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women’s health west annual report 2009-2010

CONTENTS Who we are


Performance at a Glance


Achievements Measured Against Strategic Goals


Chair Report


Chief Executive Officer’s Report


Family Violence Services


Family Violence Statistics

Who we are Women’s Health West was established in 1988 and have now celebrated 21 years of working for the health, safety and wellbeing of women in Melbourne’s western region. We encourage women and girls to make informed choices by providing tailored health information. We strengthen women’s connections with each other through community development and health promotion projects.




Court Support




After Hours Crisis Outreach Service


Crisis Accommodation Service


Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Crisis Housing Program


Private Rental Brokerage


Intensive Case Management


Women with a Disability Intensive Case Management


Children’s Counselling Program


Victim’s Assistance Counselling Program


Family Violence Regional Integration Coordination


Health Promotion, Research and Development


As the region’s largest family violence service, we provide women and children who experience family violence with crisis support, including court support, crisis housing for women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and children’s counselling. Our publications include a regular colourful newsletter, a history book detailing the anecdotes and achievements collected over the 21 years of the service, and a range of resources (some in community languages) on women’s health and family violence. We work collaboratively with government and local agencies, and provide secondary consultation for health, community and other service providers.

Vision Equity and justice for women in the west

Mission We partner with others to change the conditions that cause and maintain women’s oppression, to deliver family violence services and to undertake health promotion actions

Power On


Power On For Carers


Sexual and Reproductive Health


Values– Guiding Principles

Sunrise Women’s Groups


• We work within a feminist framework, respecting human rights

Financial Literacy Program


Anti Racism Project


• We act to support women to take control over their decisions and their lives

Family and Reproductive Rights Education Program


Prevention of violence against women


Girls Talk - Guys Talk


Lead On Again


WHW Presentations








Occupational Health, Safety and Environment


Professional Development




Accreditation, Quality Improvement and Risk Management


Key Partnerships




Organisation Chart




Financial Reports




• We recognise that the conditions in which people live, work and play are shaped by political, social and economic forces that we must understand and take action on to achieve better outcomes for health, safety and wellbeing • We value the diversity of our region and work to actively recognise and respect women’s diverse strengths, experiences and goals • We value transparency and accountability in our operations, practices and relationships with others • We recognise that children’s health, safety and wellbeing is intrinsically connected to that of women • We recognise the importance of being responsive to the changing needs of our community • We recognise and value the expertise of others and the vital importance of working together to achieve our goals

WHW’s catchment consists of seven local government areas: Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Melbourne, Melton, Moonee Valley and Wyndham


performance at a glance Highs and lows The following snippets of our work across the organisation show highlights and lowlights of the past financial year.

The Best Practice Australia independent survey of staff ‘climate’ showed WHW as a well-functioning, friendly and productive organisation that values staff and has a strong commitment to continuing to improve in all aspects of our work.

The launch, by the Hon. Joan Kirner AM, of REtroSPECT the 21 year history of Women’s Health West. (p.25)

The launch, by Chief Commissioner Simon Overland, of a short film that provides women with information about how to collect evidence if their intervention order is breached (p.25).

The relocation of crisis accommodation service workers from refuge to WHW main office in Footscray (p.12).

The development by WHW, local councils and community health of Preventing Violence Together, an action plan to improve the health and wellbeing of women in the west (p.22).

Women’s Health West staff openly discussed racism in an effort to understand its cause and the impact it has on women in the west (p.21).

A high percentage (35%) of women stayed in refuge less than one week, many responding to a lack of housing options and choosing instead to return to their partners or families (p.12).

Regardless of strong partnerships in the region and across Victoria, a lack of sustainable funding to implement Power On – a wellbeing program for women who experience mental illness – has reduced the last six years’ work to a standstill (p.18).

A large increase in clients accessing our intake service yet this service remains without specific funding or recognition of its key importance (p.10).

There remain few services available in the western region to support children in their recovery from the trauma of family violence (p.15).

An outdated funding model for refuge services leaves WHW unable to offer parity to staff performing similar work (p.12).

DONATIONS We appreciate support from the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Fund, Victorian Magistrates Court Relief Fund, City of Melbourne and Vic Relief, which has enabled WHW to provide emergency relief, food vouchers and crisis accommodation assistance to women and children.

TOP-LINE FINANCIAL COMPARISON This top-line financial comparison shows the growth of the organisation since the previous reporting period.

We thank Footscray Rotary Club, Toys ‘R’ Us Highpoint, Footscray Lions Club, Variety the children’s charity, and Alannah and Madeline Foundation for their continued support of the refuge children’s program. We would also like to extend our thanks for financial contributions from Sunshine Magistrates Court, Magistrates Court of Victoria, Western Region Women in Football Foundation, Victoria University, Zonta Club of Melton, AIA Australia and Beta Sigma Phi Victoria.

Annual Report 2009-2010 ISSN 1834-710X Publisher Women’s Health West Printed November 2010 Printer Whirlwind Print Editor Robyn Gregory, Nicola Harte Designer Nicola Harte Illustrations Isis and Pluto Cover 21st birthday AGM, November 2009 Photograph Meredith O’Shea





Total Revenue

$ 3,191,998


$171,677 h

Total Expenditure

$ 3,191,191


$182,051 h

Total Assets

$ 1,808,396


$234,527 h

Total Liabilities

$ 1,357,641


$227,875 h

$ 450,756



Total Equity


Women’s Health West 317-319 Barkly Street Footscray VICTORIA 3011 Phone: 03 9689 9588 Fax: 03 9689 3861 Email: Web: ABN: 24 036 234 159

2009/10 Achievements

measured against the strategic plan In 2009 Women’s Health West developed a strategic plan to guide our work over the next three years, with a focus on developing a strategic thinking organisation to ensure our priorities are based on current and future needs. This table uses the following key to show selected actions we have taken over the last twelve months to achieve those goals.




Strategic goal 1 Deliver and advocate for accessible and culturally appropriate services and resources for women Women’s Health West (WHW) will engage in actions such as advocacy, research, organisational capacity building, direct service delivery and community development to influence those factors that restrict women’s access to resources and services



Engage in advocacy on topics related to women’s health, safety and wellbeing

• Worked with other women’s health organisations across Victoria to ask council candidates to commit to Safe, Well and Connected: Victorian Local Government Action Plan for Women’s Health


• In January 2010, the Victorian Government presented A Right to Justice and Safety: Continuing Family Violence Reform Victoria 2010-2010 consultation paper to which WHW provided a written response • Provided a written response to the Office of Housing, Public Housing: New Segmented Waiting List Proposal

Enhance direct service delivery by producing accessible resources for a range of clients

Worked with Victoria Police to produce a short film detailing safe methods of collecting evidence if your intervention order has been breached resulting in 953 YouTube views (p.25)

Deliver community development programs for women from a range of backgrounds

• Delivered three six-week financial literacy programs specific to Somali, South Sudanese and Karen women’s needs. Participating agencies report a marked increase in their services being used by women from these communities (p.20)

• Provided 14 sessions of family violence community education (p.24)

Strategic goal 2 Improve the conditions in which women live, work and play in the western region of Melbourne

We will undertake direct service provision and health promotion actions that recognise the important influence of, and aim to improve the social, economic and political factors that determine the health, safety and wellbeing of women and their children in the western region



Assist women to break the cycle of family violence by providing tailored direct services

• Provided telephone support, information, advocacy and referral to 2,193 women, an increase of 491 calls from 2008-9 (p.10)


• Face-to-face support to women and children in crisis has doubled from 95 in 2008/9 to 191 in this reporting period (p.10) • Provided outpost services to 179 clients in Melton, Point Cook and Werribee (p.10) • Provided crisis accommodation and case management to 68 women in refuge (p.12) • Delivered family violence training to 37 staff across two disability services. Around 62 percent of participants stated that the training would change their work practice (p.14)

Undertake health promotion activities designed to improve women’s health, safety and wellbeing

• Twenty five women who are clients of two mental health services in the western region successfully completed the Power On program (p.18) • More than seventy maternal and child health nurses participated in professional development related to the practical, cultural and social needs of women from communities affected by female genital mutilation (p.21) • Fifteen year-nine students provided input and leadership on Girls Talk - Guys Talk program design, advised on sexual health curriculum topics, and contributed to school policy development (p.23)


Strategic goal 3 Put women’s health, safety and wellbeing on the political agenda to improve women’s status

Because gender is a critical factor in improving conditions for women, we will particularly focus on the structural factors that cause and maintain the conditions under which women and their children face discrimination, and undertake actions designed to change those factors




Respond to key topics impacting on equity and justice for women in west

• WHW board of directors supported workers to attend the ASU rally for equal pay on 10 June 2010

• WHW worked with the Women’s Health Association of Victoria to redevelop the 10 Point Plan for Victorian Women’s Health 2010-2014 and advocated for members of parliament to adopt this as their women’s health platform in the lead-up to the state election (p.6) • WHW’s advocacy with media and local MPs assisted Victoria Police to reverse the temporary closure of the Brimbank Police Family Violence Unit (p.16)

Develop anti-racism project

Twenty-four WHW staff attended a workshop that explored the causes and effects of racist beliefs, and created a map that identifies the impacts of racism on women in the western region within employment, housing, service access and education (p.21)

Strategic goal 4 Recognise that good health, safety and wellbeing begins in our workplace

We will identify all the components required to operate a service that is responsive to our vision and mission – valuing our workforce, ensuring financial sustainability and organisational accountability, understanding our limits, and developing and learning from experience – and use our resources intelligently and creatively to achieve our strategic goals




Draft Enterprise Agreement to negotiate with staff

The industrial relations task group of the WHW Board met 12 times to write a draft enterprise agreement for consideration by staff (p.31)

Continue to support staff professional development

269 staff attended 136 professional development courses and seminars (p.28)

Restructure finance frameworks

Adopted recommended Victorian Standard Chart of Accounts for Not For Profit Community Organisations based on International Finance Reporting Standards. These standards are mandatory for Victorian Government departments and so implementation will reduce the time and effort WHW takes to report to government allowing our focus to be on work in the community. (p.34)

Improve risk management systems to attain QICSA accreditation

Reviewed risk register and introduced new risk register database sourced from the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority to record all risks and treatments (p.7)

Strategic goal 5 Work with others to achieve our goals

We value the skills, knowledge and expertise of individuals, organisations and communities in our region and aim to work in collaboration with them, sharing what we learn along the way and identifying where we each fit in achieving our ambitious goals



Increase and enhance our partnerships

• Active participation in Primary Care Partnerships (PCP) - CEO sits on interim governance group of Inner North West PCP - CEO sits on board of Health West PCP • CEO chairs regional family violence committee • Manager Health Promotion, Research and Development sits on Integrated Health Promotion Network at HealthWest and Community and Women’s Health Network

• WHW developed a register to record types and renewal dates of all partnerships Committed organisational partnerships with seven councils in the west, PCPs, community health services and the Western Integrated Family Violence Committee produced Preventing Violence Together: the Western Region Action Plan to Prevent Violence Against Women. (p.22) Completed a mapping and needs analysis report outlining key findings and recommendations based on a review of 69 sexual and reproductive health programs and services from 23 agencies. The report highlights gaps in service provision and the need for a more targeted and coordinated approach among agencies in the western region (p.19) Work with other WHW, Relationships Australia, Lifeworks, Djerriwarrh Health Services and Victoria Police agencies and services to continue to pilot the high-risk client strategy that enables family violence service providers implement the high-risk and police to better coordinate responses to women at immediate risk of severe violence or strategy WOMEN’S HEALTH death  WEST ANNUAL REPORT 2009-2010 Work with others to create prevention of violence against women action plan Lead sexual and reproductive health strategy for west


✔ ✔ ✔

CHair REPORT with members of parliament in the western region to advocate for the plan and encourage them to adopt this blueprint for women’s health, safety and wellbeing for their constituents - women in the west of Melbourne. It is my pleasure to provide the 2009/10 Chair report for Women’s Health West (WHW) in this momentous year that celebrates the twenty-first anniversary of the service!

