Our year in review –

Annual report FY2020

A message from chair of the WHGNE board

Welcome, and thank you for your support of Women’s Health Goulburn North East. This year has definitely challenged our resistance to all things unexpected.

Since last year Amanda has comfortably moved into the role of CEO in what one can only say has been an exceptionally challenging time for our community. From fires in our region in late 2019 to the unexpected outbreak of COVID-19 from December to now, it has tested everyone in so many different ways.

A massive challenge for our organisation was to transition to a work-from-home model. This has been extremely challenging given the delivery method of our programs, ruling out travelling throughout the region, delivering face-to-face workshops. I would like to thank Amanda for leading this transition and the team for working together to achieve the best outcome for everyone.

I am very excited to see our new website and read through all our offerings. I have enjoyed reading the wonderful resources and projects now easily accessible to everyone.

On behalf of the board of WHGNE I would like to thank Amada for her continued drive in supporting our organisation, the ever diligent team without whom we would not be able to do what we do. I would also like to thank the board members for their support during the past year and to those who joined for the first time this year.

In these uncertain times it is difficult to say what the next year will have in store for us, however I do believe we will be able to deal with whatever it may be, given how well everyone has adapted during the past 12 months.

– Helen Hickinbottom

Chair, WHGNE

A message from the CEO

Taking time for reflection can feel like a luxury at times. However, the development of an annual report has given me permission to take a step back and really look at the past year. 

When I moved to the Goulburn/North East region in July 2019, I thought my biggest challenges would be adapting to my new home and role. But the world had other plans and heaped even further challenges on me and my new community that have affected us in far-reaching ways. 

When I first took up my role, I began to explore the work being done by Women’s Health Goulburn North East and our partners and stakeholders across the region. Having worked in the community sector for most of my career, I expected (and found) people who know how to get things done with little support and/or resources. What I didn’t expect was the added layer of challenge that comes with living in a land where the impact of the climate is so immediate. And of living in a community that is both geographically dispersed and yet significantly interdependent. 

According to Paul Ryan of the Australian Resilience Centre,

Resilience is the capacity to cope with change and continue to evolve in positive ways. Resilience is now a cornerstone concept for managing uncertain futures, it is a way of thinking that can be used from the visionary and strategic level, down the to the day-to-day decision-making and action level. 

Paul talks about ‘uncertain futures’ and I think we have had a crash-course in what an uncertain future looks like. But I see that while our community has been profoundly impacted by the catastrophic bushfires and a worldwide pandemic, we are also used to adapting to what is a cycle of uncertainty. It is the scale and frequency that is becoming hard to ignore. 

WHGNE’s role is to drive the systemic change that will improve the health and wellbeing of women and girls in our region, thereby improving the health and wellbeing of the community. As the future becomes increasingly uncertain, I have been impressed with the resilience of those in the community who have been, and still are, driving those systemic changes. 

I want to thank the team at WHGNE for their resilience, for their willingness to continue in the face of those layers of challenge that I have mentioned. I am also grateful to the board at WHGNE, which has shown patience as I find my feet, and support and encouragement as the organisation works through its challenges. I also want to acknowledge the work of my predecessor Susie Reid, as well as those who have contributed to the body of work that we are now building upon. A sample of this work is now displayed on our new website and we will continue to showcase our history and our current work on our new platform. 

I’d encourage you to explore our online annual report and then dig deeper into the site to see what resilience in action looks like. None of the work highlighted has been done in isolation. WHGNE is an integral part of our community and we are so privileged to work with the talented, hard-working, thoughtful and strategic people who make up this region.   

– Amanda Kelly

A message from the treasurer

It is my pleasure to present the audited annual financial statements for Women’s Health Goulburn North East for the year ending June 30, 2020. 

FY20 has been unprecedented, with bushfires in Quarter 3 closely followed by a global pandemic in Quarter 4. Despite these challenging operating conditions however, the organisation has been able to adapt, keep operations on track, and as such has delivered a solid financial result.

