seashells made into the shape of a heart on a beach

February has certainly been another busy month for staff at WCHM, as we continued contributing ACT women’s views as part of several consultations, submission processes and local discussions.  We were involved in two co-design workshops as part of consultations by the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing for the development of a Territory-wide vision for mental health and wellbeing in the ACT, and in several community consultation sessions to contribute to the development of the ACT Multicultural Framework Second Action Plan (2019-2020).

We have continued our work focussing on the issues for women in the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC), and working with the women in the AMC to understand their needs and connecting with other services to identify opportunities to improve their situation.

There were also several announcements and reports this month in relation to the AMC which you can read about below. There was good news that the Government has ruled out any future expansion of the high security campus of the AMC, and some announcements of the redirection of funds away from prison expansion into a community programs, legislative reforms and policy initiatives. But a report by the ACT’s Inspector of Correctional Services also highlighted the need for a focus on women in the AMC, particularly given that around 6 out of 10 of them are on remand.

Since the launch of WCHM’s report last month about the results from our Safety Mapping Tool, we have seen several items of interest about women feeling unsafe in public spaces, particularly after dark, which you can read below.

ACT Seniors Week will be held from the 18th to the 24th of March, so think about nominations for the Positive Ageing Awards.

And don’t forget International Women’s Day on March 8th!  The theme for 2019 is #BalanceforBetter, and the focus is on building a gender-balanced world. The campaign highlights that balance is not a women’s issue, and that there is a need for gender-balanced boardrooms, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, more gender-balance in wealth, and gender-balanced sports coverage.

March 9 commemorates the National Day of Women Living with HIV Australia.  Initiated by the National Network of Women Living with HIV — otherwise known as the Femfatales — the day of awareness was conceived due to concerns that Australian women are too often unaware about the risks and realities of HIV.  While the number of women in Canberra living with HIV is relatively low, we must not become complacent and allow the assumption that women are not at risk of contracting the virus. Our conversations about testing, prevention and treatment must actively include women. To find out more, click here.

woman silhouetted with a barbed wire fence

WCHM’s work with the women in AMC

With support from an ACT Women’s Grant for a project aimed…
wooden gavel

The Human Rights Principles for ACT Correctional Centres

The Human Rights Principles for ACT Correctional Centres were…
cement wall with barbed wire on top

Justice Reinvestment – Building Communities Not Prisons

On Friday15th February, Minister Rattenbury announced a new justice…
wire fence

Healthy Prison Review

On 19 February the Office of the ACT Inspector of Correctional…
barbed wire and security cameras

The care and management of remandees at the Alexander Maconochie Centre 2018

On 20 February, the ACT Inspector of Correctional Services released…
Pregnant woman standing near tree

WCHM Submission to Maternity Services Inquiry

WCHM put in a submission to the ACT Legislative Assembly’s…
a pink cake with the continents on it

PANDSI’s Cake Off 2019!

The PANDSI Cake Off event will be held at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra,…
woman walking down an ally way at dusk

Articles of Interest – Women’s safety in public spaces

What women hear walking alone at night Walk like a Woman,…
older couple hugging with woman smiling at camera

Vacancies – Ministerial Advisory Council on Aging

Expressions of interest are now being sought for the 2019-2021…
man and woman smiling

ACT Seniors Week

ACT Seniors Week, held from the 18th to the 24th of March, is…
text saying save the date

Save the date – PANDSI Twilight Seminar

This coming April, PANDSI's Twilight seminar focuses on 'Understanding…
4 girls linking arms and smiling