Women’s Health Grampians September Newsletter

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Women's Health Grampians September Newsletter


Welcome to our Spring newsletter!

The world of women’s health continues to be a busy space and this is reflected in the work you will read about across the region. At a statewide level, Women's Health Association of Victoria (WHAV), the peak body for Womens Health Services has taken a big step by engaging a coordinator, Jacinta Masters, who will help drive the new strategic directions. The roll out of the reforms from the Royal Commission into Family Violence continue at a great pace that is difficult to keep abreast of. WHG has been nominated to represent WHAV on the Ministerial Taskforce for Prevention, bringing a rural and remote lens to that area of work. Locally our small team has delivered an enormous amount in the past few months and I sincerely acknowledge their commitment, flexibility and high level of skills - what an amazing team you are – Thank you!

The WHG Board and staff have been working together to develop our 2017-21 Strategic Plan, which will be launched at our forthcoming AGM. We will continue our strong focus on primary prevention and gender equality while building the sustainability of the organisation.

Our AGM will take place on 14 November and this one is particularly special – our 25th anniversary - and we shall mark it by presenting a discussion on the progress towards gender equality in the past 25 years and the media’s influence on change. We will also reflect on the history of the organisation and highlight the women who have made such great contributions across the region over the years. We look forward to seeing many old and new faces at this significant event in our calendar.

As part of the AGM we look to fill two Board vacancies and I invite WHG members to consider nominating. We are particularly keen to have women from the Wimmera and Central parts of the Grampians region (we have technology to enable participation from afar) and women with financial acumen to join us. At the risk of sounding like a certain PM, this is an exciting time in women’s health! We are experiencing unprecedented interest in our work towards violence prevention and gender equality. If you are interested contact myself on 5322 4100.

In late July we bid farewell to our PhD student and health promotion worker Claire Rooney who has been part of WHG in various capacities since 2011 and has contributed a wealth of knowledge in gender analysis and research. She is completing her PhD as well as spending time with her beloved horses and we wish her very well for the future.
From the Board we say farewell and thank you to Melanie Albrecht, an inspiring member from Nhill who has contributed significantly to the Board while juggling a young family, a senior health service role and Board and community commitments with great skill and humour. Her participation on the Board since 2013 has been immensely valuable.

Marianne Hendron, CEO, Women's Health Grampians
25 Years of Women's Health Grampians 
14 November 11:00AM-2:00PM Ballarat Specialist School Farm

Members and supporters are invited to join us in marking our 25th anniversary by being part of a discussion with two significant and fascinating women who make a valuable contribution to the discourse around tackling gender inequality, the role of media, women’s leadership and many more areas. Mary Delahunty, award winning journalist and a Victorian State Minister and Clementine Ford, writer and journalist who has just published her first book Fight Like Girl.

Register your seat early before it books out! RSVP by 4 November

16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence

A global campaign dedicated to ending gender-based violence runs from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Gender-Based Violence and White Ribbon Day) to 10 December (Human Rights Day). This year the theme is education and we are encouraging groups across the Grampians *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|**|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*especially CoRE members to get involved. Examples of activity include art exhibitions, political lobbying, round table discussions, film screenings, fundraising, training in schools and social media campaigns. For ideas on how to get your organisation involved visit the campaign facebook page or contact WHG regional consultants on 5322 4100.*|END:IF|*

Myer Ballarat’s Community Fund Charity Partner

Each year, every Myer store nominates a local program to be the recipient of their fundraising. WHG is excited and honoured that Myer Ballarat has chosen us as the 2016/17 partner for our work in preventing violence against women. We know this contribution will help make a difference and look forward to working together with Myer Ballarat staff to consider ways we can all contribute to a safe, equal and respectful society. *|END:IF|*

Updates across the region

Breaking News!
Local Government Prevention of Violence against Women Funding
Two Grampians Councils are among 10 successful applicants of this Victorian Government funding program which is great news for our region. Horsham Rural City will lead an Act@Work Program, in partnership with WHG, to be delivered to the four Wimmera Councils. The City of Ballarat will be funded for a project to work with culturally and linguistically diverse communities in prevention of violence.