Profit and loss

The total income for the year was a profit of $37,200.  This was supported in part by a $42,696 ATO program to support NFP organisations during COVID-19. Revenue decreased by ($102,127), totalling $1,028,016. This was offset however, by a decrease in expenses of ($67,208), which totalled $1,033,512, largely related to decreases in staffing costs.

Balance sheet

Our balance sheet remains strong with assets of $906,357, liabilities of $242,534 and total equity of $654,806.  The current ratio stands at 3.47 which is improved from 1.98 in FY19. This demonstrates that the organisation has strong liquidity, which puts us in a great position to invest in additional capacity, such as online training.


Our cash reserves were $839,622, a decrease of ($275,310) from FY19. This is decrease is related to us carrying ($243,324) less deferred income than the previous financial year.  Deferred income relates to project funding we have received but not yet delivered.


Our annual audit was completed by Selwood Ackerly Accounting Services. Their audit report confirmed the organisations robust financial position.  Special note was made of our financial officer, Christine Alexander, with her financial procedures being of a high standard.  Christine was also commended on her ability to assist the audit process in these unprecedented times where face to face contact was limited.


On behalf of the board and myself, I would like to thank Christine for her diligence and strong financial leadership during the year. Her guidance and expertise have been invaluable  Additionally, I would like to thank Amanda Kelly for her leadership, vision and strategic thinking.  With the contribution of both of these women, WHGNE is well placed for continued success in FY21.

– Emma Butko
Treasurer, WHGNE

This year, WHGNE has focused on building its visibility, its accessibility and its engagement with the regions of the Goulburn Valley and north-east Victoria.

12 state and federal submissions

We have sought to amplify the voices of women, gender-diverse people and communities at large, in our work this year, contributing to statewide and national advocacy campaigns and delivering submissions to government inquiries. Our submissions have centred on ensuring women’s voices are heard, their experiences recognised and policy and issues are analysed with a gendered lens.

Click the below links to read some of our submissions:


More than 100 enquiries for collaboration, information and support

We were contacted by educational institutions, local government agencies, community organisations, health organisations, researchers, local political representatives and students who requested everything from training to policy advice, detailed information and statistics to volunteer opportunities.

$35,566 in No Interest Loans to 35 applicants

Our NO INTEREST LOAN SCHEME has continued to support low-income women and women who have experienced family violence to achieve greater economic independence and security. Loans have supported essential expenditures such as car maintenance and registration, household appliance purchases, household repairs and health items.

New channels and messages

This year we have been focused on amplifying our voice in our region not only by creating a new organisational communications strategy, but also by actively building our online presence.

A key facet of our strategy has been to make the wealth of research, resources and wisdom generated by WHGNE during the past decade more easily accessible, which led to the creation of our new website. THIS SITE!

Supporting this has been more active engagement with our community via a host of social media channels – FACEBOOK and TWITTER, as well as new INSTAGRAM and LINKEDIN pages. During the past year we have used these channels to actively highlight and promote local, regional and state-based resources, research pieces, articles about gender equality, the gender pay gap, family violence, gendered impacts of COVID-19, sexual and reproductive health and economic empowerment.

Our social media pages have also enabled us to build greater awareness of national days such as “Wear It Purple Day” and IDAHOBIT. Our following on each of these pages is growing, and engagement in our posts has been positive, with our most popular post on Facebook reaching 1935 people.

When it comes to more conventional media, WHGNE has been mentioned or featured in 47 news articles, in both the print media and online news. These stories have covered topics including the prevention of family violence, homelessness, 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, appearances at parliamentary enquiries, events and the gendered impact of bushfires/pandemic/disaster. 

Gender Equality Act pilot project

Women at the Edge: History and Beyond

Rainbow Tick accreditation

Respectful Relationships

Gender equity in community sport

Conversations in the Chair

Theory of Change in Sexual and Reproductive Health

Gender and Disaster Pod

Highlights from the year’s project areas


We have committed ourselves to increasing our own internal capacity to deliver innovative, locally relevant, professional and creative training, resources and support to our communities.

