Ballarat, the many agencies and community members who were part of the steering committee, BRMC, Handy Girl AustraliaMitre 10, the Art Gallery of Ballarat, friends and families for helping to create such a memorable event.

For more information please contact the project worker, Shiree Pilkinton on shiree@whg.org.au or phone 5322 4100.

Women in Sport, Government House

WHG were invited to attend the Women in Sport event at Government House on 21 April, celebrating the achievements of women in this field. A key address by Minister of Sport, Greg Hunt, explained how the government is going to take action to improve the status of women in sport. Several well-known sporting identities attended including Shani Layton (Collingwood Magpies and Australian Diamonds Netballer), Andy Maher (SEN, Channel 10), and Tim Lane (ABC radio). It was a great night and we were fortunate to meet many women from the Grampians region as well.  

Marianne Hendron & Dee Micevski WHG, pictured with Michael Flynn Sports Central

World Congress on Public Health, MelbourneWHG representatives attended the World Congress on Public Health hosted in Melbourne (3-7 April). This five day health promotion symposium showcased the latest evidence-based literature and movements in a range of public health issues *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|* *|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* including: preventing violence against women, sexual and reproductive health, indigenous health, media and social marketing, adolescent health, obesity prevention, systems thinking, gender equity, and more. It was fantastic opportunity to understand more about these issues nationally, internationally and what institutions are doing to improve public health.*|END:IF|*

Save the Date: Wimmera Leading Change Breakfast
Tuesday 22 August 7-9AM  Horsham Town Hall 
Guest speakers will include Kate Jenkins, Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner
For further information contact Melissa Morris (WHG) at melissa@whg.org.au or 0419 185 777

Regional Updates

Grampians Communities of Respect and Equality (CoRE) Alliance

The CoRE Plan continues to grow and develop with now 60 members signed up to the Alliance and robust Action and Evaluation Plans being  endorsed by the Governance Group. Several CoRE members undertook an excellent media training workshop to equip us with the skills to promote the key messages of CoRE.  *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|* *|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Alliances members have also worked closely on several funding opportunities – we await the outcome of these!

If you would like information about CoRE or are already a member and wanting to discuss what your organisation can do, please contact your Regional Consultant at WHG listed under the regional updates below. *|END:IF|*

Regional: Central Highlands

WHG are excited to support City of Ballarat bringing You the Man, a theatre-based intervention promoting bystander engagement, to schools around the catchment in June. Developed by Deakin University, this performance illustrates the seriousness of unhealthy relationships and dating violence. WHG will be a panel member for all performances; we see this is a great opportunity to speak to young people about respectful relationships and violence.

We welcomed the opportunity to present to the Clunes Better Health Project Steering Committee around CoRE. The committee were eager to become involved  *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|* *|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* with stopping violence in their communities and to share ideas of how they can become part of the solution and what type of actions they can do as part of a community group.

WHG have enjoyed working with Ballarat Golf Club, a CoRE member becoming proactive in promoting workplace equality. It is fantastic to announce Carolyn Sertori has become the first female Vice-President in the club's 122 year history. This is a sign of great things to come in creating a more gender equal, inclusive and welcoming environment for all.

To assist schools rolling out the Respectful Relationships curriculum Department of Education and Training have organised an introductory forum on 17 May. Dee Micevski (WHG) was invited to deliver a briefing to school staff and administrators on how respectful relationships links to the broader issue of violence against women and gender inequality, and also what schools can do to promote equality outside of the classroom.

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

In April we welcomed our new Regional Consultant for the Grampians Pyrenees region, Kate Diamond-Keith. Kate previously worked at Moorabool Shire as Manager of Community Development and brings great experience in community engagement, planning and communications.

The focus on Municipal Health and Wellbeing Planning has been a great opportunity for Kate to meet our partners and stakeholders across the region. Pyrenees Shire Council and Northern Grampians Shire Council have finalised community engagement and are now developing draft plans. Ararat Rural City Council has combined their Council and Health and Wellbeing Plans and are seeking public submissions commenting on the Council Plan by 30 May.  *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|* *|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*

Over the next four year planning cycle Grampians Pyrenees Primary Care Partnership will work closely with agencies across the catchment to implement a regional plan for prevention. Two priority areas have been chosen as the focus of this regional plan: improving mental health, and, healthy eating and active living. We look forward to collaborating with GPPCP other integrated health promotion funded agencies to develop actions and measures for these important health priorities.