Grampians Communities of Respect and Equality (CoRE) Alliance

It is now 4 months since the CoRE Alliance was initiated with the launch of the plan to prevent violence against women and their children in the Grampians region. The Alliance has since grown to 40 organisations, clubs and networks, committed to taking action towards our shared vision for a safe, equal and respectful society for everyone. If your organisation hasn’t yet joined*|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|**|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* the CoRE Alliance, you can access the plan, membership form and see other members on our website.

New resource available: Taking Action to end violence against women and their children: What can your organisation do? A guide for members of the Grampians CoRE Alliance was launched this month. The guide offers practical ideas in line with the 5 Essential Action Areas outlined in the national framework Change the Story. If you would like help with identifying what your organisation can do, please contact your Regional Consultant at WHG.

The CoRE initiative is overseen by an Alliance Governance Group (AGG) with representation from 13 organisations  from various sectors and from across the region. The AGG has met twice and developed an Action Plan to support the three key goals for the group that relate to: Membership; Quality progress; Sustainability. Terms of Reference and minutes are available on our website.

Thank you to all the organisations already committed to this important, long term social change initiative to build communities of respect and equality, and prevent violence against women and their children. *|END:IF|*

Regional: Central Highlands

Dee and Kate provided a training session to 40 White Ribbon Youth Ambassadors from Damascus and Clarendon Colleges. WHG helped the ambassadors to understand what violence against women is, the different forms and causes of violence, and as leaders, what they can do to prevent it. *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|* *|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* It was great to see how inspired and motivated this group of young leaders were to influence the culture among their peers. We shared a quiz from The Line to get the group thinking about "How respectful of women are your friends?"

Following the great work DELWP Grampians has achieved through Act@Work, DELWP Loddon Mallee has now indicated an interest to also do the program. Women’s Health Grampians and Women's Health Loddon Mallee will work in partnership on this project beginning November 2016. The program will involve 160-250 DELWP staff from three different sites across their region. This new initiative reflects both the value of the program, and also the commitment DELWP have towards preventing violence against women.  

WHG is pleased to be able to support all Central Highlands Councils planning their next Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plans. We will be able to:

  1. Provide up to date data on prevention of violence against women, gender equity and sexual and reproductive health for each region;
  2. Review drafts and provide constructive feedback relating to women’s health priorities; and
  3. Attend consultations or working group meetings to support councils to develop strategies that reflect local and regional women’s health initiatives.

Sexual Reproductive Health: Ballarat Community Health are leading a project to implement condom vending machines in Ballarat. WHG are supporting this project as an effort to increase access to contraceptive choices for young people in the community.

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

The inaugural Grampians Prevention Exchange held in August in Ararat was an excellent opportunity to build relationships with people from council, schools and health services. The day strongly reinforced how much our work in prevention relies on supportive partnerships and common goals. *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|*

*|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*Presentations by Professor Steven Allender and  Andrew Brown from the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre of Obesity Prevention at Deakin University, focussed on using systems thinking, innovation and creativity in developing new solutions to our most complex health challenges.

The Grampians Pyrenees SRH Working Group is a small network of passionate and committed people meeting bi-monthly. The aim for this group is to improve sexual and reproductive health across the region by raising  awareness and reducing stigma. We are currently working to improve access to contraception for young people who face particular issues around privacy and access to services. The group is made up of school nurses, clinicians and health promotion workers.

Minister for Women, Fiona Richardson, hosted a Victorian Gender Equality Strategy Consultation in Ararat on 4 August. With 50 local and regional attendees, round table conversations provided great insight into how the state government can promote gender equality in a rural and regional context, and most importantly, what is appropriate for the Grampians region. Key themes from discussions included empowering women's economic security, workplace culture and bystander training, and galvanising our collective efforts to improve equality for women through initiatives like the CoRE Plan. We look forward to seeing the Gender Equality Strategy to be released later this year.

