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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

Reclaim the Night

Join us to Reclaim the Night at 6:30pm on Friday 31st October 2014 in Garema Place, Civic. Reclaim the Night (RTN) is a worldwide event that gives women the chance to walk in solidarity and demand the right to live without fear and reality of rape and male violence, and to use public space without fear. The night will include the march, speeches, music by Australian independent singer songwriter Jane Sage, Belly dancing by Buasavanh Tribal Belly Dance and an exhibition skate by Varsity Derby League.

RTN Poster 2014 RTN Poster 2014 (953 KB)

Anti-Poverty Week Research

ACT Council of Social Services (ACTCOSS) and WCHM released data this week showing that outside of public sector employment, industries with growing employment opportunities that do not require degree-level qualifications offer low wage, relatively high rates of part-time work, suggesting many workers struggle to earn enough to cover their costs of living. Concerning when we consider that getting and keeping a full time job is the critical factor in getting out and staying out of poverty..

APW Labour Market Data Report APW Labour Market Data Report (381 KB)

APW Labour Market Data Report APW Labour Market Data Report (8483 KB)

APW report on ACT Labour Market Trends APW report on ACT Labour Market Trends (210 KB)

APW Report on ACT Labour Market Trends APW Report on ACT Labour Market Trends (4525 KB)

The impact of domestic violence on ACT children

On Friday 19 September ABC TV ran a story on its 7.30 ACT show about the impact in the ACT of domestic violence on children.

The story, titled “On Our Watch”, can be found at the following link: 

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/act/   

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

Women with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Research

WCHM want to hear first-hand from women diagnosed or labelled with BPD about experiences with mental health and other support services in the ACT region.

What you have to say will inform the future direction of our advocacy and awareness raising work on this issue. You can be involved and have your say by participating in a one-on-one interview OR completing this survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BPD-in-ACT online. Contact us if you would like a paper copy sent to you with a reply paid envelope.

For more information about the project visit http://www.wchm.org.au/women-and-borderline-personality-disorder-in-the-act or contact Bess on 6290 2166 or at b.harrison@wchm.org.au

Data Set Investigation Project Report: Women with Disabilities in the ACT

Women With Disabilities ACT (WWDACT) has released a new report which was commissioned by the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Disability Advisory Council (DAC) to undertake work to find what survey and data information about women with disabilities in the ACT is available in the areas of services for health and wellbeing and participation in social and economic life. The work was also to investigate how this information can enable the DAC to provide policy advice to the Minister for Disability, Children and Young People.

The report offers a response to the precursor report done by WWDACT in collaboration with WCHM that revealed a number of problem areas with respect to public data. The report focuses on data sets available in Australia, paying particular attention to three aspects of information: disability, women, and the ACT. The study recommendations identify some of the current gaps in data collection or where analysis could be expanded in a way that would be helpful to ACT policy makers. It further identifies which body could be responsible for making the suggested data collection changes.

ACT DAC Data Set Investigation Project Report ACT DAC Data Set Investigation Project Report (802 KB)

ACT DAC Data Set Investigation Project Report ACT DAC Data Set Investigation Project Report (1109 KB)

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)


Latest News

Reclaim the Night 201417-Oct-2014

Canberra Rape Crisis Centre is proud to present Reclaim the Night 2014 at 6:30pm on Friday 31st ..

Aurora Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) Program03-Oct-2014

What is Aurora? Aurora is a 10-week Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) Informed Skills prog..

Disability Reform - confronting the realities22-Sep-2014

On 9 October 2014 the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis will hold its Spring Parliame..

Best Practice Initiatives for Responding to Domestic Violence in LGBTIQ Communities05-Sep-2014

The Domestic Violence Prevention Council invites you to attend a series of seminars in 2014. The..