VicHealth in conjunction with WHG held a Preventing Violence Against Women short course in Ararat on 11 May. The aim of this course is to provide practical resources for making prevention part of an organisations core business. We had 17 attendees from a variety of organisations including health services, local government and neighbourhood houses. All participants said they learnt a lot and that they appreciated the opportunity to network and see what other organisations were doing in this space.

For more information or support in this region, please contact Kate Diamond-Keith at kate@whg.org.au or 5322 4100. *|END:IF|*

Regional: Wimmera

To celebrate International Women’s Day, a small dedicated team of representatives from Barwon CASA, Horsham East Rotary Club, Horsham Rural City Council, VicPol and WHG worked together to put on a lunch at the Horsham Town Hall. The 2017 theme ‘Be Bold for Change’ was reflected in the dynamic and interesting range of local guest speakers. We heard from dispensary technician and local pharmacist, Rebecca Burns, environmental policy expert, Kate Dooley, interstate freight train driver, Stacy Whitehorse and retired pharmacy manager and long term volunteer, Maureen O’Day. Music was provided by Alice Skye. Feedback was very positive and special thanks goes to Horsham East Rotary Club who donated $500 to support the event.

Photo (L-R): Mayor Cr Pam Clarke, Stacey Whitehorse, Rebecca Burns, Kate Dooley, Maureen O’Day

Act@Work continues to roll out  *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|* *|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* across the Wimmera with Action Teams being formed at West Wimmera Shire, Horsham Rural City Council, Hindmarsh Shire and Wimmera Uniting Care. We now have two organisations who have rolled out active bystander training with almost 250 participants taking part. Feedback has been very positive. We would like to acknowledge and thank our team of training facilitators for helping us to share this knowledge across the region. 

To assist schools rolling out the Respectful Relationships curriculum Department of Education and Training invited Melissa Morris (WHG) to provide a briefing on the drivers of family violence and material on gender equity.

Save the date! CORE members are planning a Wimmera Leading Change Breakfast event to be held at the Horsham Town Hall on Tuesday 22 August 7-9AM. Guest speakers will include Kate Jenkins, Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner. Further details will be circulated in the coming month. For further information contact Melissa Morris at melissa@whg.org.au or 0419 185 777.

For more information or support in this region, please contact Annette Jones or Melissa Morris*|END:IF|*


Victorian Prevention Strategy – Free from Violence This strategy is a key part of the state government's 10-year plan to end family violence. The aim is to build social structures, norms and practices that prevent, or reduce the risk of, violence, family violence and violence against women.

Safe and Strong, the Victorian Gender Equality Strategy sets out state government reforms including: legislative changes, governance structures, employment practices, policy, procurement, funding decisions and advocacy to the Commonwealth Government. It also considers settings for statewide action to enable shared progress towards gender equality.

Victorian Sexual & Reproductive Health Plan 

We welcome news of Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy, launching the first women’s sexual health strategy and priority action plan. The plan covers four priority action areas: fertility support, reproductive choices, endometriosis, polycycstic ovary syndrome and menopause, and sexual health. The Government announced it will be supported by $6.6 million in new funding. We have begun work for a sexual and reproductive health plan for the Grampians which will align and complement the statewide strategy.

Sexual & Reproductive Health

Research: Participants Needed 

Melbourne University are now seeking GPs, Practice Managers or Practice Nurses to participate in a study exploring the challenges and opportunities involved in managing unintended pregnancy in the Grampians Pyrenees and Wimmera regions. The research team would greatly value your local insights. If you would be happy to participate please contact Shannon Hill at shannon@whg.org.au or 5322 4100.

Training and Events

CERSH SEXrurality Conference, Lancefield, 1-2 August Abstract submission deadline 2 June. Registrations now open. Key themes for this conference include: emerging issues, social media and digital technology, cross sector collaboration and sexual health research. We are looking forward to keynote speakers: Clementine Ford, writer and journalist, Marilyn Beaumont, women's health advocate and Dr Paddy Moore, Royal Women's Hospital, just to name a few.

Family Planning Victoria are offering two professional learning workshops for school staff working within a primary or secondary school setting. Participants will explore approaches to Relationships and Sexuality Education to complement the Respectful Relationships curriculum. The workshops will be held at Phoenix Community College: 9:30am-4pm 8 June for Secondary Schools or 9 June for Primary Schools.
To register contact FPV on bookingenquiry@fpv.org.au or 9257 0191


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