Women’s Health Grampians November Newsletter 2017

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Women's Health Grampians Newsletter
November 2017


CEO Update

As we prepare for our AGM on 14 November I’ve been reflecting on the sheer volume of work achieved by our small but very dedicated and hardworking team over the past 12 months. We operate in an increasingly busy environment and many opportunities have enabled us to extend our work particularly in the prevention of violence against women space.

We are delighted this month to have reached the milestone of 70 members of the Grampians CoRE Alliance. This solid partnership is now the foundation for our work in PVAW. The Community Partnerships in Primary Prevention projects are adding great value, with a focus in promoting women’s participation in sport and on empowering women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. These projects are excellent opportunities for innovation and piloting. We very much look forward to ongoing and sustained funding for the work of CoRE as the Free From Violence Prevention Plan is implemented in the year ahead.

While a large part of our work is focussed on the area of family violence, another priority, sexual and reproductive health, is an important one for women in our region.  In March we welcomed Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health: Key Priorities 2017-2020, the Victorian Government’s plan to improve the sexual and reproductive health of all Victorian women which highlights the particular challenges for women in rural areas. This has been borne out by the findings from the research study we have undertaken in partnership with University of Melbourne, Rural GP practices in regards to unintended pregnancy in Wimmera and Grampians Pyrenees. I’m delighted that this will be the focus of our 2017 AGM, where the report will be presented to our membership. Our guest speaker Associate Professor Jane Tomnay, Director of the Central for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health will provide ideas for new actions and strategies in this space. I encourage all members and interested stakeholders to attend this event and join us in a celebration of a year of great achievement.
Marianne Hendron, CEO, Women's Health Grampians

News & Events

WHG Annual General Meeting | Horsham | 14 November
The Board and Staff of Women’s Health Grampians warmly invite you to join us at our
2017 Annual General Meeting
11:30am-1:00pm Tuesday 14 November
Horsham Golf Club,  304 Golf Course Road

We will present on the findings from our recent research collaboration with The University of Melbournes: Unintended Pregnancy in Grampians Pyrenees and Wimmera regions

And welcome special guest speaker
Associate Professor Jane Tomnay PhD
Director of the Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health (CERSH), University of Melbourne
Jane has worked in sexual health for the past 25 years, in the areas of public health, STI control and rural health. She took up the position of Director of the CERSH at the University of Melbourne in 2009. Jane has published her worked extensively in international literature and provides advice to government and others in the area of blood borne viruses, sexually transmissible infections and reproductive health.
Lunch will be provided
Please RSVP by 8 November with dietary requirements to adminb@whg.org.au or phone 53224100 

WHG are hosting a forum encouraging sporting organisations to take action against violence against women. We would like to invite leaders from sporting clubs or associations to join us for a Presidents’ Dinner
Monday 27 November 6:45-9:00pm
Sovereign Hill, Ballarat
$30 per person (two-course dinner and drink of your choice)
RSVP 23 November
Attendees will hear from prominent figures in the sport and health sectors who are demonstrating leadership to promote gender equality, including our special guest speaker
Peter Gordon, President of Western Bulldogs Football Club.
We are excited at the prospect of having a greater presence of sporting organisations
involved with our regional plan to prevent violence against women.

Save the Date: Around the Globe in 60 Minutes

Presented by Women’s Health Grampians and participants in the It Takes Courage project. “Around the globe in 60 Minutes” allows guests to step into the lives of women from 12 different cultures, by taking a seat at the dinner table to enjoy food made with love”. Dishes from all around the world. They promise to be delicious, delightful and diverse. Home-cooked, handpicked recipes from the heart.

From 6pm Wednesday 6 December
The Lost Ones Basement Bar, 14 Camp St, Ballarat
Tickets $50pp 
(keep an eye on our facebook page for booking details)

As part of the 16 Days of Activism - Victoria Against Violence Campaign, this fundraising event will help contribute to the creation of the It Takes Courage book which will feature recipes, stories, photography, prevention of violence against women messaging and art. 


