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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

Congratulations Sue Salthouse: Advisory panel announced to reduce violence against women

WCHM would like to congratulate Canberra Citizen of the Year and WWDACT Convenor (among many other important titles) Sue Salthouse on her appointment to the Prime Minister’s Advisory Panel to reduce violence against women. She will join former Victorian Police Commissioner Ken Lay and Australian of the Year Rosie Batty. Sue will be an invaluable member of the panel, not least because of the representation she will ensure for women with disabilities. To read the full list of appointments click here.

Women's Experiences with the NDIA

My name is Jocelyn and I am currently working with WWDACT on a research project looking at women’s experiences with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

We are hoping women with a disability in the ACT would like to share their story of how they have engaged with the NDIA, telling us issues that are important to them and discussing the experience.

Please refer to the attached Flyer and Information Sheet about the project

Flyer NDIA Research Flyer NDIA Research (218 KB)

Research with women with disabilities' and their experiences with the NDIA in the ACT Research with women with disabilities' and their experiences with the NDIA in the ACT (196 KB)

If you, or anyone who might be interested in having a conversation with me - it would be great to hear your story. This will help us provide feedback to the NDIA relevant issues for women in the ACT as well as inform and empower other women in their journey with the NDIS.

Please contact me if you would like further information on 6290 2166 or via email:  j.perry@wchm.org.au        

WCHM launches online photographic documentary: Women of Canberra

Women of Canberra is an online photographic documentary and a community arts project, produced by the Women’s Centre for Health Matters. It aims to explore the lives of women in our community, and celebrate their diversity.  It is inspired by the phenomenal Humans of New York.

Women of Canberra is a community arts project that aims to explore the diversity and experiences of women in the Canberra community. We wanted to delve into the joys, hopes and fears of women from all walks of life in our community and, at the same time, confront existing stereotypes of Canberra women. The stories told by policy, statistics and media give the impression that women in Canberra are a homogenous group—highly educated, economically empowered and out-performing their comparators in other states and territories on many indicators. However, we know from our community engagement work that women in Canberra are actually a culturally and socioeconomically diverse group, with struggles and aspirations that aren’t captured by mainstream narratives.

WCHM is delivering this project with the assistance of a small group of emerging ACT female photographers: Liz Thompson, Josey Carnovale, Jillian Thomsen and Nicole Zimmerman. This is part of our commitment to develop the capacity of women to have a voice in public conversations about health and wellbeing.

Take a look at www.womenofcanberra.org.au

What to say! A new tool for responding to sexual violence — for women and for workplaces.

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.

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

WCHM has released new guides to help local media when reporting on domestic and sexual violence in the ACT. 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

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 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 ACT Women’s Services Network.

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)

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: Planning and policies that will ensure that women, particularly vulnerable women, have access to secure, appropriate and adaptable accommodation.

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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