Welcome back to a new decade and to our first newsletter for 2020! Our staff are all now back at work after a well deserved break. After watching the experiences of the bushfires in NSW and Victoria, and experiencing the impacts of smoke on Canberra’s air quality from those fires close to Canberra, we were all looking forward to the start to 2020.

But January was not what we expected – we saw the outbreak of the fire in the Namadgi National Park which has kept many of the residents in the southern suburbs of Canberra on high alert for a very long period, as well as the threat from a bushfire in the area near Oakes Estate, Piallago Estate, Canberra airport and Queanbeyan. And then many suburbs were impacted by the extraordinary hailstorm that hit Canberra.  And still this week the Orroral Valley Fire continues to burn out of control. Perhaps we will see some respite with the lower temperatures we have experienced this week and the chance of showers over the weekend.

On a lighter note this week, some Canberra roads and cars turned pink after fire retardant was accidentally released.

We also farewelled our Deputy CEO, Emma Davidson, in January. Emma is standing as a lead candidate for the Greens for the 2020 ACT election. Emma was with WCHM since February 2017, and she made significant contributions to the Centre’s work during that time with her passion for data and research, and her strong interests in topics such as maternity care, women’s safety in public spaces and homelessness.  You can read some of the reports she authored about hidden disadvantage for some ACT women, women’s safety in ACT’s public spaces, and ACT women’s views about women’s health services on our website. We wish Emma all the best for her future.

Thank you for all your continued support and involvement in our work during 2019 which made it another positive and busy year for the Centre. It is a good time to reflect on all that the Centre has achieved over the last year, and we hope you enjoy reading about some of our highlights from 2019.

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