For more information contact Shiree Pilkinton, Intercultural Engagement Advisor on 53224100 or shiree@whg.org.au

Updates across the region

Grampians Communities of Respect and Equality (CoRE) Alliance

Milestone: CoRE Alliance reaches 70 members with 100% geographical coverage across the Grampians catchment, in excess of 10,000 employees in CoRE member organisations and over 50,000 members in CoRE member clubs and networks. 

City of Ballarat Community Safety Awards: WHG were humbled to receive an award in the ‘crime prevention’ category of the City of Ballarat’s Community Safety Awards. WHG were acknowledged for our contribution to improving safety in the community through the CoRE Plan. It was exciting to acknowledge the great work our 70 CoRE Alliance members are doing to prevent violence against women and children and promote gender equality. We look forward to seeing this continue and supporting new members as they come on board and work towards the plan’s shared vision.

Local Story: Thank you to Horsham Rural City Council for adding to a new case study *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|* *|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* to our local action guide. The Council holds a belief that our communities can be better places to live, if we strive to make them so. 

Evaluation: recent evaluation results show great progress taking action across our region. 75% of members reported being satisfied with their progress and have mapped, or are in the process of mapping their actions, across the 5 CoRE action areas. 55 members have participated in at least one Community of Practice session. 95% were satisfied with the support provided by WHG.
If you would like help with identifying what your organisation can do, please contact your Regional Consultant at WHG. *|END:IF|*

Pictured: Stockland Centre Manager Stevie Wright, Ballarat City Councillor Belinda Coates on behalf of Food Is Free Laneway and Dee Micevski WHG

Regional: Central Highlands

New CoRE Members: A number of new organisations, representing different settings and sectors, have joined CoRE recently and this is exciting to see. We are pleased to announce and welcome our newest CoRE Alliance Members including Ballarat Cricket Association; Miners Rest Primary School; Centacare Catholic Diocese Ballarat; Centre for Participation. We look forward to working with your organisations more closely to promote gender equality.

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

Regional: Grampians Pyrenees

All Council’s in the region have completed their Health and Wellbeing Planning. It was great to see Pyrenees Shire Council and Northern Grampians Shire Council including the prevention of violence against women in their plans.  

Grampians Community of Practice for Prevention of Violence Against Women held in Beaufort on 13 September focussed on working with media and communication strategies. 17 staff from a variety of organisations including health services, local government and schools attended the session. Attendees heard from Joy Juma about her experiences as a local African Muslim woman and Vanessa Born from Domestic Violence Victoria who lead a workshop to develop communication strategies that are simple, evidence based, credible and accessible to audiences. We would encourage everyone to watch the short video highlights from the day. You can also access presentation notes *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|**|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*and a discussion paper.

Congratulations to Lake Bolac College on recently becoming a CoRE member. We look forward to supporting this rural P-12 college who focus on creating a strong sense of community as part of the learning experience. One of the lead schools in the roll out of the Respectful Relationships program they understand the role of education as a setting to influence cultural change.

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

We welcome Centre for Participation and the Rotary Club of Horsham East as new CoRE Alliance members and look forward to working with these groups.

We continue to work with Uniting Wimmera to develop their Act@Work Action Plan and have recently completed 6 training sessions with their staff.
People are encouraged to join the White Ribbon March on Friday 24 November commencing at 12:30pm at the Horsham Aquatic Centre Car Park.  This event is being organised by the Horsham White Ribbon Committee.
Horsham Rural City Council Local Story: a CoRE member since July 2016, HRCC has recently undertaken the Act@Work Program, provided bystander training to all staff and developed an action plan to guide its internal and external work. Prevention of violence against women is one of the focus areas of Council’s recently adopted Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan. Read more

For more information or support in this region, please contact Melissa Morris melissa@whg.org.au or Annette Jones annette@whg.org.au.

It Takes Courage Project

The unique It Takes Courage project and creation of our book is progressing well. Workshops to date have included photography sessions with Michelle Dunn Photography, creative writing with Amber Wells from the Ballarat Writers’ Festival, social media/website communications with Tara Poole from The Lost Ones and creative brainstorming with Jo Wood.
Through this project we reinforce prevention of violence against women messages and learn more about respectful relationships, gender stereotypes and equality. This knowledge can then be passed on through families and ethnic communities.

