Over the course of the last 12 months, the team at WHISE has produced a range of resources and tools to support our community, partners and stakeholders to improve the health and wellbeing of women, and to apply gender equality practice.
Celebrating 30 Years
On Thursday 27 October, partners, members and friends of WHISE gathered at Mordialloc Life Saving Club for our 2021-22 Annual General Meeting and 30th Birthday Celebration.
In celebrating our 30 years of work, of legacy and of herstory, we must acknowledge that WHISE is here today, doing what it does in our community, only because of the leaders, partners and members of WHISE who came before us. Our grounding in intersectional feminism drives us to acknowledge the voices, stories and impact of the women who, through WHISE, have sought to create equity across our health and wellbeing systems and structure and in our community. This year, as across all years, we pay tribute to them, their work and enduring impact.
Join us for a walk through the ‘herstory’ of WHISE. This short video showcases our work over the past 30 years, gives insight into the passion and energy of our founders and looks at why developing a women’s health service was so important.
Better Together WHISE Conference
As part of the design and implementation of our new indicator and collective impact framework, Management is looking forward to holding a first WHISE conference on 22 August, to be held at City of Greater Dandenong’s Springvale Town Hall.
The intent is to use the conference to both showcase the work of our partners that is occurring towards our shared mission, enable WHISE to collect and capture evidence of impact and, provide an environment where our partners can collaborate, share, and reflect on their work.
The goals of the conference are to
- provide a space where our partners can share their work, learn from others, and celebrate the energy, efforts, and commitment in our region to gender equity
- strengthen and further connect the people we work with and the partnerships we share on a shared mission
- discover most significant change stories for key areas against the WHS Indicator Framework
- discover and create case studies of work on gender equity and women’s health – linked by the leadership of WHISE – that can be used for the WHS collective impact work
2022-23 Victorian State Budget
WHISE cautiously welcomed the 2023-24 Victorian State Budget. The investment in women’s health was important but we were concerned about the lack of funding in prevention, which addresses the root causes of ill health.
With the introduction of Gender and Mental Wellbeing to WHISE’s portfolio, we were pleased to see ongoing investment in the Mental Health and Wellbeing Hubs and Locals. The addition of a Local in Narre Warren was exciting as it provides equitable care to the women in our region.
There were many positives in the budget for sexual and reproductive health which included funding for sexual and reproductive health hubs, public fertility treatments, provision of free pads and tampons in public places as well as schools, and a pilot to improve access to oral contraceptives and treatment for urinary tract infections. WHISE hoped that this investment would be accompanied by health promotion activities that address intersectional barriers to accessing these resources and supports.
WHISE applauded the work of the Gender Responsive Budgeting unit. Though the Gender Equality Budget Statement provided clear advice of how the budget would support women, it highlighted the need for Budget Paper No. 3 (BP3) to be more explicit in the ways that women are going to be supported.
WHISE’s annual gender analysis of the 2023-24 State Budget included a discussion of what the budget meant for women in our region.
Annual Stakeholder Survey
Understanding the needs of our community
As a key part of achieving our goals, and working towards our vision, WHISE is committed to strong relationships and open communication with stakeholders.
The fourth Annual Stakeholder Engagement and Impact Survey was completed October-November 2022. This survey is a valuable tool for seeking feedback on areas for improvement and finding out just what it is you value about our work.
Contributions were received from a diverse range of organisations and professional roles, with most working in local government and large not-for-profits. We were thrilled to see that people support our vision and that our values and mission continue to resonate deeply with our stakeholders.
We discovered that these powerful words were most frequently used in association with WHISE, and this energises and encourages us.
Identifying stakeholder perceptions enhances existing practices and processes and allows us to address concerns and fill gaps.
If you are interested to learn more about the results, read the Annual WHISE Stakeholder Survey Results report.
Communicating to the press
To support our advocacy, WHISE released statements to the public through the media on the following areas:
- Women’s health movement calls for sustained focus on gender equality and health equity
- Women’s Health Services call for the next Victorian Government to maintain momentum for Gender Equity
- WHISE Welcomes Release of Victorian Government's Sexual and Reproductive Health Plan
- WHISE condemns the weaponisation of personal healthcare data targeting those who have had abortions
- Consent Matters: WHISE partners with Sexual Health Victoria to prevent sexual violence
- WHISE Statement On The Federal Budget 2022-2023
- Universal Access to Reproductive Healthcare - Real action needed to support women's rights
- Victorian Women’s Health Services Join the Call to Address the Crisis in Women’s Mental Health and Wellbeing
- Senate Inquiry into Universal Access to Reproductive Healthcare in Australia
- WHISE Calls Upon the Victorian Government to Continue Progress on Gender Equality
- WHISE Gender Analysis of the 2023 Victorian State Budget