Strategic Planning Following the development and approval of the 2009-2012 WHW Strategic Plan, the Board of Directors developed a governance action plan that outlines the board’s tasks for implementing the strategic plan, along with measures and timelines for evaluating our actions. This work prompted the board to realign our task groups to achieve our strategic goals and I have outlined the major activities of those groups on page 31.

Hands on approach to governance The strategic planning process showed the board are motivated by the same vision, values and goals as the staff. As a result, the board outlined an action plan specifying the activities we engage in to work towards WHW’s ambitious vision of achieving equity and justice for women in the west. As well as outlining our processes for monitoring the organisation using a balanced scorecard approach to regular reporting, and gathering and sharing strategic information and knowledge, the board formulates a specific annual campaign to raise the profile of WHW and enact our vision.

Two directors joined staff at the Sixth Australian Women’s Health Conference in Hobart. (p.28) They gained terrific insight into how well WHW’s work is placed in comparison to national and international health promotion, population health planning, and research into gendered health inequities. The board also engaged in the development of a five-year information communication technology strategy that promises to position WHW well in a fast-paced and changing environment. The board recognises the need to be responsive to new technologies as they become increasingly accessible. In tandem with the ICT strategy, the board also endorsed the development of an updated website to be launched in the next reporting period. (p.25)

Future directions The board is paying attention to the uncertainties surrounding the federal health reform process in the next reporting period. While A National Health and Hospitals Network for Australia’s Future promises to improve responsiveness of the system to local needs and enhance the quality of health services, an increasing focus on hospitals and general practitioners risks the ambitious health equity framework

This has included directors joining the CEO and other staff to actively advocate for women’s health, safety and wellbeing through the 10 Point Plan for Victorian Women’s Health 2010-2014. This document, developed by the Women’s Health Association of Victoria (WHW is an active member) is designed to influence government and other political parties in the lead up to the 2010 state election by outlining a whole-of-government strategy and actions to improve women’s health. Board involvement included meetings

I acknowledge the hard work, support and ongoing commitment of all our board directors. Directors Gainore Atkins and Michelle Towstoless have resigned from the board. I know the board joins me in expressing our deep appreciation for their time, energy and contributions to WHW during their service over a combined 9 years. Finally, I thank Robyn Gregory, for the exceptional progress of WHW over the past 18 months. Her hard work and dedication since taking up the position of CEO has, with the support of the management team and staff, seen WHW continue to expand in size and reputation. The energy and passion of all WHW staff are seemingly boundless, as is their drive for equity and justice.

Meg Bumpstead CHAIR

Board directors June Kane, Ruth Marshall and Karen Passey read the annual report at the 2009 AGM PHOTO: Meredith O’Shea

required to underpin changes to our health system. A greater focus on prevention, population health and health promotion are integral to the vision of a healthy and fair Australia. Women’s Health West has specific expertise in these areas, encouraging health services to be responsive to the social determinants of health. Clearly, the best outcomes will be achieved by building on the strength of existing networks, common priorities and collaborative responses to demonstrated need.



It is my pleasure to introduce the WHW annual report for 2009-2010. This report provides a clear overview of the objectives, strategies and outcomes of each of our programs and projects, as well as the future direction planned for each area. The major challenge for Women’s Health West is to provide services and undertake actions that are responsive to the needs of women and their children in a diverse and expanding region. Planning Strategically The WHW 2009-2012 Strategic Plan commenced operation on 1 July 2009. Family Violence Services, Health Promotion Research and Development, Communications and Information, and Business Management, have each produced a three-year operational plan that outlines how the strategic plan will be implemented and measured across the organisation. These plans were formulated by staff at a series of planning forums and are well integrated with each other. Continuously Improving Since accreditation in May 2009, Women’s Health West has fulfilled all requirements under the integrated Homelessness Assistance Service Standards (HASS) and Quality Improvement Council (QIC) Health and Community Services Core Standards assessment program. Our comprehensive schedule for continuous quality improvement includes a complete restructuring of our process for identifying, evaluating and managing risk. WHW hosts the region’s largest family violence service, so compromising staff safety is one of our key risks. Our quality and risk management activities engage all staff in identifying problems and finding solutions, and in the last year we continued an unblemished record of staff safety. Each of our programs met the targets set out by funding bodies for service delivery. Our Intake Service not only responds to women in crisis, but also provides a secondary consultation service across the region. This service 

responded to 2193 calls in 2009-2010, compared with 1702 the previous year and 1688 the year before that. WHW continues to advocate for a funded intake service, rather than our current situation of diverting resources away from case management. Valuing our staff In this sector wages reflect the lower priority given to funding ‘women’s work’, yet the work is demanding, complex and stressful. The importance of demonstrating the value our staff hold is imperative to our ability to attract and retain staff – and is reflected in our strategic goals. This year, in addition to a strict policy of regular supervision, 269 staff attended 136 professional development activities. We also organised a ‘winter Christmas’ dinner to thank staff for a year of dedicated service and directly supported the ASU pay equity case. We also commissioned Best Practice Australia to undertake an independent survey of the staff ‘climate’ each year for three years. The results of the first survey were terrific, with over 70 percent of staff openly positive, optimistic and engaged about the organisation’s future. Developing partnerships that assist us to meet our goals Our mission is to partner with others to deliver services, undertake health promotion actions and change the conditions that cause and maintain women’s oppression. This involves engaging other organisations in our core business – and then keeping them engaged. With high levels of staff turnover across the sector, it is every staff member’s role to maintain formal and informal networks, partnerships, and service delivery, advocacy or business relationships. In April 2010 we formalised this role with a partnership register that monitors partnership review dates and records relationships across the organisation. We developed five new formal partnership agreements - with McAuley Community Services for Women, Molly’s House Women’s Refuge, Relationships Australia Victoria, Lifeworks, and Mother and Child Health Research at La Trobe University - expanding our ability to deliver quality family violence services to women and their children.


Ongoing work with primary care partnerships has WHW leading the region in the development of two strategies – one for the prevention of violence against women; the other for sexual and reproductive health. Statewide collaboration through the Women’s Health Association of Victoria led to the 10 Point Plan for Victorian Women’s Health 2010-2014. In tandem with staff and Board Directors, I met our local members of parliament to advocate that this plan inform the women’s health platform of all parties in the lead up to the state election. Financial sustainability and organisational accountability WHW finished the financial year with a surplus of only a few hundred dollars. This is testament to the excellent monitoring processes in place at WHW and the expertise of our finance department. Future directions With state and federal elections coming up, WHW will continue to advocate for concrete outcomes that improve equity and justice for women in the west. Governments are increasingly cognisant of the need to build evidence for and fund strategies that prevent violence against women, chronic disease and unhealthy behaviours. WHW has recognised expertise in developing programs and projects aimed at primary prevention, and in doing so in partnership. This, alongside our expertise in delivering direct services to women and children, puts us in an excellent position for the future, where health reforms will be increasingly targeted to prevention, and planning will be in partnership with the range of agencies that effect the health and wellbeing of communities.

Robyn Gregory CEO

I am very happy with myself now. I’ve got my confidence back. I feel safe in my home as I didn’t have to leave it behind and start somewhere else. WHW Family Violence Services client

whw FAMILY VIOLENCE SERVICES The past year has been extraordinary for Women’s Health West’s Family Violence Service. In addition to our regular crisis work, family violence services developed a three-year plan based on the outcomes of our planning day in September and integrated this with the organisational strategic plan. The six staff of the Crisis Accommodation Service (CAS) moved to the main Footscray office in December and we thank the Department of Human Services for their assistance with this move. We began the year by hosting a July forum in partnership with Berry Street, Eastern Domestic Violence Outreach Service, Carolyn Lodge, DV Vic and the Domestic Violence Resource Centre, titled ‘Family Violence: Is it a Crime’. The forum was well attended with more than 70 people coming to hear Heather Douglas, a Queensland academic, Police Inspector Wendy Steendam and a panel discuss the topic. This year WHW responded to requests to provide support to women whose partners are undertaking the behavioural change programs at Relationships Australia Sunshine and Lifeworks Werribee and Melbourne. The establishment of strong links between women’s services and services providing men’s programs ensures wellintegrated programs that better meet the needs of women who experience family violence. WHW, Relationships Australia, Lifeworks, Djerriwarrh Health Services and Victoria Police continue to pilot the high-risk client strategy that enables family violence service providers and police to better coordinate responses to women at immediate risk of severe violence or death.


In March 2010 the Western Integrated Family Violence Partnership (women and children) welcomed Molly’s House and McAuley Community Services for Women into the partnership. The governance group successfully obtained funding to provide an enhanced regional 24hour crisis response as well as funds to support women to remain in their own home rather than being forced to leave because of family violence. Our advocacy work this year included the development of a DVD and pamphlet explaining how to safely collect evidence if your partner breaches an intervention order, in collaboration with Victoria Police. We supported local disability services to develop better responses to women with disabilities experiencing and escaping family violence. Our family violence team performed a song penned by Victoria, a member of our outreach team, at the AGM celebrations and then at Federation Square for the Not 1 More, Remembering Victims of Family Violence rally. Future directions • The Western Integrated Family Violence Partnership plan to undertake a local media campaign to promote the right of women and children to remain safe in their own home • Implement a 24-hour, 7-day crisis response service in the western region • Continue to promote links between women and children’s services and men’s behavioural change programs • Promote the western region client high risk strategy as a model of best practice • Plan another performance at Federation Square for the Not 1 More, Remembering Victims of Family Violence rally in 2010

STATISTICS 2009-2010 Figure 1.


Figure 1.






Intake One-off Support





Intake Police Faxback/ e-back





Intake Support Short Term Case management










Intake Secondary Consults Court Support Case Management Accompanying Children

825 634 379 1325

956 376 373 1338

760 360 394 1367

696 389 566 1432

79 237 48

92 283 55

66 242 57

91 280 67






Victim’s Assistance Crime Program





After Hours





Intensive Case Management





Private Rental Brokerage Housing Options

39 6

29 5

25 6

31 7


CRISIS ACCOMMODATION Refuge Accompanying Children CALD Housing Program

Local Government Area


No. of clients

Figure 2.



Figure 3.


Number of requests


Source of referral

Thankyou WHW cannot do this work alone and we thank the many services and organisations that have assisted us in delivering accessible, responsive and quality services to women and children. In particular, the police across the western region, the staff at Melbourne, Sunshine and Werribee Magistrates Court, and the VACP team of Western Region Health Centre have provided tireless continuing support and assistance.

We acknowledge and respect the resilience and courage women and children have shown despite their experiences of trauma and grief. 


We also thank our place-based providers - Werribee Support and Housing, Djerriwarrh Health Services, Isis Primary Care Werribee and Point Cook Learning Centre – for the use of their space to provide outreach services to our clients. We are particularly grateful to Isis Primary Care in Werribee, who have supported our Children’s Therapeutic Group by providing one of the three facilitators, venue and child care. After the police regional boundary restructure Sergeant Kevin Godfrey, the police advisor for the Western Metropolitan Region was reassigned. We extend all our best wishes and thanks for his support over the past five years.


Court Support

Intake workers are the first point of contact for women entering family violence services in the west. They provide a telephone or face-to-face crisis response to women and coordinate referrals to WHW and other relevant services designed to enhance the safety and wellbeing of women and children who experience family violence in the western metropolitan region. The intake service also provides a critical coordination role by responding to police faxback referrals and requests for secondary consultations from other agencies, coordinating the list of clients requiring court support, and managing the waiting list for case management services.

