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
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!
LGBTIQ Community Survey - Domestic Violence Services in the ACT
The Women’s Centre for Health Matters (WCHM) is partnering with organisations that support lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer or gender diverse (LGBTIQ) communities, as well as domestic violence support organisations around the ACT, to find ways to better support LGBTIQ people who have experienced domestic violence. We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the ACT Government’s Women’s Grants program that has allowed this research to take place.
As part of this project, WCHM is launching a confidential community survey. We want to hear from anyone who identifies as LGBTIQ and has experienced or been affected by domestic violence, especially if you have accessed or tried to access support services for domestic violence in the ACT.
We also want to hear from people who have supported an LGBTIQ person experiencing domestic violence. We want to know what is working and what isn’t, and how you think we can better meet the needs of LGBTIQ people experiencing domestic violence.
The survey can be completed in about 15 minutes and will be open until the end of December. Access it here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DVandLGBTIQ
We also want to hear from LGBTIQ people and their supporters who would be able to participate in an hour-long interview about their experiences with domestic violence services. Please contact the project worker (contact details below) if you’re interested.
If you have questions about the project or need to complete this survey in an alternative format, please get in touch with the project worker Annelise at firstname.lastname@example.org or on (02) 6290 2166.
LGBTIQ Flyer (195 KB)
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 email@example.com
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.
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.
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