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Women’s Health Service turns 30

This yr marks the 30th birthday of the Women’s Health Service (WHS), run by ACT Health.

Back in 1987, when Kylie Minogue was doing the locomotion and Bob Hawke was promising that “no child will be living in poverty by 1990”, the Canberra Women’s Health Network was busily working with the ACT Health Authority to determine a pilot Women’s Health Centre in Canberra. The Women’s Health Service started in three places, and in 1988 it acquired everlasting funding and moved to 2 places (Tuggeranong and City).

Today, WHS has one location within the metropolis, and offers outreach providers. It has 6 counsellors, three administrative employees, 2 registered nurses, a culturally and linguistically numerous liaison nurse, nurse practitioner, counselling group chief, GP, dietitian, and a service supervisor. WHS additionally hyperlinks women with different providers.

The 30th birthday celebrations final Wednesday morning opened with a sung acknowledgement of nation by A Chorus of Women, to nice appreciation by the WHS employees, former employees, and supporters gathered. The phrases for the acknowledgement have been written by Hazel Hall, an area poet. The morning additionally included a poem and songs by WHS shoppers, and a shifting account from a younger lady of the impression the service has had on her life and health.

Nikki Goddard - Manager, Women's Health Service; Minister Yvette Berry; Marcia Williams - CEO, Women's Centre for Health Matters. At the WHS 30th birthday celebration.

Nikki Goddard – Manager, Women’s Health Service; Minister Yvette Berry; Marcia Williams – CEO, Women’s Centre for Health Matters. At the WHS 30th birthday celebration.

At the celebrations, Minister Yvette Berry stated that “the role of the Women’s Health Service is critical in connecting women up” to providers that may assist them once they have been victims of home and household violence. She additionally talked concerning the plans for the Family Safety Hub, and the significance of sport participation for the health and wellbeing of women and women.

WHS offers health checks and recommendation, medical care from a GP and nurse practitioner, vitamin, and counselling providers to weak women within the ACT and surrounding area. These embrace women who’ve problem accessing health providers on account of:

  • Violence, abuse or neglect
  • Identifying as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin
  • Language or cultural limitations
  • Homelessness or danger of homelessness
  • Substance abuse points
  • Mental health points
  • Disability
  • Sexual id points

WHS discovered that trauma was the basis reason for most of the health issues women wanted assist with, and that counselling is essential in supporting their therapeutic.

“Women are often very alone with their experiences of violence, and by coming to a service where there are other women with similar experiences, they realise that many other women experience violence as well. Women build an understanding that they are not alone,” WHS employees member Megan Taylor stated.

A word on show from a shopper described the influence that WHS had on her life:

“I have felt accepted, respected, and welcomed. My counsellor offers an understanding and supportive environment, so I feel safe to open up and explore. The fact that this is a service offered for women, by women, allows all of this to happen in such a gentle and supportive and professional way. Thank you.”

Demonstrating how essential WHS has been in women’s lives over three many years, various the employees and advocates from the early days of the service returned for the celebrations. They included Christine Larkin, the primary social employee in 1987; Joy Renshaw, the primary nurse; Patricia O’Hanlon, a receptionist; Jane Ingall, Women’s Health Network advocate for the service; and Monica King, who began with the service in its early years and is the longest serving present employees member with 27 years of service.

Birthday cake next to 2017 ACT Public Service Awards for Excellence awarded to Women's Health Service

WHS nonetheless operates with right now with the identical beliefs as its unique founders. Safety, belief, and transparency are on the coronary heart of its providers, and it really works collaboratively with women and with different providers to offer high quality care. WHS works to empower women’s decisions and voices, and to construct understanding round cultural, historic, and gender points. We hope it continues for a few years to return.

More info on accessing the Women’s Health Service, together with hours and places.

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