AWHN Applauds Labor National Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy

The Australian Women’s Health Network applauds the Labor Party announcement today that it will deliver a National Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy if elected.

Labor’s strong leadership in this commitment will make a significant difference to the health and wellbeing of Australian women and their families.

Women’s sexual and reproductive health is recognised worldwide as a priority health issue.

The Australian Women’s Health Network (AWHN) has been advocating for many years for a cohesive national plan so that women have reliable access to comprehensive, safe and affordable sexual and reproductive health services when they need them.

“It is so refreshing to hear these critical women’s issues spoken about clearly and publicly,” AWHN National Board Chair Marilyn Beaumont said.

“It is time the Commonwealth Government stepped up to bring change through federally funded systems, such as Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, GPs and public hospitals, in this important area of women’s health,” she said.

“AWHN is delighted the Labor Party has incorporated a number of recommendations from its Women and Sexual and Reproductive Health Position Paper into their Strategy, such as improved access to long-acting removable contraceptives, the contraceptive pill, medical terminations and termination services in public hospitals, and its commitment to restore funding to the AWHN so we can continue to build on our work.”

“We commend Labor leader Bill Shorten for his commitment to protecting the reproductive choice and health rights of all women across Australia that has been denied to them for too long,” Ms Beaumont said.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES
Contact: Marilyn Beaumont OAM, 0419 597 516, marilyn1379@gmail.com
National Board Chairperson, Australian Women’s Health Network

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AWHN calls for political commitment to Women’s Health Charter 2019

As the year draws to a close we are preparing for a big year in 2019.

The action to remove abortion from every state Criminal Code will continue.With a NSW state election in March there is action underway to make sure thisis achieved in NSW. AWHN is supporting this campaign through an open letter.The letter was launched and is covered Sydney MorningHerald. Youcan join the open letter here.

In addition we have joined with many other organisations in a campaign toachieve modernisation of the South Australian abortion laws. Since beingenacted in 1969 these are no longer fit for purpose and act as a barrier toinequitable access to this vital health service for South Australian women. Youcan join this effort through the  South AustralianAbortion Action Coalition’s (saaac) campaign.

With a Federal election due in 2019, the AWHN Board are taking action toadvocate for women’s health as a priority issue. A face to face Board meetingin February will prepare this campaign.

Have a restful end of year as we look forward to 2019.

Please scroll down for more items of interest,

With regards,

Marilyn Beaumont OAM
Chairperson National Board

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Action for Abortion to be removed from every state Criminal Code

As the year draws to a close we are preparing for a big year in 2019.

The action to remove abortion from every state Criminal Code will continue.With a NSW state election in March there is action underway to make sure thisis achieved in NSW. AWHN is supporting this campaign through an open letter.The letter was launched and is covered Sydney MorningHerald. Youcan join the open letter here.

In addition we have joined with many other organisations in a campaign toachieve modernisation of the South Australian abortion laws. Since beingenacted in 1969 these are no longer fit for purpose and act as a barrier toinequitable access to this vital health service for South Australian women. Youcan join this effort through the  South AustralianAbortion Action Coalition’s (saaac) campaign.

With a Federal election due in 2019, the AWHN Board are taking action toadvocate for women’s health as a priority issue. A face to face Board meetingin February will prepare this campaign.

Have a restful end of year as we look forward to 2019.

Please scroll down for more items of interest,

With regards,

Marilyn Beaumont OAM
Chairperson National Board

Unprecedented alliance calls for zero pollution in Australia

In an open letter to all Australian Parliamentarians, an unprecedented alliance of 51 health, environment, legal, aid, union, farming, and religious groups state have called for all parliamentarians to commit to strong emissions reduction targets, stating: “Australia and Australian people stand to lose so much from the impacts of climate change; it is in our national interest to be amongst the leading nations to ensure the world limits warming to well below 2 degrees. A zero carbon pollution future is possible, and it is all of our responsibility to make that future a reality for our children, and their children.”

AWHN was proud to sign this open letter along with 51 other organisations.