Family Violence Outreach workers provide women with support at three courts in the western region – the Melbourne Magistrates, Sunshine Magistrates and Werribee Magistrates Courts



• Coordinate women and children’s access to family violence services in the west through a central point • Provide information, risk assessments and safety planning to enhance women and children’s safety as well as their ability to implement informed decisions • Provide specialist family violence consultation to other service providers • Manage court support and waiting list for case management services

Provide professional support to a minimum of 77 women who are attending court seeking family violence orders


• Provided telephone support, information, advocacy and referral to 2,193 women, an increase of 491 calls from 2008-9 • Face-to-face support to women and children in crisis has doubled from 95 in 2008/9 to 191 in this reporting period • Responded to 1,609 police faxback referrals, with the highest number from Sunshine police station • Provided 825 secondary consultations to external service providers including case work advice about family violence risk assessment and safety planning • Managed the waiting list that existed from January to July 2010 for case management services, for 5 to 16 women per month

Provide outposted worker at: • Werribee Magistrates Court one day a week • Melbourne Magistrates Court one day a week • Sunshine Magistrates Court three days a week Outposted workers provide: • Explanations of court processes, intervention orders and their conditions, breaches and how to report them • Emotional support • Liaise with court staff, legal services and police • Organise risk assessments and safety planning • Referral to relevant services including WHW Family Violence Outreach program

• Court support workers provided with schedule of, on average, 55 women requiring support per month


STRATEGIES • • • • •

Respond to telephone and face-to-face enquiries from women and service providers Respond to Victoria Police ‘faxback’ family violence referrals Respond to requests for secondary consultation from other service providers Coordinate and provide interim support to women on wait list for case management Compile schedule of women requiring court support arising out of faxback referrals


FUTURE DIRECTIONS • We expect the current trend of increasing client numbers to continue as a result of family violence, homelessness sector and child protection reforms. This makes the need to continue to advocate to the state government for specific funding for the intake service to accommodate increasing demand even more important • Introduce a 24-hour face-to-face crisis response program • Expand police fax-back program to include weekends Figure 4.


We provided assistance as planned to 634 women across three courts; more than eight times the annual target of 77 women demonstrating the huge demand for this type of support. On average we saw: • 3 clients per week at Werribee • 1 client per week at Melbourne • 9 clients per week at Sunshine

FUTURE DIRECTIONS • Explore reasons for low client numbers at Melbourne Magistrates Court and implement strategies to increase client access • Develop internal policy and procedures designed to build relationships with other court users 10


Figure 5. LENGTH


I found the facilitators very committed to the issues presented and ready to hear comments from the audience and integrate these into the topic. Service provider on outreach community education

After Hours Crisis Outreach Service Outreach Family violence outreach case managers provide transitional support to women experiencing family violence to coordinate resources relating to housing, legal, health and other relevant matters required to support the long-term safety of women and their children. Case managers work across specific local government areas to facilitate the formation of professional and advocacy networks. OBJECTIVES • Ensure women and children who experience family violence are able to access timely and relevant services and resources • Ensure that women who live in the outer west are able to easily access our services • Provide information that enables our local communities to respond appropriately to the needs of women and children who experience family violence

STRATEGIES • Provide case management services to 522 women and their children • Outpost workers to three locations in the outer west, an increase of one on the previous year • Develop strong partnerships with agencies including legal services, police, housing, Centrelink, family and youth services to improve women’s passage through the service system • Deliver tailored community education sessions to relevant communities of interest

OUTCOMES • Approximately 73 percent of our case management targets were applied to providing 379 women with an outreach case management service, supporting up to 90 clients at any time. The other 27 percent of targets were directed to providing an otherwise unfunded intake service that responded to over 4,800 requests for service (see above). • Provided outpost services to 179 clients in Melton, Point Cook and Werribee • Outreach workers regularly attended family violence Believed in me network meetings across the seven local government gave me courage areas comprising representatives from legal services, and helped me see a police, housing, family and youth services light at the end of the • Provided 14 sessions of family violence community tunnel. education. All sessions received excellent feedback Outreach Client

FUTURE DIRECTIONS • Trial a fourth place-based outreach service at Carlton Family Resource Centre • Develop new partnerships with local agencies to introduce group work that will increase the support options available for women recovering from family violence • Advocate for funding to establish a children’s case manager in the program • Demand for community education is high. WHW will continue to apply for family violence funding to meet these requests 11


The after hours crisis outreach workers provide a response to women and their children who are currently in crisis resulting from family violence, on weeknights, weekends and public holidays. OBJECTIVE Provide crisis intervention, risk assessment and safety planning, information, advocacy, and referral to woman and children experiencing family violence within the western metropolitan suburbs outside business hours

STRATEGIES • Respond to requests for faceto-face support for women and children referred by the Women’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service (WDVCS), police, hospitals and the WHW Crisis Accommodation Service outside business hours • Provide limited emergency accommodation and relief funds for items such as petrol, medicine and baby needs

OUTCOMES • Responded to 110 after hours requests from referring agencies • Provided six women with crisis accommodation after hours

FUTURE DIRECTIONS • Implement a 24-hour crisis response program to enhance the current after-hours service • Introduce specific WHW police liaison role to facilitate links between our after hours service and police

Crisis Accommodation Service (CAS) CAS consists of refuge/crisis accommodation properties and outreach services to other crisis and transitional housing properties that provide shelter for women and their children escaping family violence where it is not safe for them to stay in their own homes. OBJECTIVES


• Ensure that women and their children are able to escape family violence by providing crisis accommodation and specialised family violence support services that assist them to access long term housing and re-establish safe lives • Ensure that the specific needs of children in refuge are met through recreational and developmental activities • Implement a new public housing access and support initiative to sustain women and their children in long term housing

• Provided crisis accommodation and case management to 68 women in refuge; 28 of whom stayed less than a week, 17 from 1-13 weeks, and 10 from 13-26 weeks • Provided crisis accommodation and Child from CAS after Werribee Zoo day trip transitional case management to 25 women in CAP properties; 16 of whom stayed 13-52 weeks, 9 support, the majority under 12 years for more than 1 year. Most women of age. Children are not currently in CAP properties were awaiting counted as statistical ‘targets’ in our public housing, which can take 12-24 funding model. The most frequent months support provided to children was • The total number of women assisted assistance accessing education, - 93 women and 237 children childcare, counselling and health – was less than the target of 151 services. Help with behavioural specifically because of the difficulty problems was provided to seven facing women in accessing housing, children and five were referred to particularly single women and specialist children’s support programs. women with large families, resulting • Recreational and developmental in nearly 40 percent of women activities were popular with the staying much longer than average children and their mothers. The most • Case management services included popular activity this year was a trip emotional support and information to Werribee Zoo supported by the about the impact of family Lion’s Club of Footscray, attended violence and ongoing safety, legal by 9 mums and 18 children. Mum’s information, financial assistance, are also given free movie tickets court support and linkages to and attend the local children’s play recovery services, housing support centre. The children’s worker provides including assistance accessing opportunities for the children to transitional and public housing, participate in after-school activities, retrieval of belongings, and storage. which many mums join, while others Five women required assistance with use the time to organise dinner and immigration as they did not have get ready for bath time permanent residency • Provided long term case management • Over 70 percent of women accessing under the ‘Stay at Home’ initiative to the service were accompanied by two women and their children, and children, with 237 children receiving brokerage funding to another two women case managed by another agency.

STRATEGIES • Provide crisis accommodation and case management services for an average of three months for 151 women and their children in refuge and crisis accommodation properties (CAP) • Develop and implement case plans for children who enter crisis accommodation services in tandem with their mother, prioritising children’s access to education • Organise and provide children’s recreational and developmental activities to facilitate children’s healing and recovery from violence and abuse • Provide long term case management under the ‘Stay at Home’ initiative to four women and their children to assist them to sustain long-term housing and facilitate connections to the community Figure 6. LENGTH

OF CAS SUPPORT FUTURE DIRECTIONS • We will continue to lobby the state government to review the funding and practice model for the refuge program, which was initially developed in the 1980s. This model no longer meets the needs of women and children accessing the program, evidenced by statistics that show over 50 percent of our clients require support for more than four weeks, well outside a crisis model of support. • We will continue to explore ways to reduce the percentage of women leaving within seven days.



Private Rental Brokerage

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Crisis Housing Program

This program provides support and financial assistance to assist women to remain in, or to attain, safe and sustainable housing

The CALD housing program is a culturally specific family violence case management service supporting CALD women’s access to safe long term housing. Our CALD crisis worker has nomination rights for women in four crisis housing properties managed by other services.

OBJECTIVE To assist women leaving situations of family violence to maintain independent, affordable and appropriate long-term private rental housing by providing rental assistance

OBJECTIVE Ensure that women from CALD communities who experience family violence are able to access culturally appropriate crisis accommodation and case management support to assist them and their children to establish safe lives

STRATEGY Provide a maximum of $2,000 financial assistance in tandem with case management support to 25 women who meet the criteria for the program

STRATEGIES • Provide crisis case management services for an average of three months for 52 women and their children from CALD backgrounds escaping family violence and housed in crisis accommodation properties • Engage in advocacy and liaison with real estate agents, transitional housing managers and Office of Housing on behalf of CALD women to reduce the barrier they experience when accessing safe affordable private rental and public housing

OUTCOMES • The program assisted 39 women to obtain or retain private rental housing • The increased numbers resulted from program flexibility and the addition of unspent grants


OUTCOMES • The CALD Family Violence Housing Program assisted 48 women across 15 different cultural groups, with the largest groups Vietnamese (27 percent), Ethiopian (10 percent), Turkish and Filipino (each 8 percent) • Of those women, 14 received support for less than 4 weeks, 12 for 4-13 weeks, 13 for 13-26 weeks, 3 for 26-52 weeks and 6 for over 12 months • These statistics are consistent with the trend in CAS properties for women to stay longer in crisis properties because of a lack of housing options • Of those women, 13 were supported into transitional housing, 10 into crisis properties, 5 were provided with tenancy support assisting them to remain safely in their own home, 1 accessed public housing, 2 accessed private rental, 5 chose to return to their partner, 7 women remained with their family and 3 with unrelated persons because of the lack of housing options available to them, and for 2 women their housing outcome is unknown • Case management services included advocacy and liaison services with transitional housing, private rental and Office of Housing for 35 women; court support for 8 women; as well as emotional support and information about the impact of family violence and ongoing safety, legal information, financial assistance and linkages to recovery services

FUTURE DIRECTIONS • Provide cultural educational sessions to housing services in the region to highlight the barriers experienced by CALD women escaping family violence • Continue to monitor the number of CALD women having to live with family, friends and other unrelated persons due to the shortage of safe affordable housing



• A combination of increased housing prices and public policies that support private over public housing tenure has resulted in an increasingly competitive private rental housing market. Our data demonstrates that a high percentage of women rely on the private rental market for their housing needs. As a result, we expect increasing demand on this program and will monitor expenditure to assist as many women as possible • Use information from the private rental brokerage program, CALD housing program and crisis accommodation service to support our continued advocacy efforts regarding women’s access to affordable housing at state and national levels

Figure 7. FAMILY


Intensive Case Management The intensive case manager provides family violence support to women and their children with complex needs, who are at greatest risk of extreme violence and death, and experience multiple barriers to the service system. Most of the women live in private or public housing and have difficulty escaping a violent partner/ex-partner. OBJECTIVE

Women with a Disability Intensive Case Management The Intensive Case Manager for women with a disability commenced a two year project in June 2009 to increase our family violence team’s capacity to support women experiencing family violence who have physical, intellectual or sensory disabilities

Ensure that high needs clients receive a comprehensive case management service designed to assist them to escape long-term family violence, access other specialist services and secure safe and sustainable housing




• Provide medium to long-term intensive case management support (up to 12 months) to 21 women and their children • Implement client engagement strategies designed to build trust from women with previous negative experiences of service systems • Where a woman is assessed as having an escalated risk of death or injury as a result of family violence, refer her to the High Risk Notification (HRN) register to ensure a coordinated and specific safety plan is established by Victoria Police and her key support agencies

OUTCOMES • Provided an intensive case management service to 20 women. Of those women, 2 were supported for up to 4 weeks, 4 for 4-13 weeks, 6 for 13-26 weeks, 6 for 26-52 weeks and 2 for over 12 months • Of those women, 8 decided to return to or stay with their partner and were assisted in developing safety plans that would be activated if the violence escalated • The other 12 women were supported in developing safety plans that took into account their individual needs and the likelihood of their ex-partner reoffending. A safety plan was developed to be activated in the event of an escalation of violence • Fourteen (73%) women were accompanied by children. Of those, 4 women were involved with Children’s Court proceedings and 4 with the Family Court • Three ICM clients experienced an escalated risk of harm and were referred to the HRN register, with case conferences held between the client, Victoria Police and agencies involved. Strategies were agreed to respond to the escalated risk