Congratulations to our local government areas Pyrenees Shire, Ararat Rural City and Northern Grampians for the membership of the Communities of Respect and Equality Regional Plan. We are very excited to have 100% engagement from the councils and foresee that this will provide a consistent style of partnership for positive change with and for our communities .

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

Regional: Wimmera

Act@Work has now commenced in the Wimmera region. Both Rural Northwest Health and Yarriambiack Shire Council have both commenced with action group meetings, benchmark surveys and all staff briefing sessions booked to run in October and November. Wimmera Uniting Care have also recently signed on to participate,*|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|* *|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* and  the Municipal Association of Victoria has awarded funding to extend the Act@Work program across all four Wimmera Council’s.

To increase our capacity to deliver Act@Work training, WHG  hosted a Train the Trainer program in Horsham on 15 September. 9 new trainees were inducted into the program including staff from Vic Police, CAFs, Grampians Community Health and a couple of independent facilitators. Carolynne, Dee, Kate (WHG) and Graham (CAFS) enjoyed the opportunity to share their expertise and are looking forward to presenting with our new trainers in the months ahead.

WHG is pleased to be able to support all Wimmera Councils planning their next Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plans. We will be able to:

  1. Provide up to date data on prevention of violence against women, gender equity and sexual and reproductive health for each region;
  2. Review drafts and provide constructive feedback relating to women’s health priorities; and
  3. Attend consultations or working group meetings to support councils to develop strategies that reflect local and regional women’s health initiatives.

Wimmera White Ribbon Day Committee are planning for a street march on 25 November. The team have been meeting monthly and have undertaken a Strategic Planning process that is still being finalised. Grampians Community Health are providing administrative support to the WRD committee volunteers.
The Wimmera Football League White Ribbon Round and Keg for a Cause recently raised $3000 which will go towards accommodation in the region for women and children affected by family violence.

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

News & Events

Grampians Community of Practice - PVAW

We held our fifth Community of Practice for the Prevention of Violence Against Women in Beaufort in early September, with 33 people attending from a range of organisations and from across the region. We explored the topic of Unconscious Bias & Promoting Gender Equality. *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|**|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*Our key note speaker Dr Victor Sojo, from the Centre for Ethical Leadership, University of Melbourne explained the impact of subliminal attitudes and assumptions on opportunities for women in a workplace. Audience feedback showed they enjoyed the presentation and valued Dr Sojo's strategies to minimise bias. 

Craig Whiteford, Regional Manager of Community Programs at the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (DELWP), also supported us to explore the topic providing an overview of what they are doing at a state and local level to address unconscious biases towards women in fire and emergency management leadership positions.

It was another great session and we thank all those that attended and contributed to making it so beneficial to all our work. Information on all Community of Practice sessions can be found on our website.*|END:IF|*

‘Sex Ed by Porn’ A workshop by Maree Crabbe

Maree Crabbe, a leading Australian community educator and consultant, delivered an invaluable and highly informative workshop to help regional communities understand and address the damaging influence pornography has on young people.

With over 100 attendees, the sessions included a great network of educators, youth workers, health providers and police. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and people have already planned follow up sessions and ordered resources to continue this important conversation. *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|*

*|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*Maree Crabbe’s work highlights the alarming level of violence and aggression towards women in pornography which is in turn linked to an increased tolerance of violence against women, be it sexual, physical or emotional. Maree’s work speaks directly to the issues we are addressing through the Grampians Communities of Respect and Equality (CoRE) Plan which aims to build a safe, equal and respectful society for everyone in our region.

