Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services is a fundamental right for every woman. From participating in communities of practice, to presenting in a variety of forums, WHISE has been able to reach a larger audience and promote awareness regarding the importance of sexual and reproductive health in our community.

A major highlight for WHISE in 2021-2022 was the launch of the new Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy: Good Health Down South 2022. The Strategy identifies the key sexual and reproductive health issues facing women and people across the region and priority populations that experience a disproportionate burden of poor health outcomes due to structural inequities.


    Good Health Down South Strategy

    Consultation and launch

    Good Health Down South is a four-year region-wide strategy that promotes, celebrates and guides future directions that continuously improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes throughout the Southern Metropolitan Region.


    The second iteration of Good Health Down South was informed by a systematic evaluation of the first strategy, with strategic objectives measured against indicators from the yearly action plans, and extensive consultation with partners and stakeholders. The consultation included an online survey and individual semi-structured interviews with over 50 health planners, health promotion practitioners, maternal and child health nurses, youth workers, researchers, and clinicians.  

    The purpose of the consultation was to evaluate the previous iteration of the strategy, yearly action plans, and the governance structure; identify gaps and areas for strengthening; and scope future priorities for improving women's sexual and reproductive health.  

    The consultation also identified the need to address systemic health inequalities, resulting from and perpetuated by historical and contemporary structural inequity and oppression. It highlighted several populations in the Southern Metropolitan Region that the strategy needs to prioritise for systemic, structural, behavioural, and attitudinal transformation, to reduce sexual and reproductive health inequalities and improve outcomes. The findings of the evaluation and consultations were presented to partners and stakeholders at a Roundtable event, for feedback and validation. 

    Further to this, WHISE held a Think Tank to present a Theory of Change articulating the long-term outcomes and objectives of the strategy, an evaluation framework that overlays the theory of change, and the draft Year One and Two Action Plans, including process and impact indicators. 

    The strategy was launched on Tuesday 23 November via Zoom, with a panel of distinguished guest speakers, including the then-Mayor of Mornington Peninsula Shire, Councillor Despi O'Connor, who is a strong advocate for the integration and prioritisation of sexual and reproductive health within municipal health and well-being planning, and the CEO of the Multicultural Centre for Women's Health, Dr. Adele Murdolo, who has worked tirelessly to advocate for the sexual and reproductive health rights of women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. 

    Our guests were also addressed by the Chair of WHISE's Board, Kerry Bradley, and were treated to live musical entertainment from Alice Tovey.  

    GHDS poster (002)

    Medical Abortion Case Study


    In April 2022, WHISE was pleased to present a case study highlighting the process of implementing medical abortion service provision through Peninsula Health's Sexual and Reproductive Health Hub. 

    The case study celebrates the implementation of this vital service, which will enhance women's health and wellbeing and has important implications for gender equality; as well as highlighting the associated processes, challenges, and achievements to inform the practice of other organisations. 

    The purpose of this case study is to highlight promising practice as well as capture and share the challenges and barriers, enablers, and success of establishing the medical abortion provision at Peninsula Health. 


    Sexual and Reproductive Health Week


    WHISE has played a key role in designing and supporting implementation of the following health promotion campaigns for women’s health across the network of WHS in Victoria.

    SRH Week 2021 was developed collaboratively by members of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Social Media Working Group, made up from staff from several Victorian Women’s Health Services, that worked together to develop the theme, topics, content, and design for the campaign.  

    The Working Group created a branded social media campaign pack, that was distributed to all Victorian Women’s Health services and their key partners.  

    Overall, the campaign significantly increased its reach and engagement. The total reach of the campaign was 143,819, with a total engagement 20,363. 

    A significant portion of the success of Sexual and Reproductive Health Week 2021 is attributable to the staunch leadership demonstrated by Mornington Peninsula Shire (MPS), a key partner of WHISE, and member of the Good Health Down South 2021 – 2025 partnership.  

    The content shared by MPS received a significant public response, vastly increasing the reach and engagement impact of the campaign. Each day's content had a reach between 7200 and 25,000, and 648 to 11264 engagements through MPS alone, mainly through their Facebook page. The posts received mostly positive reactions and hundreds of comments from followers.  

    The public response to the campaign highlighted the need for a Social Media Framework, to support the Victorian Women's Health Services, and their partners and stakeholders, to implement social media campaigns and respond to backlash and resistance as needed.

    The 2021 theme ‘Know Your Rights’ highlighted the services, education and support that ALL women, trans men, non-binary and gender diverse people in Victoria have the right to, and should receive, in regard to their sexual and reproductive health. The campaign covered five topics:

    • Contraception
    • Menstrual health
    • Abortion
    • Pleasure
    • Sex education
    SRH Week 2021
    Sex education


    Raising awareness for endometriosis

    Victorian Women’s Health Services (WHS) developed a social media campaign, ‘Endometriosis Awareness Month’, with tiles and accompanying text for use on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

    Stakeholders also noted that engagement was typically higher at the start of the campaign and lost momentum by the end. Future campaigns should try to be briefer in scope and size to promote maximum engagement. 