FUTURE DIRECTIONS We have noticed that women who are at greatest risk of family violence often miss out on therapeutic interventions because the focus tend to be on ongoing assessment and monitoring of risk. We would like to explore ways in which women can talk about their past, the impact of the violence such as anxiety and depression and the coping strategies that they have developed that may be harmful, such as drug and alcohol abuse. Narrative therapy, art therapy and other types of counselling interventions could enhance the capacity of the intensive case managers to assist women towards recovery



• Build relationships between the disability sector and family violence sectors • Develop a model of best practice

• Form an advisory group to guide the direction of the project • Organise a forum and invite representatives from the family violence and disability sectors to discuss ways family violence services and disability services can work together to best support clients • Provide an intensive case management service to five women with a disability who experience family violence • In collaboration with local disability services deliver family violence training to disability workers in those services • Build relationships between disability and family violence sectors to ensure clear referral pathways for women experiencing family violence • Network at regional and state levels with local agencies and advocacy groups including Domestic Violence Victoria and Women with Disabilities Network • Pilot out-posting worker to local disability agency to provide secondary consultations regarding family violence

OUTCOMES • Established 15 member advisory group representing family violence and disability sectors within three months of project commencement • April 2010 forum attracted 11 participants from both sectors. Discussion revealed specific barriers for women with disabilities seeking safety: each sector uses different frameworks and implements different responses • Supported six women with physical, intellectual or sensory disabilities. Of those women, 2 accessed private rental and are now living safe and independent lives, 2 are living with family and were referred to specialist services, and 2 remain ongoing clients of WHW • Developed a poster promoting WHW family violence support to women with disabilities and distributed to agencies in the west

The workers don’t take any notice, they don’t believe me. I couldn’t tell them. Intensive Case Management Client, comment about her disclosure of violence she was experiencing

• Delivered family violence training to 37 staff across two disability services. Around 62 percent of participants stated that the training would change their work practice • Provided training session on barriers experienced by women with disabilities who experience family violence. Session increased the family violence outreach team’s awareness of the barriers women with disabilities face when accessing support • 100 percent of clients reported barriers to accessing support from agencies including disability services, general practitioners, community health centres, courts, child protection and legal aid services. Women said they were often not asked or heard, and felt more ’alone’ or even ‘invisible’ • Networking with agencies resulted in a working group to develop examples of best practice in co-case management for women with disabilities. The working group participants are Women’s Health West, Housing Resource and Support Service, Annecto, Women’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service, Women with Disabilities Victoria and Molly’s House • Out-posted worker for family violence consultation for two hours per fortnight to disability client services over three months. Review of the effectiveness of this service is underway

FUTURE DIRECTIONS • Develop a training package in partnership with Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria to deliver common risk assessment framework (CRAF) training to disability services in the north west metropolitan region to enhance the consistency of responses between agencies • Increase the family violence and disability sectors’ understanding of the particular needs of women with a disability who have experienced family violence by holding a number of working groups to explore ways in which they can work together and documenting examples of best practice to promote collaborative work between the sectors


Children’s Counselling Program Children’s counsellors provide a therapeutic environment where children can recover from the trauma of witnessing and/or experiencing family violence. OBJECTIVES • Ensure that children and young people who have experienced family violence have access to services and resources tailored to their support and recovery needs • Build women’s capacity to support their children in their recovery from family violence

Children explore their experiences of violence through art therapy

STRATEGIES • Provide high quality counselling and support to 91 children and young people who have experienced family violence, using creative arts and play therapy techniques to engage with them and facilitate their recovery from trauma • Co-facilitate two children’s therapeutic art groups with key community agencies • Actively involve mothers in their children’s counselling and group work to build on their capacity to support their children in their recovery • Provide counselling at two outposts in Melton and Werribee

OUTCOMES • Provided counselling to 74 children and therapeutic group work to a further 12 children, a total of 86. The slightly reduced number results from the program being understaffed for 8 weeks • Around 95 percent of the children were 12 years or under, which reflects the age group of children accompanying women accessing family violence services (88 percent of accompanying children are 12 years or under). • Counselling sessions provided an opportunity for children to talk about their experiences and explore their feelings • All mothers were actively involved in their children’s counselling sessions and engaged with their children’s recovery • Ran two children’s therapeutic arts groups with an average of six children per group in tandem with ISIS Primary Care and Anglicare in Footscray and Tarneit • One counsellor was out-posted at Werribee one day a week averaging four appointments a day. The Melton outpost has operated under capacity following few referrals from this area

FUTURE DIRECTIONS • Compile information for funding bodies of the differing needs of adolescents (13-18 year olds) compared with children (3-12 year olds) and advocate for additional specialist counselling positions based upon ages of children accessing the service system • Engage in continued advocacy in tandem with other organisations in the sector for funding to increase our ability to respond to the needs of children who experience family violence • Improve data recording systems to better measure unmet demand to strengthen funding applications to expand this service • Develop an evaluation form to capture children’s feedback • Develop a brochure to promote the children’s counselling service, including one aimed at children to explain counselling


Victim’s Assistance Counselling Program (VACP)

Family Violence Regional Integration Coordination

VACP offers up to five free counselling sessions as well as practical support to women who are victims of family violence and have reported to police or obtained an intervention order. WHW works in partnership with Western Region Health Centre to provide this program.

The family violence Regional Integration Coordinator reports to the Western Integrated Family Violence Committee (WIFVC). The position is auspiced by WHW as a member organisation of the Women’s and Children’s Partnership.

OBJECTIVE Ensure that women who are victims of criminal assault in the home are able to access counselling and practical support to enhance their recovery

STRATEGIES • Provide 360 client hours to victims of family violence • Continue to build partnerships with the Western Region Health Centre and other community-based agencies to improve referral pathways for women and their children who experience family violence • Provide counselling at an outpost in Wyndham

OBJECTIVE Provide community-based regional integration leadership to assist family violence services in the western metropolitan sub-region

STRATEGIES • Monitor and review family violence reform processes • Support organisations to develop and commit to agreed integration frameworks • Facilitate clear referral pathways and intake processes • Encourage and support community education and prevention activities


OUTCOMES • Provided individual counselling to 39 women (approximately 195 client hours). Targets were not achieved because the position was vacant for five months • Participated in cross-agency peer supervision on a six-weekly basis with Western Region Health Centre counselling team • Provided counselling at Wyndham outpost once a fortnight averaging four appointments per day

FUTURE DIRECTIONS • Promote the value of community counselling programs to funding bodies including Department of Human Services and Department of Justice and explore opportunities to access non-government funding to expand the availability of counselling to women victims of family violence • The impacts of trauma can make it very difficult for clients to engage in counselling leading to a high rate of clients who do not attend following the referral. The program would benefit from researching and implementing strategies to improve engagement and rates of attendance

• Attended 27 regular statewide, regional and sub-regional meetings to facilitate the following outcomes: • Swinburne Institute of Technology, DVRC and No to Violence developed and rolled out the Common Risk Assessment Framework • Women’s and children’s family violence services hosted partner contacts for two men’s behaviour change services to enhance referral processes • Victoria Police Brimbank Family Violence Response Unit was reopened in March 2010 as a result of lobbying members of parliament and media to reallocate resources diverted to general policing • The Western Region Local Government Prevention Network partnered with the Western Region Football League’s Women in Football Foundation and the WIFVC to create a violence prevention social marketing campaign • In November 2009 WIFVC funded the Wyndham Family Violence Network to run a successful White Ribbon Day businessmen’s breakfast for the industrial sector of Laverton. Eighty participants received resources and guidance on prevention of violence against women in the workplace • In June 2010 the Enhanced Service Intake into men’s behavioural change programs commenced in the northwest metropolitan region guided by a regional advisory group including women’s services and police


MPs and local newspapers took up the story and the Brimbank Police Family Violence Unit reopened in March 2010



• Develop a statewide partnership agreement to facilitate collaborative working relationships between regional specialist family violence services, child protection and child first/family services • Identify one action plan area that WIFVC and the Indigenous Regional Action Group will work on together in the next reporting period • Map responses to children and young people in the western sub region to determine the need for more resources • Work with local football league to distribute information cards outlining suport available for men and women

health promotion, research and development The Health Promotion, Research and Development team at Women’s Health West operates within a feminist framework to deliver projects that improve women’s health, safety and wellbeing. Our work is premised on a social model of health, recognising that health is influenced by more than biology, lifestyles and access to health care. Other social determinants such as poverty, education, age, sexuality, culture and, of course, gender also impact on health and wellbeing. As a feminist organisation we focus on redressing the gender and structural inequalities that limit the lives of women, through a range of health promotion and community development actions: • Undertaking gendered research, needs identification, information provision, training and workforce development • Influencing population health planning and service development to promote on-going responsiveness to the needs of women and their children • Enhancing service access through advocacy and systemic change



Women’s Health West has always teamed up with others to maximise the effectiveness and sustainability of our efforts to achieve real change. We work in partnership with a very broad range of groups and organisations to pursue and embed our goals in the delivery of services and programs across the region. In 2009-10, the health promotion team collaborated with more than fifty organisations in projects across our program areas of equity and social justice, mental wellbeing and social connectedness, and sexual and reproductive health. Women’s Health West is the lead agency in the regional health promotion priority areas of prevention of violence against women, and sexual and reproductive health. Our work is undertaken within a model that focuses on processes that promote individual and community change and empowerment. Such processes include the importance of women naming their own experiences and having a clear voice within the public arena, and are supported by encouraging women to develop skills that allow them to participate in the development and implementation of health promotion activities and other change processes.

Staff from four mental health agencies engaged in Power On facilitator training with WHW staff

Mental Health Staff/Facilitator of Power On

POWER ON Power On is a twelve-week program designed by and for women who experience mental illness comprising modules identified as key to assisting them to enhance their health and wellbeing. The program takes a peer education approach that recognises women as experts in their own health and values women sharing their expertise. OBJECTIVE Ensure that women in the western region who experience mental illness have access to skills and knowledge that assist them to enhance their health and wellbeing.


One woman I have worked with for a long time is so different after Power On. She even dresses differently and she cut her hair. It’s important to feed back results to other workers especially caseworkers. Some women were so enthusiastic they came an hour early!

Through Power On for Carers, I learned that I have a right to speak up and be heard, my opinion is just as important as any other person. I found the confidence I needed to follow my instincts and even to say no. Participant, Power On for Carers


• Facilitate two twelve-week Power On programs for women who experience mental illness in collaboration with regional mental health services • Train and support staff from two mental health services to deliver the Power On program themselves • Secure the sustainability of Power On by obtaining recurrent funding • Promote the Power On model to other organisations and agencies in the western region and beyond

Power On For Carers is an eight-week program for women who are carers of people who experience mental illness. The program arose out of Power On at the request of carers and is based on a similar peer education/strengths-based approach.



• Twenty five women who are clients of two mental health services in the western region successfully completed the Power On program • Eleven staff from four mental health services were trained to deliver and implement Power On, with follow-up support and guidance provided • In light of unsuccessful funding efforts, a consortium of seven agencies has been established to pursue program sustainability and recurrent funding • Program promotion led to an invitation to train staff at two Tasmanian services on the delivery of the Power On model in April 2010 • Agreement reached with the Victorian Women’s Mental Health Network to assist with implementation of the program across the state, if funding is secured

FUTURE DIRECTIONS Resource the Power On consortium to achieve sustainability and expansion of the program to services throughout Victoria



OBJECTIVE Ensure that women carers of people who experience mental illness have access to skills and knowledge that assist them to enhance their health and wellbeing

• Co-facilitate the delivery of one Power On For Carers program for women clients of Carers Respite Connections • Implement a training and support program for staff at Carers Respite Connections with a view to transferring the delivery of the program to that agency

OUTCOMES • Sixteen women who are clients of Carers Respite Connections successfully completed the Power On For Carers program • One facilitator and three support workers at Carers Respite Connections were trained and supported to deliver Power On for Carers with minimal ongoing input from WHW

FUTURE DIRECTIONS Continue to support the capacity of Carers Respite Connections to deliver Power On for Carers, particularly in relation to training program facilitators and peer educators.

SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH The Sexual and Reproductive Health program brings together organisations and agencies from across the western region to develop strategies and undertake actions to improve services and programs provided within the region. OBJECTIVE Build the capacity of service providers and organisations to effectively respond to and enhance the sexual and reproductive health of disadvantaged communities in Melbourne’s western region.



This program is delivered in educational settings for newly-arrived and CALD young women.

• Lead the HealthWest Sexual and Reproductive Health Working Group • Carry out a mapping and needs analysis that investigates the sexual and reproductive health status of the catchment’s population, maps current services and health promotion initiatives, and identifies gaps and areas for improvement in program delivery • Hold a regional forum with service providers to present and build on the mapping and needs analysis, and identify opportunities for action • Use the results of the mapping and needs analysis and the outcomes of the forum to inform the development of a 2010-12 Sexual and Reproductive Health Action Plan

OUTCOMES • Facilitated twelve working group meetings attended by eleven representatives from HealthWest member agencies • A mapping and needs analysis report was completed and widely distributed. The report outlines key findings and recommendations based on a review of 69 sexual and reproductive health programs and services from 23 agencies. The report highlights current gaps in service provision and the need for a more targeted and coordinated approach among agencies in the western region • The forum attracted 31 local service providers who identified barriers for communities in the west in accessing appropriate sexual and reproductive health services and initiatives • A collaborative 2010-12 Sexual and Reproductive Health Action Plan is in the initial stages of development

FUTURE DIRECTIONS Work undertaken to date indicates two main needs. One, a requirement for a stronger emphasis on partnerships and development of initiatives in tandem with local communities / target groups. Two, a greater orientation towards initiatives that target the impact of inequities on the sexual and reproductive health of disadvantaged groups. WHW plan to undertake work to enhance understanding of how we might reorient our regional actions to focus on the social determinants of health as well as the provision of clinical services

OBJECTIVE Enhance students’ knowledge and understanding of human relationships and sexual and reproductive rights to encourage young women to become more confident in taking control over sexual and relationship decision-making

STRATEGIES • Work in partnership with Western Region Health Centre and Maribyrnong City Council Youth Services to deliver a five-week human relations program to newly-arrived young people attending the Western English Language School (WELS), with WHW delivering the girls’ program • Involve interpreters in the delivery of the WELS program to aid student comprehension • Deliver a four-week sexual and reproductive health program to CALD young women who are students at Victoria University

OUTCOMES • The five-week program was delivered in term three 2009 and again in term two 2010, with approximately twenty girls in attendance each time • Interpreters were provided to meet the language needs of all students, this year funded by Western Region Health Centre • Approximately thirty young women participated in a fourweek sexual and reproductive health program at Victoria University, with 80 percent reporting improved knowledge and increased confidence about making decisions as a result of participation

FUTURE DIRECTIONS • The program delivered at Western English Language School will undergo evaluation in early 2011 to identify areas of content and delivery that can be improved to better meet students' needs • Given its success in enhancing students' confidence to take greater control of sexual and reproductive decisionmaking, the program at Victoria University for young women students from CALD backgrounds will be delivered again in early 2011

Prior to the workshops we had trouble engaging with the [South Sudanese] community... Since I participated in the delivery of the workshops, I have had thirteen women from this community attend financial counselling appointments. Financial Counsellor, Good Shepherd Youth and Family Services

FINANCIAL LITERACY PROGRAM This six-week course is about Australian financial systems for women from newly-arrived communities. It is delivered in partnership with other agencies in the western region, and each program is tailored to participants’ needs with content based on the results of consultation with women from each target group.

OBJECTIVE Karen women graduate the financial literacy program in Laverton

SUNRISE WOMEN’S GROUPS WHW’s longest running program is the Sunrise Women’s Group for women with a disability, which is held once each month from February to December in Werribee and Laverton. The focus is on fun, friendship, skills building and information sharing within a woman-centred context. OBJECTIVE Ensure that women with a disability who live in the outer western region can access opportunities to develop a support network, share information and build skills that enhance their health and wellbeing

Ensure that women from newly-arrived communities have access to services, resources and information that builds their capacity to understand and control financial decisionmaking

STRATEGIES • Deliver a six-week financial literacy program to women from three newly-arrived communities, ensuring that program content is specific to each community’s needs • Improve linkages between women and agencies in the western region by involving agency staff in program delivery • Work with partner agencies to deliver an information session for Somali women about resources and services available to women who run their own business

OUTCOMES STRATEGIES • Hold one group in Werribee and one in Laverton as these localities have the poorest access to transport and services • Work in consultation with women participants to develop an annual calendar of activities and events • Promote the Sunrise Women’s Groups within the community to enhance the likelihood of isolated women finding out about the existence of the program

OUTCOMES • An average of six women with a range of disabilities from Laverton, Werribee and St Albans regularly attended the Laverton group and five attended the Werribee group • Participants assisted with the development of the group’s calendar, leading to social outings, skill sharing, art therapy, and information sessions on pap screening, healthy relationships and sexual health • Promotional mailout to disability services in Werribee and Laverton; promotion of the program at local forums; presentation of a conference paper at the national Australian Health Promotion Association conference

FUTURE DIRECTIONS The Sunrise Women’s Groups will focus on increasing the number of regular participants by promoting the program among service providers. Particularly, the relatively low number of women participants from CALD backgrounds has been identified as a high priority for action in 2010-11

• Developed and delivered three six-week financial literacy programs specific to each community’s needs and attended by: • 18 Somali women in Braybrook • 26 South Sudanese women in St Albans • 21 Karen women in Laverton • Five agencies contributed specialist knowledge by participating in delivery of the program: Centrelink, the Australian Tax Office, Good Shepherd Youth and Family Services, ISIS Primary Care Financial Services, and the NEIS program provider Victoria University • Participating agencies report a marked increase in their services being used by Somali, South Sudanese and Karen women • In response to a request from participants in the program, a one-day information session on running a business was attended by 25 Somali women, delivered in partnership with the North West Migrant Resource Centre and Flemington Neighborhood Renewal

FUTURE DIRECTIONS Conduct an assessment to identify three communities that will benefit from the program and the partnership opportunities that exist I feel like it’s made a big difference to my life because I have a connection with nice people. The activities are very rewarding… it helps me mentally. Before that I didn’t have anyone to talk to, I always look forward to the meetings. Ruth, Laverton Sunrise group



ANTI RACISM PROJECT The anti-racism project is a two-part workshop that explores safe ways to discuss and define racism, how it affects women in the western region and strategies that might assist us to unravel racism itself. OBJECTIVE Gather information about racism and racial discrimination and its effects on women in the western region, and provide support to other regional efforts to reduce racism

STRATEGIES • Run a workshop with WHW staff to define racism and explore ways we, and women we work with, are affected by racism • Publish an anti-racism article in WHW News • Contribute to an anti-racism project established by Western Young Peoples’ Independent Network (WYPIN)

OUTCOMES • 24 staff of WHW attended a workshop that explored the causes and effects of racist beliefs, and created a map that identifies the impacts of racism within employment, housing, service access and education I found the workshop on racism to be a rare opportunity to try to unpack some of the baggage that goes with a scary term like ‘racism’. The well-facilitated discussion made me realise how inextricably entwined notions of race are with other essentialising beliefs about gender, culture and class. Anti-racism workshop participant

• An article exploring the complex nature of racism was distributed to 1500 women and online in the second edition of WHW News 2010 • The workshop facilitator is participating in the WYPIN steering group, which is in the early stages of developing an anti-racism project with young people

FUTURE DIRECTIONS • A second workshop will be held at WHW where staff will assist in the identification of anti-racism strategies • A series of workshops will be held with service providers in the western region and with women affected by racism, based on the outcomes of the WHW workshops • Continue to identify and assist with other antiracism strategies in the western region 21

Well presented, factual, relevant and engaging. Maternal and Child Health Nurse

FAMILY AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS EDUCATION PROGRAM (FARREP) FARREP provides a range of professional development and community education services that respond to the practical, cultural and social needs of women from communities affected by the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). OBJECTIVE Curtail the practice of FGM and improve access to culturally-appropriate services by women who are already affected

STRATEGIES • Deliver professional development programs to at least thirty maternal and child health nurses in the western region • Collaborate with community services to deliver a community education program for newly-arrived women • Update and disseminate WHW FARREP resources to communities and service providers • Produce health information products for African women • Produce a resource for service providers who work with FGM-affected women during pregnancy and birth

OUTCOMES • More than seventy maternal and child health nurses from all seven local government areas in the west participated in the training. Over 94 percent of the participants identified at least one aspect of the training that will be useful to their work • Seven community education sessions were delivered to approximately thirty women at AMES and New Hope Foundation • ‘Healthy African Women’ brochure was updated, in consultation with African women’s groups and service providers, and translated into Arabic, Amharic, Somali and Tigrinya • A second edition of ‘Mama and Nunu’, a sexual and reproductive health resource produced by WHW for service providers who work with FGM-affected women, was produced and made available on the WHW website, and 47 services were notified of its availability

FUTURE DIRECTIONS • Deliver a second stage of professional development with maternal and child health nurses based on the outcomes of the evaluation of phase one • Review FARREP community education program priorities by consulting with women from FGM affected communities • Deliver a professional development program for maternity and allied health staff at Western Hospital (Sunshine campus) on the cultural and social aspects of working with women who are affected by FGM


BUILD THE CAPACITY OF ORGANISATIONS IN THE WESTERN REGION TO PREVENT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN The Prevention of Violence Against Women program undertakes collaborative activities in the region designed to build communities, cultures and organisations that are non-violent, non-discriminatory, gender equitable and that promote respectful relationships. OBJECTIVE


Build the capacity of agencies in the western metropolitan region to develop integrated strategies for the primary prevention of violence against women, and their commitment to adopt prevention of violence against women as a priority

• Established fifteen-member working group comprised of representatives from six local councils, three community health services and two primary care partnerships. The working group met monthly during the twelve month period with additional meetings as required • Developed Preventing Violence Together: the Western Region Action Plan to Prevent Violence Against Women, an ambitious but achievable plan for organisations that is comprised of mutually reinforcing actions across seven strategy areas • Worked with key organisations at state and regional level to align Preventing Violence Together with relevant policy documents • Strengthened existing relationships and built new relationships with local councils, PCPs and community health services, engaging them in the development of the plan • Developed evaluation plan that will be implemented from 2011 • Developed logo for the action plan, which will also be used as a regional ‘brand’ for work to prevent violence against women across the region • While the plan was initially due for launch in mid-2010, external factors – in particular, policy developments at state government level – meant that it was necessary to extend the original timelines by six months.

STRATEGIES • Establish a Western Region Prevention of Violence Against Women Working Group to oversee the project • Develop an integrated action plan to prevent violence against women for the western region, in partnership with other organisations • Align the action plan with existing best practice frameworks at local, state and national levels, such as HealthWest’s Healthy Communities, Healthy Lives model and A Right To Respect: Victoria’s Plan to Prevent Violence Against Women 2010-2020 • Engage local councils, community health services and primary care partnerships’ participation in the working group and consultation in the development of the plan • Evaluate the efficacy of the action plan to build the political will and capacity of organisations in the western region to undertake actions to prevent violence against women • Launch action plan in mid-2010

Regional collaboration and consultation enabled the working group to establish an action plan that enables organisations to effectively work towards preventing violence against women together. Jo Noesgaard, HealthWest Partnership

FUTURE DIRECTIONS • In 2010-11 the action plan will be implemented under the direction of the new steering structure comprised of representatives from PVT signatory organisations and other key agencies in the region • Women’s Health West will continue to be a lead partner in this work, providing expert advice and capacity building to organisations working to prevent violence against women • The working group has worked with the Office of Women’s Policy to explicitly align our regional action plan with the state plan, which will maximise the benefits of our efforts and ensure the western region is well positioned to take advantage of funding opportunities and of resources and tools as they are developed

The images throughout Preventing Violence Together are used with permission by women from the Women’s Program Support Group (Family Violence Prevention Programme) Djerriwarrh Health Services. The art therapy project gave women who are survivors of violence an opportunity to use art to create a representation of their lives living with violence and abuse.