We would like to thank our regional partners for making it possible have Maree present in Dimboola, Ararat as well as Ballarat. They included Relationships Australia Victoria, Grampians Pyrenees and Wimmera PCP's, Central Grampians and Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN, Barwon CASA and Dimboola Memorial Secondary College.*|END:IF|*  


New CoRE resource available: Taking Action to end violence against women and their children: What can your organisation do? A guide for members of the Grampians CoRE Alliance was launched this month. The guide offers practical ideas in line with the 5 Essential Action Areas outlined in the national framework Change the Story.

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. *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|* *|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* WHG initially developed this program in partnership with CAFS, Wrisc Family Violence Support and the City of Ballarat, with funding from the Department of Justice and Regulation. The program has been running since 2012 and more than 10 organisations have participated. We congratulate the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Training and Resources and VicRoads – Western Region Alliance who have all just completed the program. We welcome Rural Northwest Health, Wimmera Uniting Care, and Yarriambiack Shire Council who are just commencing.
If you would like more information on undertaking Act@Work at your workplace, please contact Darlene Henning-Marshall on 5322 4100.*|END:IF|*

A Guide to Reporting Sexist Advertising: City of Melbourne have launched a new prevention of violence against women resource to help the community report sexist advertising in Victoria. If you see advertising that is sexist, exploitative or overly violent, this guide offers steps you can take to get it removed.

Eleven ways to boost your work with news media: This DV Vic guide is aimed at PVAW practitioners who want to work more effectively with media to communicate key messages about prevention of violence against women. It provides tools, tips  and ideas including critical 'themes' and content for messaging.

Speaking publicly about preventing men’s violence against women: There can be some curly questions and uncertainty around the right language to use when speaking publicly on PVAW. A useful tool for anyone looking to start conversations about violence who is unsure of how to answer commonly-asked questions.

Female Friendly Sport Infrastructure Guidelines: In Victoria, female participation rates in sport and active recreation remain lower than males. To encourage more women and girls to become involved, user-friendly recreation facilities are required.

Sexual & Reproductive Health

SRH Research

Victorian Women's Benevolent Trust: we are pleased to announce WHG have recently been awarded a grant  to conduct research  into the experience of GPs referring and providing abortion services across our region. Through this research we hope to unpack the complexity and local context *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* See More SRH Research *|END:IF|**|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*that directly impacts on women’s capacity for self-determination and access to services that are readily available to their metropolitan counterparts.

Deakin University: we would also like to encourage representation from the Grampians region to be involved in a research project. The aim of this study is to develop a nurse-led collaborative model of care for the provision of medication abortion in regional and rural Victoria. The research team are calling on experts and advocates for women's sexual and reproductive health to participate in a questionnaire. Read more *|END:IF|*

SRH Training and Events

WHG are in consultation with Family Planning Victoria regarding professional development opportunities where populations are most at need of reproductive and sexual health care. In the Grampians region we will be looking to offer education sessions, clinical training and scholarships up until June 2017. If you would be interested in this type of opportunity please email shannon@whg.org.au or contact Shannon Hill on 5322 4100.*|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* See More SRH Events *|END:IF|*

*|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*2016 Australasian Sexual Health Conference (14–16 November, Adelaide) this year’s theme Re-thinking Sexual Health will provide a stimulating environment in which to share ideas on any aspect of sexual health. Anticipate cutting-edge research, innovative education ideas, and lively debate!
This conference is also held back-to-back with the 2016 Australasian HIV & AIDS Conference (16–18 November, Adelaide).*|END:IF|*

SRH Resources

Did you know Setember 28 was a Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion? We highly recommend viewing a series of videos Step into Our Stories, Step Into our Shoes, where young people were invited to read letters from women who have had abortions. The aim was to create empathy and challenge socially constructed ideas of what “type” of person would have an abortion. *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* See More SRH Resources *|END:IF|*

*|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*Positive Women Victoria provides support, information and advocacy for women in Victoria living with HIV. PWV have recently updated their Services Directory page and are looking for feedback on any commonly used referral options. You can also become a member to receive regular newsletter updates.