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The future of the Australian Women’s Health Network

AWHN members may be aware that since 2012, AWHN has had 3.5 years of Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing funding.

This funding has enabled us to move from a purely volunteer ad hoc effort behind a national voice for women’s health to one of significant outcomes against each of our 4 priority areas. These are reported on in detail in the recently distributed AWHN Annual Report 2014-2015.

This service delivery has only been possible with government funding and this funding comes to an end on 31 December 2015.

Over the past 6 months the Department has been finalising and seeking applications for funding under the new Health Peak and Advisory Body Programme funding guidelines. AWHN submitted an application by the closing date 26 August.

In the face of uncertain funding going forward AWHN Board had resolved in August and confirmed in its most recent November meeting to use AWHN’s small reserve fund to extend staff contracts to the end of the 2016.

On Friday 27 November, AWHN received correspondence informing us that our application had been ‘unsuccessful on this occasion’. You would understand that this is a big blow to us.

It means that AWHN does not have national coordination funding to continue to employ the CEO and small secretariat staff that have helped us get to the strong position which we have achieved.

When the AWHN Board meets in early February 2016, it will make decisions on AWHN’s future operations beyond 31 December, which is when staff contracts end. We are faced with the knowledge that without additional ongoing secretariat funding our operational capacity will be severely restricted.

Any AWHN work will have to be undertaken on an ad hoc basis beyond 31 December 2016 as it will necessarily rely on the voluntary efforts of Board and other members and be subject to their availability.

It’s a hard decision to think about leading into the festive season.

The AWHN Board thank the AWHN staff, particularly Kelly Banister, for all the wonderful work in 2015, and we wish all members a safe and restful festive season spending time with those you love.

Ready for a challenging 2016.

Marilyn Beaumont
AWHN Board Chair

 

 

As the AWHN CEO, I’d like to thank Marilyn for her summary of our situation and agree it is difficult at the moment to adjust to the decision that has been made. It would be easy to feel that perhaps our hard work has not been recognised and valued, however I believe our achievements over the last three years are eminently demonstrable of our worth and relevance to the Australian women’s health landscape and policy makers.

As Marilyn pointed out, we have achieved an enormous amount, and our Annual Report documents this in detail.

The value of what we do is reflected in the level of stakeholder demand for our resources and expertise, and I thought to share a couple of examples of this:

The Women’s Health Hub: Australian Women’s Health Clearinghouse was established and launched by Minister for Health Sussan Ley in June this year. Since being launched the number of visits and resource suggestions have steadily increased, with the number of Hub pages viewed between September and October nearly doubling, from 3,536 in September to 6,645 in October.

Other resources developed by AWHN in the last three years continue to be in demand. We have published a range of resources on priority women’s health issues and most are in the top ten list of downloads.

In October alone, the Women and Mental Health, Sexual and Reproductive Health; the Impact on Women’s Health of Climatic and Economic Disaster; Doing Better Gender: Transformative Public Health Messages and Women’s Health Meaningful Measures  resources were downloaded for use from our website more than 260 separate times.

These are only a couple of select highlights from the many which spring to mind when I think of what we have achieved together.

I look forward to AWHN achieving even more for women’s health, now and into the future, and to engaging our stakeholders in consultation on how we can best keep progressing this important work, which I feel so very proud to be a part of.

With regards,

Kelly Banister
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Women’s Health Network
ceo@awhn.org.au

 

 

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AWHN Contributes to Change the Story: Framework to prevent Violence Against Women and their Children

The Framework developed in partnership by Our Watch, VicHealth and Australian National Research Organisation
for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) was launched on 10 November at Parliament House Canberra.

AWHN staff and Board members provided input into the development of this document during through various consultation avenues over the past year and references have been included to the AWHN Health and The Primary Prevention of Violence Against Women.

For more information on the Framework go here.

 

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Women’s Health Networking events at World Congress in Melbourne

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Planning and organisation for the 15th World Congress on Public Health is well underway. The committee was thrilled that over 2000 abstracts were received. This is the first time that this important event has been held in Australia.