2007 Lucy Forwood, school nurse and students from the Girls Talk - Guys Talk committee in 2007

GIRLS TALK - GUYS TALK Girls Talk-Guys Talk is a whole-school sexuality education program that is delivered in one secondary school within the western region at a time, over one year. OBJECTIVE Improve students’ capacity to make healthy decisions about sexual health and relationships, by engaging students, teachers, parents and community members in building a sustainable whole-school approach to sexuality education

2010 Lucy Forwood, school nurse and students from the Girls Talk - Guys Talk committee in 2010

Girl Talk - Guys Talk has given students an opportunity to develop leadership skills and work in teams around wellbeing matters – this is not an area where students are given an opportunity to lead others in conveying important messages affecting young people. It has influenced our pastoral care curriculum and what’s critical for us to be teaching at years 7-9 and it has highlighted for staff how important it is to gain student feedback about issues. Hoppers Crossing Secondary College Assistant Principal

STRATEGIES • Implement the World Health Organisation’s whole-school approach to sexuality education at Hoppers Crossing Secondary College (HCSC) by involving students, parents, teachers and principals in program delivery • Establish a student committee to guide the content and direction of the program and to establish partnerships between students, school staff, parents and local agencies • Enhance linkages between the school and local service providers • Build capacity within HCSC to ensure skills and knowledge developed through the program are sustained within the school • Undertake a student survey at the commencement of the program to identify the key focus for the school, and evaluate the efficacy of program delivery by surveying students at completion • Develop a play about relationships and sexual health based on the survey, written and performed by students, to parents and other members of the school community

OUTCOMES • Girls Talk - Guys Talk delivered at HCSC across the domains of curriculum and teaching, school organisation and environment, community links, and partnerships and services • Committee of fifteen year nine students provided input and leadership on program design and delivery, advised on topics to include in sexual health curriculum and their preferred teaching style, and contributed to school policy development • Wyndham Council Youth Services, school welfare staff, school health promotion nurse, year nine coordinator, teaching staff, and school principal and assistant principal participated in a staff and service provider working group to enhance linkages and ongoing collaboration between the school and local services 23


• All school staff participated in a sexual health training program to build their capacity to deliver the program on an ongoing basis. Pastoral care and sexual health teaching staff were trained to deliver the newly-created curriculum and teaching materials • Racism and cyber-bullying were identified as key problems based on a survey of 120 year nine students. Students and school staff collaborated to develop two new school policies on racial harassment and cyber bullying, and these policies were incorporated into the school’s Student Welfare and Management Policy • All year nine students participated in the sexuality and healthy relationships program. An enhanced capacity for healthy sexual and relationship decision-making was evidenced by pre- and post-testing • A school play on sexual decision-making and relationships was written and performed by ten students and attended by twenty parents, ten school staff and representatives of Wyndham Youth Services and Family Planning Victoria

FUTURE DIRECTIONS • Girls Talk - Guys Talk will be hosted by Taylors Lakes Secondary College in 2010-11 • The long-term impacts of Girls Talk - Guys Talk at HCSC will be evaluated in 2012, when the participating students will be in year 11 The students are driving this. They have ownership. The students are motivated. It acknowledges and Now that I know all this validates their strengths. stuff I will make different It provides them with a decisions about going to more active role in learning. parties, getting drunk and having sex. HCSC Student group member

HCSC Health Promotion Secondary School Nurse

WHW presentations

Lead On Again

LEAD ON AGAIN Lead On Again is a five-day leadership program for young women aged 16-24, from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

OBJECTIVE Increase the leadership skills, knowledge and capacity of young women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds and provide support for sustainable participation in their communities

STRATEGIES In partnership with Melton Youth Service (MYS) and Djerriwarrh Health Service (DjHS): • Implement the five-day leadership program for twelve young women from CALD backgrounds who live, work or study in the western region • Facilitate the participation of 50 percent of graduates in leadership initiatives by June 2010 • Distribute the Lead On Again manual to five agencies for their implementation of the program • Build the capacity of Melton Youth Service and Djerriwarrh Health Service to run Lead On Again independently of Women’s Health West, by mentoring program staff during delivery

OUTCOMES • The five-day leadership program was delivered in Melton with seven young women participating, including five young CALD women and two from Anglo-Saxon backgrounds. The majority of participants lived in Melton • Two of the graduates are strongly involved in programs at Melton Youth Services following Lead On Again • The resource was distributed to two partner agencies (MYS and DjHS). The aim to reach five agencies was not met because the project worker was seconded to the Office of Women’s Policy for part of the year. • Melton Youth Services and Djerriwarrh Health Services report feeling confident in their capacity to deliver Lead On Again independently in the future

FUTURE DIRECTIONS • Women’s Health West will partner with Western Young People’s Independent Network to run Lead On Again in Footscray in January 2011, targeting young women from across the western region • Be available for consultation to Djerriwarrh Health Service and Melton Youth Service in their delivery of Lead On Again in the Melton area • Investigate the viability of delivering Lead On Again in other ‘outer west’ areas and developing the capacity of agencies in those areas to implement the program 24


16 March 2010 HealthWest Partnership Sexual and Reproductive Health Forum

23 June 2010 Building on Diversity Conference, Melbourne

Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs Analysis and Mapping Results Anna Vu, Sexual and Reproductive Health Worker

Working with African women affected by female genital mutilation, the role of maternal and child health nurses Reem Omarit, FARREP Community Worker

18 May 2010 Australian Women’s Health Conference, Hobart Poster presentation

Family Violence Community Education

Women who experience mental illness Power On across the Western Metropolitan Region of Melbourne and Tasmania Sally Camilleri, Health Promotion Worker 20 May 2010 Workshop Creative Ways of Exploring Women’s Power Sally Camilleri and Erin Richardson, Health Promotion Workers 31 May 2010 Australian Health Promotion Association National Conference, Melbourne Girls Talk - Guys Talk Health Promoting Schools Program Lucy Forwood, Health Promotion Worker Chantal Maloney, Health Promotion School Nurse Partnerships, Consultation and Financial Literacy: Health Promotion through Financial Literacy for Newly Arrived Women Sally Camilleri, Health Promotion Worker When Health Promotion doesn’t fit in the boxes: The ‘Power On’ Experience Sally Camilleri, Health Promotion Worker Working Effectively with Women with a Disability in the Outer West Lindy Corbett, Sunrise Women with a Disability Project Worker 1 June 2010 Australian Health Promotion Association National Conference, Melbourne Mama and Nunu 2: Developing a resource on female genital mutilation for Health Service Providers Reem Omarit, FARREP Community Worker 10 June 2010 Centre for Ethnicity and Health, Melbourne Female genital mutilation: Information for Health Professionals Reem Omarit, FARREP Community Worker

21 July 2009 Horizons Women’s Group Deb and Sally Camilleri 6 August 2009 Annecto Deb and Emma 17 September 2009 St Albans Migrant Resource Centre Deb 14 October 2009 Wyndham Family Violence Network Emma and Luise 16 November 2009 Djerriwarrh Break the Cycle Women’s Group, Melton East Community Health Centre Luise and CAS 3 December 2009 Orygen Emma and Merryn 27 January 2010 MetroWest, Footscray Luise and Tammy 25 February 2010 New Hope Foundation, Werribee Suzannah and Hatice 25 March 2010 Bapcare North West Family Services, Brimbank Suzannah and Batsi 26 March 2010 Sunrise Women’s Group Deb and Lindy Corbett 15 May 2010 Kealba Secondary College Batsi and Isabelle 23 June 2010 Maternal Health Care Centre Hatice and Tammy 7 June 2010 Sudanese Women’s Group, Melton Batsi

COMMUNICATIONS WHW’s communications co-ordinator and information worker work with WHW staff and with others in the region, including the media, to produce engaging print and web publications promoting women’s health, safety and wellbeing OBJECTIVE Increase the profile of women’s health to achieve equity and justice for women in the west

STRATEGIES • Work in partnership with staff and other regional agencies to develop innovative, accessible and culturally appropriate resources for women across the region • Produce an informative and up-todate website, annual report and newsletters • Produce creative and inspiring publications, posters, training manuals and brochures • Assist WHW staff to promote and publicise their work • Write prompt media releases on topics warranting advocacy and to publicise WHW’s achievements, events and innovations • Organise community events that are inclusive of our members and service users • Distribute women’s health information on request, at community education sessions, community events and via the website • Promote membership and maintain membership database

OUTCOMES • Collaborated with Victoria Police to produce a video outlining ways of safely collecting evidence if your partner has breached your intervention order. WHW’s versatile and talented staff acted out the parts and the five minute film, launched by Chief Commissioner Simon Overland, is now distributed through court, via our website, YouTube and Victoria Police BlueTube, resulting in 953 views since April 2009 • Produced three colourful and informative editions of WHW News and distributed each edition to 1,200 readers across the region including our membership • Produced a re-formatted annual report better targeted to funding bodies 25

• Coordinated the preliminary redevelopment of the website with a focus on accessibility for a range of communities of interest • Worked with four staff to produce two posters and two sets of handouts for conferences • The FARREP workers worked with communications and a focus group to produce a new set of Healthy African Women brochures in four community languages • WHW distributed seven media releases on topics that impact on women’s health and wellbeing in the western region including Brimbank Police specialist family violence unit, pay equity, public housing and financial literacy for African women. Over the past 12 months, WHW has featured in 25 news stories in local and state papers plus an interview on Joy FM raising awareness of family violence; a marked increase on the 11 news stories recorded in the previous reporting period • The 2009 annual general meeting marked the 21st birthday of WHW and we celebrated in style with a party for over 120 members and women who have been involved with WHW over the years. The Hon. Joan Kirner AM launched REtroSPECT, our 21-year history book, which has since been distributed to libraries as well as individuals and organisations in the region and has attracted a great deal of praise • Organised an in-house International Women’s Day event for staff and directors to share food and stories from their culture • Produced and distributed an updated membership brochure and increased membership from 411 to 507

FUTURE DIRECTIONS • Foster partnerships between communications teams in local women’s health agencies and family violence services by establishing a regular information-sharing forum • Continue to produce regular publications and include innovations where possible including specific promotional material to educate and inspire women to vote in the 2010 state election • Complete and launch new website


ADVOCACY WHW engages in advocacy designed to change the structural factors that cause and maintain the conditions under which women and their children face discrimination, here is a selection of actions we took in the last financial year.



