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Welcome to the Women's Centre for Health Matters!

The Women's Centre for Health Matters Inc. (WCHM) is a community-based not for profit organisation which works in the ACT and surrounding region to improve women's health and wellbeing. We do this in a variety of ways including: Health Promotion, Social Research, Community Development, Capacity Building, Information Provision and Education and Advocacy. 

You can use the headings on the left hand side of the page to find out what we do, learn about our current projects, read our reports and publications and have your say about issues affecting women’s health and wellbeing!

Join us in promoting women's health and wellbeing in the ACT and region. Become a member today. If you would like to support us by becoming a member, click here. Membership is free but donations are welcome and valued. WCHM is endorsed as a health promotion charity, so donations of $2 or more are tax deductible! Click here for more information on making a donation.

WCHM Partner Organisations and Information Hubs

WCHM Announcements

Positions Vacant

WCHM now has two positions available. The positions are permanent part-time for approximately 30 hours per fortnight between the hours of 9am – 5pm (or as negotiated with the Executive Director). The salary will be paid at the Modern Social and Community Services (SaCS) Award Grade 6 (level 1). It is a genuine occupational qualification to be female for this position.

The successful applicants will be able to work through a social determinants of health framework to promote a gendered understanding of health and wellbeing issues for ACT women. WCHM is looking for applicants who could:

  • carry out discrete initiatives that are ultimately oriented towards achieving WCHM’s mission of improving health and wellbeing outcomes for women;
  • work in innovative ways to develop, deliver and evaluate initiatives that operate across WCHM’s action areas of health promotion, social research, community development, capacity building, information provision and education, and advocacy;
  • work with the community in collaborative ways to inform and guide WCHM’s work;
  • Communicate and further WCHM’s advocacy work, including through participation in advisory groups and submission and consultation processes; and
  • form relationships and partnerships with community, business, and government agencies to better understand local women’s health and wellbeing needs and to extend WCHM’s capacity to respond to those needs.

 Written applications addressing the selection criteria in the attached job description should be submitted by COB 6 March 2015.

If you would like further information please call 02 6290 2166 or email ed@wchm.org.au.

WCHM Health Promotion Officer WCHM Health Promotion Officer (179 KB)

WCHM Health Promotion Officer WCHM Health Promotion Officer (1519 KB)

International Women’s Day Breakfast

This year the annual ACT Women’s Services Network’s breakfast for International Women’s Day, will be held on Friday 13th March. The theme is ‘The Diversity of ACT Women’.

At this event, the new ACT Minister for Women, Minister Yvette Berry MLA, will deliver the keynote address on the topic of social inclusion and equality, and how this impacts on women in the ACT.

At the breakfast, members of the ACT Women’s Services Network will launch two exciting and innovative new initiatives. See the Flyer for details about how to book.

International Women's Day Breakfast invitation International Women's Day Breakfast invitation (216 KB)

Submission to ACT Government's 'Roadmap to enhancing our city's multicultural way of life'

WCHM contributed a Submission to the ACT Government's 'Roadmap to enhancing our city's multicultural way of life' on behalf of the Women’s Services network which collates feedback on behalf of local specialist services in the Women’s Services Network who provide essential, accessible and responsive services and support to women who experience domestic violence.

Submission to ACT Government's Roadmap to Enhancing our city's multicultural way of life Submission to ACT Government's Roadmap to Enhancing our city's multicultural way of life (267 KB)

WCHM Media coverage

A set of posters used as part of the anti-sexual violence awareness raising campaign - Summer of Respect - which is run by the Women’s Centre for Health Matters and the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, hits the news in Canberra.

On 21 January the Canberra Times published an article about the Summer Of Respect posters (a joint initiative of the Women’s Centre for Heath Matters and the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre) being taken down from ACT Government Offices because they were considered offensive - http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/antirape-signs-considered-inappropriate-for-act-government-offices-20150121-12ty5u.html.

In a letter to the Canberra Times, published on 26th January, Shane Rattenbury MLA, commented on the issue of the posters being taken down and highlighted the importance of encouraging men and members of this community to confront the issue of sexual assault and to have these discussions - http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/ct-letters/education-is-needed-20150126-12yjn9.html

On 29th January, the Canberra Times published an article in which John Hinchey (Victims Of Crime Commissioner) called for the Summer Of Respect posters to be returned to ACT government offices - http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/calls-for-antirape-posters-to-be-returned-to-act-government-offices-20150129-1300z0.html

What to say! A new tool for responding to sexual violence - for women and in the workplace.

As part of this year’s Summer of Respect, the Women’s Centre for Health Matters and the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre are proud to announce the launch of an expanded What to Say website.

What to say is part of a broader annual anti-sexual violence awareness raising campaign in Canberra called the Summer of Respect which is run by the Women’s Centre for Health Matters and the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre.This campaign has run every summer since 2011 and each year initiatives are developed that raise awareness about sexual violence and start conversations about consent, communication and respect. (The Summer of Respect received a Certificate of Merit in the November 2014 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards!)

