September 2015 Newsletter

                 Partnerships improving rural women’s  
                                 sexual and reproductive health

Welcome from Women's Health Grampians Chief Executive Officer, Marianne Hendron.

Firstly, I would like to thank you for your support, positive feedback and contributions to our newsletter. WHG have continued to partner with key groups to lead change for the improvement of women’s health in the Grampians region and we look forward to working and sharing information with you.
We welcome the recently released Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2015-2019 and note that the improvement of sexual and reproductive health of Victorians is one of the six keys areas for action. We look forward to consolidating our work in this area over the next four years along with our key partners across the region. We also acknowledge the work of Ms Fiona Patten in introducing her private members bill and the government’s support for the provision of safe access zones around Victorian health services where women are seeking abortions. The Government has committed to the right to safely access health services and plans to introduce its own bill, however have stated it will be largely based on Fiona Patten's. These are positive steps which we hope will translate to better access to services and information in our region.
We have had some recent staffing changes in our dynamic organisation: Kath Deakin has commenced 12 months parental leave, Simone Meade has gone travelling abroad for 12 months and Michelle Hunt and Cassie Lindsey have both joined Our Watch – the national body for the prevention of violence against women and children.  We wish them all much success with their journeys. We are delighted to announce new appointments including Dee Micevski who has commenced in her role as Health Promotion worker, an expansion to the roles of Kate Souter and Claire Rooney and we will welcome Carolynne Hamdorf who will also be commencing late September. It is an exciting time for the organisation as we transform with these women, who bring a wealth of knowledge, skills, experience and new energy to our organisation.

In this newsletter you will find the details for two events we are holding over the coming months that we hope will be of interest to you, along with updates, new resources and other training opportunities we thought would support your work. I hope you enjoy our newsletter and find it useful to the important work you are doing.

In other news, we were a proud finalist for the Federation Business School Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards.    We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Karden Disability Support Foundation for winning the CGU Community and Government award.   We also want to congratulate  Ballarat Community Health for winning the Nova Pharmacy Health and Wellbeing Business Award.


Free Full day workshop

Rethinking Sexual Health Promotion in Rural Victorian settings 

Date:   Thursday 3rd December 2015
Time:  9.30am to 4.30pm
Venue: Ballarat - Location TBC

Women’s Health Grampians would like to invite you to a full day workshop on “Rethinking Rural Sexual  Health Promotion in Rural Victorian settings”  The sessions will be run by Dr Alan Crouch - a practitioner researcher with more than thirty years’ experience in global health programs.    This is a great opportunity for health promotion, community health, education and Council staff.  This free seminar will provide learning and insights into how we can improve the sexual health of women and men in our community.

Dr Alan Crouch -                   
Dr Alan Crouch

Women's Health Grampians AGM

We welcome you to join us at our annual AGM
Date: Tuesday 10th November 2015
Time: 11.00am to 2.00pm
Venue: Alexandra Oval Community and Recreation Centre, Waratah Avenue, Ararat
Members & Non Members Welcome
Key note Speaker Maree Crabbe

If you would like to vote at the AGM, please complete the membership
form on-line WHG Membership and select the ‘Voting Membership’ option, prior to the AGM, Tuesday 10th November 2015.
If you are a ‘General Member’ you are not required to renew your membership. Your
Membership remains until you choose to cancel it. Please notify us if any of your details have changed.
If you have any queries regarding your membership please contact us by emailing
or by telephone 1800 013 432.


Key note Speaker Maree Crabbe 
Maree Crabbe has worked with young people for 20 years, and has focused on sexuality and sexual health for the past decade, developing and presenting programs about sexual violence prevention, sexual diversity and prevention of sexually transmissible infections. Read more: Maree Crabbe

Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health  SEXrurality Conference 2015

WHG staff attended the 2015 SEXrurality Conference held in Bendigo by Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health (CERSH). The conference was organised around the key themes:
  • Ethics, culture and relationships in rural sexual health
  • Developing innovative service systems for rural sexual health
  • Community engagement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sexual health and well-being
  • Sexual health research involving rural communities
WHG also developed a better relationship with CERSH joining their Special Interest Group for improving rural responses to unplanned pregnancy. WHG would love to hear from others across the Grampians region that work with or are interested in supporting women experiencing unplanned pregnancy.