On the pages of “It Takes Courage” book, project participants will share favourite recipes from their homelands or family traditions, along with their creative writing. 
Some of the males in our lives will also feature in the book, you will see our sons, partners, colleagues and more. We are aiming for the book to be launched by June 2018.

For more information contact Shiree Pilkinton, Intercultural Engagement Advisor on 53224100 or shiree@whg.org.au

Enabling Women Leadership Program

This program commenced in Ballarat on the 26 October with six women with disabilities starting their leadership journey. The first session focussed on getting to know each and information about the social model of disability. This program runs for six weeks covering topics such as self-identify, human rights, NDIS, advocacy and leadership. Participants also have the opportunity to have a mentor throughout the program. Please direct enquiries about the program to Women with Disabilities Victoria, Carly Myers, Women’s Enabling and Empowerment Officer, by phone 9286 7815 or email carly.myers@wdv.org.au

Central Highlands Family Violence Committee

CHIFVC is pleased to launch a new website www.chifvc.org.au providing a platform to share knowledge and resources with our regional partners and networks in the family violence service system.

We are looking forward to being involved with the Western Bulldogs Community Foundations Daughters of the West women’s health program for 2017. CHIFVC members Women’s Health Grampians and Relationships Australia Victoria will direct a session during week six of the program with a focus placed upon respectful relationships. Read more

Our first CHIFVC Community of Practice will be held in Ballarat, 9:30am-1:30pm 23 November. RSVP by 16 November. This session will focus on understanding challenges and recognising opportunities in working towards a coordinated response to family violence. This is a cross-sectoral event for professionals working with those impacted by family violence. Read more

Resources & Training

Act@Work is an organisation-wide cultural-change program for workplaces. The aim is to address the underlying causes of violence against women: sexism, discrimination and gender inequality using a systems approach in workplace setting. If you would like more information contact Darlene Henning-Marshall on 5322 4100.

CoRE Resource Menu 

This resource has been developed to help members of the Communities of Respect and Equality (CoRE) Alliance take action to end violence against women and their children. It seeks to build awareness of the many tools and resources developed by WHG and other organisations, so you can select those most useful to your organisation.

Sexual & Reproductive Health

Research: Unintended Pregnancy 

At our AGM on the 14 November we will present findings and recommendations from our recent research collaboration with The University of Melbourne: Unintended Pregnancy in Grampians Pyrenees and Wimmera regionsAhead of this release of the full report we were pleased to share preliminary findings with the media. Stories from the ABC and Wimmera Mail Times are available to read online.


This research provides timely evidence to support local action to address barriers and service gaps to improve reproductive choices for women in the Grampians region. For more information please contact Shannon Hill on shannon@whg.org.au or 5322 4100.

SRH Resources

New videos: Contraception, Menstruation, Pregnancy. Available in English, Arabic, Karan, Punjabi
Family Planning Victoria, Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health, and Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West collaborated to create a video series for newly arrived migrant and refugee women who identified a gap in knowledge and resources on the topics of menstruation, pregnancy and contraception. 

NSW Health Sexual Health Advocacy Tool aims to help build your organisation’s capacity to support the sexual health of young people. It includes advice for working with those who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse, LGBTIQA+, and young people with disability. Includes a section on preparing for and overcoming common concerns or negative reactions to improving the sexual health of young people.

Other Items of Note

The Victoria Against Violence (VAV) — 16 Days of Activism campaign commences on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on the 25 November 2017 and concludes on International Human Rights Day, on 10 December 2017.

This initiative seeks to turn Victoria’s attention to the devastating impact that family violence has on the lives of so many. 16 Days is an opportunity to educate the community about the key role that gender inequality plays in causing family violence and all forms of violence against women.

Look out for the downloadable toolkit to be involved and register your event on the Women Victoria events calendar.

Research: Health Priority Survey Findings for People in the Bush

Overcoming barriers in access to health services is the most important consideration for country people, according to our research report on health needs of rural and remote residents. The Royal Flying Doctors Service survey was conducted in partnership with the National Farmers Federation, and with the support of the Country Women’s Association. The research paper can be read here


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