    In March 2022 the SRH Social Media Working Group created a campaign on behalf of the Women’s Health Services for Endometriosis Awareness Month (Endo March); a worldwide campaign to raise awareness of endometriosis, a common reproductive health issue that affects about 830,000 Australians. The campaign included information on endometriosis, common symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options, and where to find out further information. 

    Stakeholders were supportive of the campaign and positive feedback and support of the campaign focused on the plain language used and accessibility of the information. Additionally, stakeholders valued the research and information that went into the campaign. 

    With less reach and engagement compared to the 2021 campaign, key learnings will be considered for future campaigns. Women’s Health Services have noted that engagement increased when the experiences of real people were included, as well as interactive engagement options such as polls.



    The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia

    In May 2022, the Sexual and Reproductive Health Social Media Working Group created a campaign on behalf of the Women’s Health Services for IDAHOBIT (May 17th) the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia.  


    The campaign aimed to raise awareness about the discrimination and stigma still faced by the LGBTQIA+ community in sexual and reproductive health, examining the barriers that exist in services, as well as suggesting methods for organisations to become more inclusive. 

    Overall, the campaign was well received, and stakeholders particularly noted the colourful tile design as an eye-catching feature. Additionally, several respondents commented on the usefulness of the practical suggestions for services to be more inclusive of the LGBTQIA+ community. Respondents also noted that the campaign was well organised and the instructions were simple and easy to follow. 

    Supporting Abortion Rights


    In May 2022, Women’s Health Services across Victoria issued a response condemning the imminent overturning of Roe v Wade, expressing solidarity with women and people with a uterus in the United States and calling upon the state and federal governments throughout Australia to expand the provision of affordable abortion through adequate funding and prioritisation of women’s sexual and reproductive health. 

    The overturning of Roe v Wade in the United States represented a fundamental attack on gender equality, and its impact on women’s economic and educational outcomes cannot be overstated. 

    Though legal access to abortion in Victoria is comparatively assured, the situation in the US highlighted several key gaps in current service provision and access for women and people with a uterus in Victoria. 

    Read the media release

    Roe V Wade

    Increasing Condom Use Among Young People 

    Learning Forum

    WHISE, in partnership with Cardinia Shire Youth Services and supported by the City of Greater Dandenong, delivered a learning forum on increasing condom use among young people on Wednesday 15 June at the Dandenong Council Chambers.  

    Condom Learning Forum

    The learning forum featured a panel of distinguished guest speakers, from La Trobe University, the Department of Education and Training, Talking the Talk Healthy Sexuality Education, Monash Health, and Cardinia Shire Youth Services, with a focus on understanding how social attitudes and gendered norms influence condom use, and how practitioners can increase rates of condom use among young people.  

    The forum was engaging and informative, with 96% of attendees rating their understanding of the impact of gender norms on condom use as high or very high, following their attendance.  

    Condom Learning Forum 2


    Project: Condom Learning Forum

    Net Social Benefit to Community $166,687

    Directly delivered to 24 Participants with an estimated impact for 12 months

    Benefit Cost Ratio 27.96

    Social Impact as calculated through Australia Social Value Bank for the delivery of the Condom Learning Forum.
    The values used in this cost benefit analysis have been derived using the wellbeing valuation method from data gathered through the HILDA (Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia) and Journeys Home Survey.

    Online Training Sessions

    Trans and gender diverse inclusive practice and LGBTIQ+ Cultural sensitivity and awareness training 

    WHISE, in collaboration with Thorne Harbour Health, delivered two free online capacity-building sessions to healthcare and community service professionals, to increase workforce capacity to create culturally appropriate and inclusive services for trans and gender diverse clients and consumers. 

    Both sessions attracted 200 registrants each and were very well received. 

    LGBTIQ+ cultural sensitivity training
    cultural awareness training1


    Project: Trans and gender diverse inclusive practice and LGBTIQ+ Cultural sensitivity and awareness training

    Net Social Benefit to Community $419,179

    Directly delivered to 59 Participants with an estimated impact for 12 months

    Benefit Cost Ratio 73.36

    Social Impact as calculated through Australia Social Value Bank for the delivery of the Trans and gender diverse inclusive practice and LGBTIQ+ Cultural sensitivity and awareness training.
    The values used in this cost benefit analysis have been derived using the wellbeing valuation method from data gathered through the HILDA (Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia) and Journeys Home Survey.

    HepReady Essentials Training with LiverWELL


    In partnership with Hepatitis Victoria/LiverWELL, WHISE delivered HepReady Essentials Training in June via Zoom.  


    The training provided allied health professionals with an introduction to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management of viral hepatitis, within an intersectional gendered framework. Doctors, practice nurses and other allied health professionals, as well as health promotion practitioners and people working in community services, were given the knowledge and skills to identify the functions of the liver and overview of liver diseases, understand the different types of viral hepatitis and their disease transmission and progression, as well as treatment options and strategies for engaging in sensitive conversations with clients about viral hepatitis. The training included best practice for screening, vaccination programs and treatment, a speaker with lived experience of viral hepatitis, privacy and disclosure of status, the impact of stigma on people living with hepatitis, with a focus on women's experiences.