Edition 2 • 2012
PHOTOS Scout Kozakiewicz
wellbeing SOCIAL connectedness edition
Participants in the Our Community, Our Rights project. Read more on page 12.
A word from the ceo
Dr Robyn Gregory
elcome to the second edition of WHW news for 2012. This edition focuses on our priority area of mental wellbeing and social connectedness – named to emphasise just how important social connections are to our mental health and wellbeing.
sexual and reproductive health programs designed to reduce teen pregnancy and build respectful relationships. WHW will be in touch with our broader community in the coming months to gather ideas about how we can sell the importance of investment in prevention to secure the long term health of our community – and reduce the social and economic costs of violence, physical and mental ill health, and poverty-related disease.
In the introduction, the newest member of our health promotion team, Stephanie Rich, outlines the intricate relationship between mental health and wellbeing and life circumstances in determining our overall health – and the factors that can undermine this for women, such as violence, isolation and poverty.
One existing idea is outlined by Communications Coordinator, Nicola Harte, on page 14, in her run down of our planned international women’s day celebration for 2013 – 51% West. This theatrical event is designed to bring lived experiences to the demographics of women in the region for decision-makers.
Improving safety and strengthening the health and emotional wellbeing of new mothers by building social support to reduce isolation is a very practical response. On page 15, Angela Taft from La Trobe University outlines the findings of a research study undertaken in collaboration with partners including WHW to do just that.
In recognition of another international observance, on page 13 FARREP community worker, Intesar Homed, introduces the International Day of Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). WHW is committed to the elimination of FGM and the provision of culturally appropriate service responses to women already affected by the practice. Unfortunately this is one of the programs facing funding cuts as a result of the state budget.
On page 4, board director Cath Bateman gives an inspiring description of her recent international conference attendance, where she picked up the importance of a framework for economic development based on gender equality, sustainable development and human rights. This experience should prove vital to WHW over the next few months as we struggle to cope with recent funding cuts in the state budget, outlined by Elly Taylor on pages 10-11. These cuts threaten to undermine regional gains made in areas such as prevention of violence against women, financial literacy with newly-arrived communities, and whole-school
Similarly, on page 6, family violence coordinators, Jelena and Michelle, point to the difficulties facing our family violence program following a real decrease in funds available for service delivery, coupled with increasing police referrals and demand for services, and significant population growth. The decrease is a result of the reduction in indexation for community services to only 2 per cent, despite a projected need for 3.58 per cent. Jelena also provides a progress report on a terrific national initiative designed to keep
women’s health west – equity and justice for women in the west
inside: How do the state and federal budgets affect your budget? p.10
Creative approaches to family violence intervention p.6
Check out the new WHW website! p.17
Edition 2, 2012