July 2009

Submission to Commonwealth Government regarding development of new National Women’s Health Policy

Nov 2009

Endorsed National Submission for Adjustable Height Examination Beds

Jan 2010

Submission in response to Victorian Government A Right to Justice and Safety: Continuing Family Violence Reform Victoria 2010-2010 consultation paper

March 2010

CEO International Women’s Day address to Moonee Valley Council

March 2010

Written response to Office of Housing, Public Housing: New Segmented Waiting List Proposal

May 2010

Submission in response to the Men’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy Background Paper Consultation

May 2010

CEO presentation to ASU forum for women’s support and advocacy services on pay equity

OPERATIONS The reception and administration functions of WHW are undertaken to support and enhance direct service, program and project workers capacity to meet the strategic goals of our organisation. OBJECTIVES • Maintain buildings, systems and equipment through proactive and responsive repairs and maintenance • Provide a professional, friendly and welcoming reception service to clients and service users by telephone and in person • Provide a responsive administrative support service to WHW staff • Provide an accurate and timely payroll and human resources service • Maintain an up-to-date information and communication technology (ICT) system • Ensure the WHW Board of Directors is informed of appropriate operational matters based on a ‘balanced scorecard’ approach to governance

STRATEGIES • Keep up-to-date records of purchases, maintenance and repair requirements and organise maintenance, repairs and replacement as required • Engage and monitor cleaning contractors • Provide responsive information, support and referral to clients and service users of WHW as appropriate to the reception role, including regularly updating information and referral databases and other promotional material • Establish a client appointment register system to ensure a more professional response to clients • Respond to staff requests for administrative support including typing, event management, fleet management, maintenance of office and stationery supplies, and the collection and collation of data to support program needs • Maintain accurate human resource records regarding contracts, leave status, superannuation, training and award systems, and provide staff with accurate HR information on request • Ensure accurate fortnightly payroll submissions • Provide a developmental operational and troubleshooting service to respond to staff ICT needs • Plan a five-year strategy to review and respond to WHW’s ICT needs in a changing environment • Regularly report to the board of directors on identified operational matters 26

OUTCOMES • Organised 48 maintenance service visits • Buildings kept clean and safe with daily cleaning by contractors • Responded to approximately 15,240 phone calls (60 calls average per day) • Database and referral information updated on an as-needs basis, with some information continuously updated, other as it is received • Implemented a client appointment register and trained direct service staff in how to use it • Provided administration support for 482 tasks including PowerPoint presentations, spreadsheets, graphs, Gantt charts, reports and data collation • An audit of human resource records by the Finance and Risk Committee of the Board showed these to be exemplary, with all information clearly available for each staff member in every area required • There have been no inaccuracies with any staff member’s pay in the previous year • Responded to 115 requests for assistance with ICT as well as producing and distributing 20 written resources to guide staff on commonly experienced ICT problems • Engaged White Room Consultancy to conduct a needs analysis of WHW’s information technology and communication needs, who worked with staff to develop a five year plan to respond to changing ICT needs • Installed ten new computers running Windows 7 as phase one of the computer turnover plan identified in the five year plan • Submitted quarterly board reports that were identified by the directors as clear and appropriate to their ability to carry out their governance role • Human Resources – staff leave, new staff, resignations, etc • Risk Management – reporting Quality Committee actions • Staff Training – numbers and nature of training attended by staff

FUTURE DIRECTIONS • Implement new Information and Communication Technology Strategy • Continue with quality improvement • Expand the client appointment register to record all external appointments with staff Figure 8. RECEPTION



Family violence intake 10% 35%

Clients calling for staff Services calling for staff


Referred to other services Provided information 20%


Miscellaneous 20%

occupational health, safety and environment OBJECTIVES • Identify, develop, implement, monitor and evaluate WHW’s occupational health and safety policies and practices • Consider changes to the workplace, policies, work practices or procedures that affect the health and safety of employees

STRATEGIES • Convene quarterly OHSE meetings consisting of representatives of each work area and respond to any actions arising from committee meetings in a timely manner • Ensure that OHSE is a regular agenda item at team meetings • Perform twice-yearly audits to monitor risk controls, safety performance and OHSE policies and procedures • Develop and implement a calendar of OHSE training for all staff • Plan, implement and monitor regular fire and reception drills


ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY Women’s Health West ensures that environmentally sound products are used: • Purchased $768 of carbon offsets to offset 51.6 tonnes of CO2 or approximately 12 months of greenhouse emissions caused by the 12 cars in WHW’s fleet. • Daylight globes are fitted above desks • All copy paper is fully recycled • Tea and coffee is supplied by People for Fair Trade • All photocopier and printer toner cartridges are recycled by Planet Ark

DISPOSAL WHW comply with Environmental Protection Authority requirements when disposing of our waste:

• Four OHSE meetings held and all actions attended to • Placed OHSE on the agenda of every team meeting • Developed Safety Audit Procedure, Safety Audit Form and Safety Qualitative Audit documents to assist with conducting the safety audit • Audit carried out by subgroup of committee and recommendations presented back to full OHSE Committee for implementation • Implemented personal alarm system for counselling rooms resulting in four alarms • 22 incidents recorded in the incident register and audited at OHSE meetings to monitor that follow up action was completed • Zero staff time lost from workplace accidents • 24 staff attended fire extinguisher and emergency procedures training; eight staff attended CPR training • Four fire drills conducted at Barkly Street with an average of 24 staff attending, two fire drills conducted at CAS with an average of four staff attending; two reception drills carried out with written recommendations to the staff Quality Committee for implementation

Type of waste

Disposal procedures

Sanitary waste

Sealed sanitary waste bins in all toilets Syringe disposal containers in toilets Disposed of at the Dynon Road Recycle Centre, Footscray

Syringes Other waste

FUTURE DIRECTIONS Continue to lift the profile of occupational health, safety and environment across the organisation

Membership of OHSE Committee Staff member



Family Violence


Crisis Accommodation Services

Jo Harper

Operations, Communication

Robyn Gregory


Lindy Corbett (Retired, March 2010 after three years)

Health Promotion

Erin Richardson (Joined March 2010)

Health Promotion



Professional Development FAMILY VIOLENCE TEAM

Mindful Friday Forum

Isn’t This a Leading Question?


Achieving Equity Forum in Victoria


Borderline Personality Disorder


Building on Diversity Case Notes, Family Violence and the Law Challenging Behaviours


Child First Information Sharing


Children’s Play Therapy Common Risk Assessment Framework Training Conducting Effective Performance Appraisals Conflict Management Skills for Women Counselling Practice Forum


Critical Incident Management Day to Day Occupational Health and Safety Management Dealing with Family Violence in the Courts Designing Community Based Health Programs Drumbeat Workshop


Evaluation - Service Delivery Evaluation for Health Promotion Short Course Family Law Family Violence Planning Day


Family Violence Protection Act 2008


Is Family Violence a Crime? Forum


Getting Safe Against the Odds


Group Facilitation Skills


High Risk Young Children Hope and Despair (Mental Health Workshop) Identification and Response to Perpetrators of Family Violence Immigrant Women’s Family Violence Service Introduction Indigenous Cultural Awareness


Introduction to Family Violence Introduction to Housing and Homelessness Introduction to OHSE for Managers Lead and Develop Others in the Workplace Legal Aid Training and Family Law


Managing and Developing Teams


Managing Challenging Behaviours Mental Health - Navigating the System Mental Health - Opening Doors to Service Mental Health First Aid Training for FARREP workers Mind the Baby Forum



9 1

4 2 2 2

3 5 1


Moving to Grow - Dance Therapy 2 Narrative Approach to Trauma 3 Counselling Overcoming the Barriers - Supporting 3 Women with Disabilities Preparing a File for Subpoena 2 Preventing and Managing Bullying 1 and Harassment Professional Supervision for Health 1 Professionals Recovering from the Effects of 1 Trauma Sexual Abuse and Trauma 1 SMART Data - Introduction and 7 Intermediate So You’ve Made it to Manager - How 1 to Survive and Thrive Solution Focussed Therapy 1 Solving the Jigsaw - Whole School 1 Approach to Bullying Subpoenas, Presenting in Court and 13 Being a Witness in Court Suicide Assessment and Intervention 1 Sunshine Court Orientation



Supervision - Managers Perspective



Supervision - Workers Perspective



Support Victims of Stalking Workshop 4



Trauma, Attachment and the Body


Victoria Legal Aid Services 8 Walk in her Shoes (Melbourne 1 Magistrates Court) Walking Into Sunshine (Sunshine 2 Court Orientation) Working with Challenging Behaviours 2 Working with Clients who are Hard to 1 Engage Working with Sexual Assault and 14 Sexual Abuse



HEALTH PROMOTION TEAM Australian Women’s Health Network Conference Australian Health Promotion Association Cervical Screening Education Program


Evaluation for Health Promotion

1 3

4 4

OPERATIONS, FINANCE, COMMUNICATIONS Adobe Photoshop Australian Women’s Health Network Conference Better Use of Emails Desktop Publishing for Office and Business Doing IT Better Final Conference

1 1 1 1 1

Financial Education How to Edit Colours in a Photo with Destroying It Keeping in Touch - Choosing a Client Records System Manage Budgets and Financial Plans


Managing Poor Performance


Measuring Family Violence in Victoria


MS Project – Introduction QuickBooks BAS and Financial Reporting Using Social Media to Listen, Talk and Engage Victorian Standard Chart of Accounts Writing for Cross Cultural Communication


1 1 1

1 1 1 1

CEO AND EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Australian Women’s Health Network 1 Conference Executive Assistant Forum - Business 1 Writing Skills VHIA CEO Forums 1 ALL STAFF Anti-racism workshop


Feminist Audit


Feminist Audit - Part 2


Information Communication Technology Workshop Stress and Your Organisation Workplace Culture

14 12

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH, SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENT Fire Drill – Barkly Street 16 Fire Drill – Barkly Street



Fire Drill – Barkly Street



Fire Drill – Barkly Street


Introduction to Lobbying


Fire Drill – CAS


Love in the Time of Social Inclusion


Fire Drill – CAS


Managing and Developing Teams Mental Healthh First Aid Training


Fire Extinguisher Training



First Aid Level 2 Training



Food Hygiene Level 1



Participation for Health Short Course Protecting and Promoting Women’s Rights in Australia Sexual and Reproductive Health for Young Immigrant and Refugee Women Student Supervision


VHIA Senior Executives Forum

1 4

1 2



BOARD Australian Women’s Health Network Conference Board Builder Conference



Board Training



Key Features of the Fair Work Act





WHW provides supervision for staff, tailoring the type of supervision to the needs of the work area: • External clinical supervision for counsellors and intensive case manager • Fortnightly internal supervision for direct service staff • External debriefing on as needs basis • Monthly internal supervision for all other staff • External group supervision for CAS and outreach teams • Monthly management supervision for managers and coordinators, with occasional external supervision • Bimonthly external supervision for CEO • Group supervision for CAS and outreach workers on as needs


accreditation, quality improvement and risk management Women’s Health West was certified in April 2010: • Quality Improvement Council Accreditation Standards • Homeless Assistance Standards Accreditation Program Since undergoing the accreditation process, WHW has set up a ‘Quality Committee’ to monitor and coordinate ongoing quality improvement processes, such as cyclic reviews of policies and procedures, auditing of practices, and coordinating staff training or discussion forums on topics identified by staff as requiring improvement. This group meets on a six-weekly basis and has drafted a three-year plan to support our goal of continuous improvement. The group produces six-monthly reports on

the progress of the plan and forward these reports to QICSA along with evidence that the tasks have been completed. This work has dramatically improved our understanding and implementation of quality improvement processes. The Quality Committee also redeveloped our process for identifying, treating and evaluating risk management processes. A comprehensive data base has been established to support this process and staff and board directors have identified relevant training to further support our work to build a proactive risk management culture at WHW.