WHG staff Kate, Paigen and Darlene attending the SEXrurality 2015 conference in Bendigo   



6 new Primary Health Networks in Victoria    

From 1 July 2015, the Federal Government has made further commitments towards achieving an organised primary healthcare system through the establishment of 31 new primary health networks across Australia, including six in Victoria. From this date, Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN) will replace the Grampians, Barwon and Great South Coast Medicare Locals. Continuity of patient services will be a key focus in 2015/16. This new, not for profit organisation will be responsible for delivering on the following two objectives set by the Federal Government:
• Increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of medical services for patients, particularly those at risk of poor health outcomes.
• Improving coordination of care to ensure patients receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time.
Read more:

Victoria introduces new strategy to curb rates of chlamydia

The Victorian Government recently announced the introduction of a new strategy to reduce the growing rates of sexually transmitted chlamydia infection.
Chlamydia is easily treated with a single dose of antibiotics but reinfection can occur if the patient’s sexual partner is not also treated.  The new strategy - known as patient delivered partner therapy - will target people who are unwilling or unable to visit a health professional by enabling doctors to prescribe treatment for a patient diagnosed with chlamydia as well as providing treatment for delivery to their sexual partner. 
Read more :

The Kirby Institute: 2015 Annual Surveillance Report of HIV, viral hepatitis, STIs

The Annual Surveillance Report has been published each year since 1997. The Annual Surveillance Report provides a comprehensive analysis of HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia and includes estimates of incidence and prevalence of HIV and viral hepatitis, by demographic and risk groups, patterns of treatment for HIV and viral hepatitis infection, and behavioural risk factors for HIV and hepatitis C infection.

For further information and to download the report please visit:

Do you work in sexual health education? If you’re a HPE schoolteacher, nurse, youth worker or community worker, you might like to sign up to our Sex Ed News. It’s full of useful resource and education focused content to support your program

Kirby Institute Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research

The Kirby Institute has a created a booklet which showcases Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research. The Kirby Institute manages a range of Aboriginal research and surveillance projects including viral hepatitis and STI clinical interventions in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, prisoner health surveys, behavioural surveys, national STI and BBV surveillance, trachoma surveillance, training and education and policy development.
Read more:

Voices of Sexuality Education: NEW youtube clip now on website

“Social Media and Sex” youtube clip is presented by Natalie Hendry discusses some of the contemporary challenges for educators including focusing on ‘risk’ when talking to young people about social media and sex, and modifying teaching strategies to integrate social media throughout the  sexuality education curriculum.
 Read more:


The women’s health information needs in Australia survey:
  1. investigated gaps in women’s health information and service needs
  2. explored women’s experiences with maintaining their health and preventing illness and disease
Click here to read more:


How to explain consensual sex with a cup of tea

Youtube clips:

Warning: 1 or 2 naughty words

If you want a version with no f-bombs go to: 


Get The Pap Text: A FREE national sms reminder service for Australian women

Get the Pap Text is an initiative of the Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation (ACCF) to reduce the number of Australian women who suffer or die each year from cervical cancer. Get the Pap Text is an SMS reminder sent to Australian women during the month they nominate they are due for their 2-yearly Pap test.

 For further information please visit:

Australian Association for Adolescent Health Youth Health Conference

November 11th – 13th, Melbourne. The theme of this year's conference is 'Working together' which will highlight the genuine multidisciplinary nature of young people's health. One of the seven key themes is gender and sexuality

Australia Forum on Sexuality, Education and Health (AFSEH) 1st National Conference

 22nd - -23rd  November 2015, University of Western Sydney Equity and Justice – in gender, sexuality, education and health.

FPAA National Certificate in Reproductive and Sexual Health for Doctors

This intensive and comprehensive course for GPs, accredited nationally by Sexual Health & Family Planning Australia (SH&FPA), the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), provides training for excellence in the delivery of sexual and reproductive health in primary care.
The clinical component is accredited by the RACGP for 40 Category 1 QI points as a Supervised Clinical Attachment.
The August course is fully booked but there is still places available for 9-13 November 2015
To register or make an enquiry, please contact our Clinical Education Unit Coordinator on T/ 03 9257 0129 or at E/
Family Planning Victoria website:

Central Victorian Sexual Health Network Meeting- Bendigo

Wednesday 21st October 10.30 – 3.30pm. Latrobe University Clinical Teaching Building, 109 Arnold Street, Bendigo. Lunch included. RSVP essential. The meeting will begin with the option of attending an interactive workshop on ‘building socially inclusive rural communities’ from 10.30-12.00pm facilitated by Steph Jelbart from Bendigo Loddon Primary Care Partnership. Following the workshop and lunch the meeting will open up the opportunity for local presentations and discussions on successful community partnerships within the region.
Please contact Tara Gilbee ASAP if you would like to present.
M: 0419 799 227 |  E:


#ShoutYourAbortion: If you've had an abortion, you have nothing to apologise for.

It is estimated around 1 in 3 women in Australia will seek an abortion at some stage in their life.
The stigma associated with abortion plays a significant role in limiting access to information on abortion and abortion services. Lack of visible information on abortion services as a legal and safe option for women contributes to stigma and shame on the issue.

#ShoutYourAbortion is a world wide campaign for women to share their experiences.  
Please contact Women’s Health Grampians if you would like to contribute ideas or feedback to this newsletter

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