Initially the What to say website focused on encouraging young men to think about the positive and safe ways they can identify and call out sexual violence with their mates. The What to say website now includes two new sections - What to say for women and What to say for the workplace. These sections are designed to give women and co-workers the information they need to identify sexual violence, safe ways to respond and intervene if you experience or witness sexual violence, and advice on how to support someone who tells you they’ve experienced sexual violence. Each new section incorporates information about who to contact and will include regular blog posts over the summer about issues like sexual harassment, dating, work parties and nights out.

New ACT Minister for Women

The Chief Minister Andrew Barr has announced new portfolio arrangements for Ministers.

Minister Berry now has portfolio responsibility for Women as well as other key areas which are also priorities for the Women’s Centre for Health Matter - Housing, Community Services and Social Inclusion and Equality.

WCHM looks forward to working with the Minister on the important issues relating to women’s needs in the ACT.

ACVPA Award for Summer of Respect!

WCHM is very pleased to announce that Summer of Respect received a Certificate of Merit in this year’s Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards! 

Summer of Respect is WCHM and Canberra Rape Crisis Centre’s annual anti-sexual violence campaign. Since its launch in 2011, the campaign has developed a number of initiatives to start informed conversations about sexual violence amongst young Canberrans, including the What To Say website and the animation S**t guys say when they need to say something.

WCHM staff member Angela Carnovale and campaign artistic director Helani Laisk attended the ceremony at Parliament House to accept the award.

In awarding the Certificate of Merit to WCHM and CRCC, the committee described Summer of Respect as “a unique initiative targeted at raising awareness about sexual violence amongst young people” and commented that it “demonstrates an impressive capacity to deliver a range of messages that can help protect a wide range of potentially vulnerable young people from sexual violence.”  We’re very pleased to have our hard work recognised.

Summer of Respect 2014-15 will be bigger than ever, as we continue to work to build conversations about consent, communication and respect in our community – including expanding the excellent resources on the What To Say website.

Watch this space!

Guides for ACT Media

New guides to help local media when reporting on domestic and sexual violence in the ACT have been released by WCHM. The Guides for ACT Media - Reporting on Violence against Women and Children in the ACT involved more than 18 months of work by WCHM, in consultation with local community expert partners - the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, the Domestic Violence Crisis Service and Beryl Women Inc. - and in consultation with local journalists and media students from the National Press Club, University of Canberra Press Club and Media and Journalism Faculty at the University of Canberra. The guides cover domestic violence, sexual violence, child sexual assault and Indigenous family violence. They were funded under the ACT Participation (Women’s) Grants. We hope that these Guides will be a useful reference and that, through better awareness and understanding, local ACT media will be better able to play their vital role in raising community awareness and reporting on these issues.”

You can find the Guides at the following link on our website http://www.wchm.org.au/guides-for-media

WCHM is on Facebook

Are you a fan of WCHM? Are you on Facebook? Then why not join the two and follow WCHM on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WomensCentreforHealthMatters

Current WCHM Projects

This is a list of the projects that the WCHM is currently working on. Click on each one to access the project page and more information.

Recent WCHM Submissions

Submission to the Senate Committee Inquiry on Domestic Violence, July 2014

WCHM contributed a submission to the Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee Inquiry into Domestic Violence.

WCHM Submission to Senate Committee Inquiry on Domestic Violence WCHM Submission to Senate Committee Inquiry on Domestic Violence (520 KB)

WCHM Submission to Senate Committee Inquiry on Domestic Violence WCHM Submission to Senate Committee Inquiry on Domestic Violence (329 KB)

Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Economics Inquiry into Affordable Housing

WCHM contributed a submission to the Inquiry on the following matter: g) Planning and policies that will ensure that women, particularly vulnerable women, have access to secure, appropriate and adaptable accommodation.

As an organisation that works to make the views of women experiencing or at risk of experiencing disadvantage known, we are keen to ensure that the vision for affordable housing represented the needs of our community’s women, particularly those women who are most vulnerable.

Housing is very important for women and their families and their health and wellbeing—not only can housing costs take up a high percentage of household budgets and cause significant financial stress, but the accessibility and quality of the housing we live in can influence our health and wellbeing.

WCHM Submission to the Inquiry into Affordable Housing 2014 WCHM Submission to the Inquiry into Affordable Housing 2014 (286 KB)

WCHM Submission to the Inquiry into Affordable Housing 2014 WCHM Submission to the Inquiry into Affordable Housing 2014 (2563 KB)

Human Services Blueprint Discussion Paper

WCHM staff and Board contributed the following submissions to the ACT Government’s Discussion Paper to inform the development of an ACT Human Services Blueprint

WCHM Board Submission to the Human Services Blueprint Discussion Paper WCHM Board Submission to the Human Services Blueprint Discussion Paper (350 KB)

WCHM Board Submission to the Human Services Blueprint Discussion Paper WCHM Board Submission to the Human Services Blueprint Discussion Paper (39614 KB)

WCHM Comments on Human Services Blueprint Discussion Paper WCHM Comments on Human Services Blueprint Discussion Paper (556 KB)

WCHM Comments on Human Services Blueprint Discussion Paper WCHM Comments on Human Services Blueprint Discussion Paper (2546 KB)


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