Early Bird registration closes soon. Click here to register.

We would like to invite you to the free women’s health networking meetings being held prior to the Congress.


Women’s Health Welcome: enriching our participation
The Boatbuilders Yard
23 South Wharf Promenade
South Wharf, Melbourne, Victoria
(in front of the Congress venue on the bank of the beautiful Yarra River)
3 – 5pm Sunday 2 April 2017

As a partner organisation the Australian Women’s Health Network is hosting this special event in advance of the 15th World Congress on Public Health.


Women’s Health Conclusions: Framing the future
15th World Congress on Public Health venue
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
1 Convention Centre Place
South Wharf, Melbourne, Victoria
(room to be advised)
12.15 – 1.15pm Friday 7 April (bring your lunch)

All delegates working and interested in improving women’s health are invited to join with the Australian Women’s Health Network again at the end of the conference to share Congress experiences and learnings, and consider outcomes and future action.

Bookings for both events can be made via the online registration form

For further information on either event contact the Australian Women’s Health Network CEO Kelly Banister: ceo@awhn.org.au

I’m also delighted that an abstract I have been involved with, has been selected for the congress and I will be co-presenting on a panel for Multitasking: Gender Transformative Practice in Public Health where we will address Equity in Health, Health promotion and Health systems. I’ll be joining Lorraine Greaves and Nancy Poole (Galvanizing Equity, Canada) and Danny Blay (Prevention of Violence Against Women).

I look forward to seeing you there.

With regards,

Kelly Banister
Chief Executive Officer    
ceo@awhn.org.au
Australian Women’s Health Network


Australian Women’s Health Network | The national voice for women’s health

AWHN drives better health outcomes for all Australians through sharing analyses, research, policy developments and initiatives. The organisation links the research, work and investment that is already being done and amplifies the benefit for all Australians and the economy.

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Call to Action – Paid Domestic Violence Leave

We have been working with the ACTU to support their Paid Domestic Violence Leave Case in the Fair Work Commission and we urgently need your help this week for a successful outcome.

For information about the case and what you can do please read Erin’s invitation below.

Thanks in advance for your support in this important matter.

Kelly Banister,

Chief Executive Officer,
Australian Women’s Health Network


Invitation to support the ACTU’s DV Leave Case

The hearing in relation to the ACTU’s claim for ten days paid domestic violence leave commenced last week. We are asking the Fair Work Commission to give all people subjected to family violence access to paid time off work in order to to attend appointments with medical, legal or financial professionals, or to make arrangements to relocate or ensure their children’s protection. Our legal and policy teams here at the ACTU, along with comrades right across our movement, have worked hard for two years to get us to this point. It’s a truly historical case.

As we put this case to the Fair Work Commission, unions will be taking the fight for paid domestic violence leave to COAG. Whether through the courts or the parliament, union members are determined to win this crucial workplace right.

Paid domestic violence leave will literally save lives. It’s also about saying that we will no longer tolerate a bystander society. It’s on all of us to address the crisis of family violence: and that must include employers.

We have now reached the critical stage in the campaign: this is where the battle really begins: in the courtroom, in the COAG meetings, and, perhaps most critically, in the hearts and minds of Australians.

I am writing to ask for your support as we enter this final stage. As a leading organisation and prominent public influencer, your support will make a massive difference. There are three actions that we would like you to consider:

1.   Signing our open letter of support  to be delivered to the Fair Work Commission next week in closing submissions.

http://www.australianunions.org.au/fwc_open_letter

2.   Writing your own submission to the Commission. This can be a simple short statement of support.

3    Helping to promote our petition  via social media and/or with your membership.

https://www.megaphone.org.au/petitions/support-family-violence-leave-for-all-workers-1

Please note that the open letter is primarily intended for organisations where as the public petition is aimed at members of the public.

Our case has already received strong support from a range of organisations and individuals including Rosie Batty, the National Retailers Association, the National Foundation of Australian Women, the Australian Human Rights Commission, Australian Women’s Health Network, several state governments and numerous domestic violence experts.