KEY PARTNERSHIPS AMES Annecto Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society Australian Services Union Australian Women’s Health Network Barwon South Western Regional Women’s Health Bendigo Bank Berry Street - Victoria Braybrook/Maidstone Youth Partnership/ Melbourne City Mission Brimbank Council Carers Victoria - Respite Connections Carlton Family Resource Centre (City of Melbourne) Carolyn Lodge Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health Centre for Women’s Health, Gender and Society City of Melbourne Colac Community Health Service Deakin University Department of Human Services Department of Health Department of Justice Department of Planning and Community Development Djerriwarrh Health Services Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria Domestic Violence Victoria Doutta Galla Community Health Service Eastern Domestic Violence Outreach Service Elizabeth Hoffman House Aboriginal Women’s Service Family Planning Victoria Footscray Community Legal Service Gippsland Women’s Health Service 29

HealthWest Hobsons Bay City Council Housing Resource and Support Service Immigrant Women’s Domestic Violence Service Isis and Pluto Isis Primary Care Key Centre for Women’s Health in Society Laverton Prep-12 (formerly Laverton Secondary College) Lifeworks MacKillop Family Services Maribyrnong City Council McAuley Community Services for Women McCaughey Centre Melbourne City Council Melbourne Magistrates Court Melton Shire Council Metro West Transitional Housing Services Molly’s House Moonee Valley City Council Moreland Moonee Valley Melbourne Yarra PCP Moreland (now Merri) Community Health Centre Mother and Child Health Research, Latrobe University Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health Multicultural Health and Support Services Municipal Association of Victoria New Hope Foundation North West Metropolitan Region Community and Women’s Health Managers Network North West Migrant Resource Centre North West Victim Assistance and Counselling Program Norwood Office for Women’s Policy PapScreen Victoria


ParentLink Point Cook Community Centre Portland District Health Public Health Association of Australia (Victorian Branch) Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Relationships Australia Salvation Army Crossroads Network Salvation Army Social Housing Service South Kingsville Community Centre South West Community Health Centre, Warrnambool Spire Studio Racket Sunshine Magistrates Court The Gathering Place The RE Ross Trust The Stan Willis Trust The William Buckland Foundation The Women’s (formerly Royal Women’s Hospital) Tweddle Child and Family Health Service United Somali Women’s Organisation in Victoria University of Melbourne VicHealth Victoria Police Victoria University Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency Victorian Community Health Association Victorian Cooperative on Children’s Services for Ethnic Groups Victorian Council of Social Services Victorian Local Governance Association Victorian Magistrates Court Victorian Women and Mental Health Network

Victorian Women with Disabilities Werribee Magistrates Court Werribee Support and Housing Group West CASA Western Division of General Practice Western English Language School Western Health Western Independent Young Persons Network Western Region Football League Women in Football Foundation Western Region Health Centre Western Regional Disability Network Wingate Avenue Community Centre Women’s Circus Women with Disabilities Network Women’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service Women’s Health Association of Victoria Women’s Health East Women’s Health Goulburn North East Women’s Health Grampians Women’s Health in the North Women’s Health in the South East Women’s Health Information Centre Women’s Health Loddon Mallee Women’s Health Resource Services, Barwon Health Women’s Health Tasmania Women’s Health Victoria Women’s Information and Referral Exchange Wyndham City Council Wyndham Financial Counselling Service Zonta Club of Melton

PHOTO: Erin Slattery


L-R Gainore Atkins, Georgie Hill, Lisa Field, Megan Bumpstead, Michelle Towstoless, Ruth Marshall, Naomi Raab, Karen Passey ABSENT: June Kane

WHW Board of Directors, 2009-2010 Meetings Attended



Working Groups

Megan Bumpstead Chair

Health Sector Management Consultant B.App.Science, Grad. Dip. Advanced Clinical Nursing ICU, Undertaking MBA

• Industrial relations task group


Coordinator, Safer Communities and Health Promotion, Maribyrnong City Council

• Strategic planning task group • Performance management and succession planning task group


• Finance and risk committee • Industrial relations task group


Finance and risk committee


• Industrial relations task group


Independent Expert on Child Exploitation (UN: International Labour Organisation, UNICEF); European Commission Expert on Violence against Children and Women

• Strategic planning task group • Performance management and succession planning task group


Coordinator, Planned Activity Groups, Gateway Social Support Options


Grad. Cert. Health Promotion, Dip. Managing Health and Community Services

• Strategic planning task group • Performance management and succession planning task group

Mark Dohrmann and Partners Cert IV Training and Assessment

Performance management and succession planning task group


Executive Dean, Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science, Victoria University

Strategic planning task group


Co-opted Dec 2006

Georgie Hill Deputy Chair Co-opted June 2007

Karen Passey Treasurer

BA, Postgrad. Cert. Social Science

CEO, SIDS and Kids Victoria

Co-opted April 2008

RN, RM, Grad. Dip. (Management), Cert. Finance, Cert. Emergency Nursing, Paediatric Cert.

Ruth Marshall

Senior Business Analyst, Western Health

Co-opted March 2007

Naomi Raab Co-opted May 2008

Chartered Management Accountant

Consultant and Researcher, Raab Organisational Dynamics, Women’s Group Facilitator B.Economics, M.Business

Dr June Kane AM Co-opted Dec 2009

Lisa Field

Elected Nov 2006

Gainore Atkins Elected Nov 2006

Michelle Towstoless Elected Nov 2005


B.Science (Physiology), PhD


Task Groups FINANCE AND RISK • The committee identified, developed and reviewed policy and procedures regarding financial, governance and organisational risk management. This included a significant redevelopment of risk management policies and procedures. Developed investments and financial delegation policies • Undertook audit of the risk management database, indicating excellent practices and knowledge of policies and procedures in the areas examined • Undertook regular reviews of financial controls and compliance systems through internal audit procedures, indicating excellent accountability and recording systems • Oversaw WHW budget, assessing financial reports and monitoring budget variance on a quarterly basis. Financial reports on page 34 show a robust organisation • Oversaw planned and unplanned capital works program, including refurbishment of the building attached to the existing premises to accommodate a growing staff group • Reviewed and informed scope of annual external audit

INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS • Drafted an Enterprise Agreement to negotiate with staff • Consolidated current five industrial awards • Developed budget modelling tool to ensure agreement is financially sustainable • Incorporated new legislation into Enterprise Agreement • Undertook consistent activities related to CEO performance development and monitoring

BOARD PERFORMANCE MONITORING AND SUCCESSION PLANNING • Recruited Dr June Kane for co-option • Developed a process for professional development of directors • Succession planning for current board directors • Engaged in board recruitment processes

STRATEGIC PLANNING • Ongoing monitoring of WHW strategic plan • Developed an action plan to ensure board operational activities are aligned with the new strategic plan




Strategic Planning

Develop action plan aligned with strategic plan


Industrial Relations

Draft an Employee Agreement


Performance Management and Succession Planning

Review, develop and implement relevant policies and procedures


Finance and Risk Committee

Oversee the financial and risk management aspects of governance


Total No. of Meetings


At the 2009 AGM these WHW staff members received the annual awards from the board of directors that honour staff who contribute to the kind of culture that we aspire to achieve. The Maat award is based on the Egyptian goddess of truth and justice who prevented the world from reverting to chaos, the GOYA award is for Getting Off Your Arse and doing fantastic things, and the VITA award goes to the woman who is Very Inspiring, Totally Active. PHOTO: Meredith O’Shea



Organisation Chart This organisation chart was designed to show the relatively flat structure of WHW while indicating each worker’s relationship to her co-workers. Teams are colour-coded and match the colours indicated in the staff list opposite.



Staff Robyn Gregory Chief Executive Officer Julie Veszpremi Executive Assistant

OPERATIONS Jo Harper Coordinator Operations and Personnel

FAMILY VIOLENCE SERVICES Jacky Tucker Family Violence Services Manager Hang Pham Intake and After Hours Coordinator

Katherine Koesasi Health Promotion, Research and Development Manager Catherine Mayes Sexual and Reproductive Health Coordinator

Emma Intensive Case Manager

Michelle Vranic Intake and After Hours Coordinator

Deborah Disability Intensive Case Manager




Lauren Eagle Accounting and Finance Manager

Lara Polak Business Manager

Tammy Vu Outreach Coordinator

Melissa Administrative Worker

Meriem Idris Finance Officer

Victoria, Irene, Batsi, Christine, Luise, Hatice, Susannah, Merryn, Isabelle Outreach Workers

Emma Intensive Case Manager

Nicola Harte Communications Coordinator

Phuong CALD Housing Worker

Ana Children’s Counsellor

Veronica Garcia Information Worker


Wan Chi Children’s Support Worker

Esther Singer History Project Worker

Melissa VACP Counsellor / Counselling Coordinator


Rebecca, Stephanie Children’s Counsellors

Amy Clark, Poppy Mihalakos Receptionist/Administration Support Worker


Lynda Memery Health Promotion, Research and Development Manager Anna Vu Sexual and Reproductive Health Promotion Worker

Justine Carter Receptionist Samar, Leah, Kim, Evelyn Refuge Workers

Sophie Campbell CAS Coordinator

Kim VACP Counsellor / Counselling Coordinator

Fabian, Samar, Leah Refuge Workers

Lindy Corbett Sunrise Group Project Worker


Wendy Burton Attendant Carer

Zahra Jafar FARREP Worker

Joy Free Researcher

Mishelle Children’s Support Worker

Roslyn Beer, Patricia Chalmers, Jenny Hickinbotham Power On Peer Educators

Riqik, Tania, Dinar, Zuleyha After Hours / Intake Workers


Sally Camilleri, Kirsten Campbell, Lucy Forwood, Erin Richardson Health Promotion Workers

Reem Omarit, Rumia Abbas, Teresia Mutisya FARREP Workers

Gabbi, Joylee, Meriem, Melanie

REGIONAL INTEGRATION COORDINATOR Maureen Smith Regional Integration Coordinator

RELIEF WORKERS Evelyn After Hours / Intake Workers Shensev, Lucia, Gwyneth Refuge Workers




STUDENTS Kim Robertson, Stephanie Micallef, Hannah Musil

financial reports For the year ended 30 June 2010 NOTES TO AND FORMING PART OF THE ACCOUNTS 1 STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTING POLICIES This financial statement is a general purpose financial statement that has been prepared in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards and other mandatory professional reporting requirements and the requirements of the Incorporated Associations Act of Victoria. They are compiled on a going concern basis adopting the principles of historical cost accounting and do not reflect current valuations of noncurrent assets except where stated. This financial report has been prepared on an accruals basis.

DECLARATION BY MEMBERS OF THE BOARD The members of the Board declare that: 1 The financial statements and notes: (a) comply with Accounting Standards and Australian equivalent of the International Reporting Standards (AIFRS) as detailed in Note 1 to the financial statements; and (b) give a true and fair view of Women’s Health West financial position as at 30th June 2010 and of its performance for the year ended on that date in accordance with the accounting policies described in Note 1 to the financial statements. (c) are, in the Board’s opinion, in accordance with the Incorporated Associations Act of Victoria 2 In the opinion of the Members of the Board there are reasonable grounds to believe that the organisation will be able to pay its debts as and when they become due and payable. This declaration is made in accordance with a resolution of the Members of the Board by:

Megan Bumpstead 01 October 2010 Chairperson

Karen Passey 01 October 2010 Treasurer 34



Dept of Human Services Other Grants










Cash and cash equivalents

Other Income







Profit/loss on Disposal of Assets












Professional Support



Motor Vehicle expenses



Depreciation expense



Employee benefits expense Administrative expenses Board expenses

Occupancy expenses




Refurbishment expenses




Equipment expenses



Other operating expenses



Direct program expenses



Total Expenses Net Surplus from ordinary activities




























Non-Current Assets Property, plant and equipment





















Non-Current Liabilities Provisions





Current Assets Receivables

Total Income


CASH FLOWS FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES Receipts from grants etc Interest received Payments to suppliers and employees Net Cash provided by (used in) operating activities




72,123 (2,848,489)

(2,981,140) 8(b)




Net Cash used in investing activities


EQUITY Retained Surplus




81,990 441,970




Balance at 30 June 2009

Borrowings (repayments) for leased equipment



Profit attributable to members

Net Cash used in financing activities



Balance at 30 June 2010

Net increase (decrease) in cash held







Cash at the end of the financial period

89,968 450,756


Cash at the beginning of the financial period




CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES Proceeds from (payments for) property, plant and equipment




Retained Earnings

General Reserve














The full financial report is available on request.

Are you a member?

JOIN US! All women living, working or studying in the western metropolitan region of Melbourne are eligible for membership of Women’s Health West, as are organisations whose client base includes the western region. Membership is free and includes a great newsletter and invitations to events like our AGM. Most importantly, our members help to strengthen the voice of an organisation working to bring equity and justice to women in the west. To find out how to join call us on 03 9689 9588, email or complete an online membership form at

Donate Women’s Health West receives funding from the State Government but we rely on grants and donations to help us extend our services.

Any support that you provide will have a very real impact on our ability to meet the needs of women in the west.


allows us to purchase a metcard for a woman escaping violence


allows us to provide an information manual to healthcare providers about reproductive health services for refugees from the Horn of Africa or to give a toiletry pack to a woman or a children’s pack to a child who has had to leave home without their belongings

Donations to WHW are tax deductible. To find out more about making a donation please call 03 9689 9588 or visit www.


allows us to pay accommodation for a woman and her children when there are no beds available in overcrowded refuges


would assist us to run a financial literacy program

Women's Health West - 2009 - 2010 Annual Report  

Women's Health West - 2009 - 2010 Annual Report

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