National Education Toolkit for Female Genital Multilation/Cutting Awareness: This project has brought partners together from each state and territory to share their best practice recommendations, support and resources related to working with communities around the issue of FGM/C in Australia.

WHO launches new treatment guidelines: Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis are major public health problems worldwide. The new WHO guidelines reinforce the need to treat these STIs with the right antibiotic, at the right dose, and the right time to reduce their spread and improve sexual and reproductive health.*|END:IF|*

Other items of note

Are you a photographer or photo lover?

Michelle Dunn is a wonderful Ballarat photographer (and previous Board member of WHG) is running a photography challenge with a difference to support a range of community organisations. The "Photography Challenges with Heart" aims to create purpose and motivation in photography while helping to shine a light on valuable community organisations - one community group is featured each month and their focus becomes the photography theme. For November Women's Health Grampians *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*Read More*|END:IF|**|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|*will be in the spotlight and anyone is invited to take a photograph of the woman who inspires you and post it to the With Camera in Hand website. You can also get involved by sharing the challenge on social media, or donating during the month for your donation to go directly to WHG. Head to the website to get involved: www.withcamerainhand.com.au or follow on instagram (@_withcamerainhand) or Facebook (@withcamerainhandau)*|END:IF|*

Albert Coates Memorial Trust welcomes 2016 Australian of the Year to Ballarat

One of the Grampians CoRE Alliance members, Federation University, will be hosting a champion for gender equality and diversity David Morrison at a free event in Ballarat at 6pm Monday 10 October 2016 at the Mt Helen Campus. David Morrison will be a guest of the Albert Coates Memorial Trust at a public dinner at 7.30pm. The cost is $50 per head. Read more

Partners in Prevention Network Meeting: 4 October

At the next PiP meeting, Kris Arcaro, Director, Wellbeing, Health and Engagement, Department of Education and Training, will provide an update on the roll out of respectful relationships education across Victoria. The meeting will also include a panel discussion for advice and ideas on how PiP members can work with schools to support this roll out. Read More

When: 10.30am–1.00pm 4 October
Where: 506 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
RSVP: prevention@dvrcv.org.au

Domestic Violence Awareness Training Lifeline Ballarat has been funded to provide
DV-aware: a free 2-hour session to raise awareness of domestic and family violence for health, allied health and frontline workers. Scheduled for Thursday November 3 in Ballarat. Sessions fill quickly and registration is essential! *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|*

*|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* DV-alert (Domestic Violence Response Training) is Lifeline's free nationally recognised training program that enables health, allied health and frontline workers to confidently:

  • Recognise signs of domestic and family violence
  • Respond with appropriate care
  • Refer people experiencing or at risk of domestic and family violence to appropriate support services

A Ballarat Domestic Violence Awareness session is scheduled for:

  • 9:30-11:30am Thursday 3 November 2016
  • Peart Wing, Uniting Church, 103 Lydiard Street Sth, Ballarat
DV-alert: two day training sessions have also been planned for Horsham 2-3 February and Ballarat 28 Feb-1 March 2017. Contact Lifeline Ballarat for more information 03 5322 4996 or info@lifelineballarat.com.au

View the national DV-alert workshop schedule *|END:IF|*

Tell us where you would like a changing places toilet!

Victorian Government is seeking feedback on where Changing Places facilities are needed most. Changing Places are accessible toilets with extra features and additional space to meet the needs of people with a disability and their carers. Please spread the word and encourage your family, friends and colleagues to participate in this survey *|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* Read More *|END:IF|*

*|IF:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* The survey will close 5pm Monday 10 October 2016.

Providing accessible public toilets with better facilities enables people with disabilities to participate more fully in social recreational and community activities. Further information about the survey can be found at www.changingplaces.org.au *|END:IF|*


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