We hope that you will join with us in calling for this important reform.

Kind regards,

Erin

Erin McCoy
Industrial Officer

ACTU Level 4/365 Queen Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000 t (03) 9664-7228 f (03) 9600-0050 e emccoy@actu.org.au w actu.org.au<http://actu.org.au> follow us on twitter  @unionsaustralia<http://twitter.com/unionsaustralia> and @thisworkinglife<http://twitter.com/thisworkinglife>
like us at facebook.com/AustralianUnions

 


Australian Women’s Health Network | The national voice for women’s health

AWHN drives better health outcomes for all Australians through sharing analyses, research, policy developments and initiatives. The organisation links the research, work and investment that is already being done and amplifies the benefit for all Australians and the economy.

Facebook | Twitter

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Media Release – Stopping violence against women demands more than awareness raising

It is concerning that the White Ribbon Foundation is reported to be in turmoil.

Their approach to awareness raising should be subject to visible evaluation as to its impact on changing violence supportive behaviours and attitudes.

Primary prevention of domestic violence demands more than awareness raising.

It requires collaboration and co-operation in putting in place a long term, multi-level comprehensive approach as outlined in the AWHN Health and Primary Prevention of Violence Against Women paper.

White Ribbons contribution to this approach must be made visible if they are to continue to take up valuable resources.

“While it is important to raise public awareness about violence against women it is crucial this is done in ways the evidence shows to be effective,” Australian Women’s Health Network (AWHN) CEO Kelly Banister said.

“Awareness raising campaigns alone will do nothing to stop women being abused and murdered across this country,” she said.

“Dedicated funding must be provided to primary prevention organisations to deliver the range of activities that are known to be effective, as well as to services which can respond appropriately when violence has occurred, if we are serious about eliminating violence against women.”

Media Enquiries

Chief Executive Officer, Kelly Banister
contact: 0408 061 901 / ceo@awhn.org.au

Communications Coordinator, Michelle Hoare
contact: 0412 044 952 / comms@awhn.org.au


Australian Women’s Health Network | The national voice for women’s health

AWHN drives better health outcomes for all Australians through sharing analyses, research, policy developments and initiatives. The organisation links the research, work and investment that is already being done and amplifies the benefit for all Australians and the economy.

Facebook | Twitter

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Media Release – A decision on the future of AWHN

Federal government health funding cuts lead to drastic rationalisation of Australia’s only women’s health promotion peak body.

Government funding cuts to the the Australian Women’s Health Network (AWHN) has forced the organisation to make drastic changes to the way the 30 year old network will operate beyond 2016.

From January 2017, the organisation will become a volunteer entity with all paid staff positions to cease from 31 December, 2016.

Kelly Banister, CEO said:

“This decision was a very difficult and sad one for the AWHN Board to make.”

“AWHN has been advocating for improvements to women’s health in Australia for over 30 years.”

“The four years of federal government funding received in 2011 enabled the network to progress from a volunteer organisation with limited capacity to a highly productive professional and well-regarded health promotion charity, dedicated to the health and wellbeing of women in Australia.”

“Despite support from the Labor Party, the Greens and other cross benchers, the Liberal National party does not see a need for an independent nationally funded women’s health advisory and promotion organisation.”

“This decision is devastating for the staff, board, members and supporting organisations of AWHN.”

AWHN has received many messages of support from all over Australia during the past few months. Further updates about the organisation’s future will be posted on the organisation’s website and social media channels.


Media Enquiries

Chief Executive Officer, Kelly Banister
contact: 0408 061 901 / ceo@awhn.org.au

Communications Coordinator, Michelle Hoare
contact: 0412 044 952 / comms@awhn.org.au


Australian Women’s Health Network | The national voice for women’s health

AWHN drives better health outcomes for all Australians through sharing analyses, research, policy developments and initiatives. The organisation links the research, work and investment that is already being done and amplifies the benefit for all Australians and the economy.

Facebook | Twitter

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