New information resources, toolkits and directories developed


WHGNE, in collaboration with the regional Gender Equity Community of Practice (previously the PVAW CoP) developed an interactive online map to record the extensive work of our partners across the region. And the work really is extensive – the map has a total of 279 pins!

The purpose of this online map is to centralise the work, supporting future network building and partnership efforts in the primary prevention space across the region. All members of the CoP have access to the map and are able to update their own pins with any new prevention projects.


Developed in partnership with Murray PHN and Women’s  Health  Loddon  Mallee  to identify women’s SRH needs and priorities through their lived experience.  Twenty-five professionals working in the region’s health, local government, education, disability and community sectors promoted  the  project through local professional and informal networks.

A dedicated website and resources were developed by WHGNE and WHLM to engage with diverse women living in regional catchment to collect lived experience of sexual and reproductive health, ideas and suggestions.


This resource has been designed to support local government in Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing planning by demonstrating the value of gender-disaggregated data and highlighting priority areas for men, women and gender-diverse people across the region.

Included in the resources are suggestions for areas of partnerships between local government and key stakeholders in the community, so attendance at the launch may be relevant for those working directly in local government and those with an interest in community health and wellbeing.

Straightforward guides to sexual and reproductive health

Girls, women and gender-diverse people from around our region told us they needed straightforward information about their sexual and reproductive health and where they could find health care and support when they needed it.

This month, we launched a set of “straightforward” information resources in plain English about menstruation, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, contraception, abortion and menopause. These resources are for everyone – from community members to health, education and community service professionals – and contain easy-to-understand information as well as details for finding affordable health services in our region.

Over 100 hours of professional development

Our team has built skills in a variety of focus areas by completing professional development such as:

• Intersectionality Training

• Healthier Masculinities Forum

• Gender Transformative Practice

• CERSH Sexrurality conference

• MCWH Conference

• Leadership development

• Rainbow Tick

• Government Budget Cycle

Active participation in more than 20 networks

Networks are the lifeblood of our community. When supporting systemic change, we need to reach out to the change-makers in the organisations in our region.  The members of these networks are the people who can influence their organisations and make the changes needed to improve the health of women and girls in our region.

  • Shepparton Family Violence (FV) Prevention Network
  • FV Taskforce (Wodonga)
  • Tallangatta and Surrounds FV Network
  • LGBTQIA+ Community of Practice (CoP)
  • Corryong FV Prevention Network
  • GENVIC CoP Prevention of Violence against Women (PVAW)
  • Wangaratta Health and Wellbeing Partnership
  • GENVIC CoP Sexual and Reproductive Health
  • Youth Service Providers Network (Wangaratta)
  • Women’s Health Service Council
  • Alpine Shire Community Resilience Committee
  • Goulburn Valley FV Prevention Network
  • Preventing Family and Gender-based Violence Sub-committee (Moira Shire)
  • Rural Women’s Health Network
  • Ovens and Murray Integrated FV Operations Committee
  • Indigo Shire Prevention of FV Network
  • Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health Sexual Health Network Goulburn North East
  • Central Hume Strategic Implementation Network
  • Goulburn Valley Integrated FV Executive
  • Towong Social Recovery Working Group
  • Gender Equity (formerly PVAW) CoP

1086 people in 42 training sessions

This year, our team of trainers delivered training to local government managers, high school students and teachers, health and human services workers, utility companies such as North East Water, the CFA and Hume region disaster management staff.

Training modules covered focus areas like identifying family violence, masterclasses in gender equity, Our Watch workplace gender equality and respect, Respectful Relationships in schools, lessons in disaster and capacity building forums.

‘We have to slow down to think and consider before making quick decisions where we feel it affects people – advocate for good behaviour – honest conversations.’

– Wodonga Better for Business training with North East Water

Have you renewed your WHGNE membership for 2020-2021?

Women’s Health Goulburn North East Incorporated is a dynamic, independent, feminist organisation committed to improving the health, safety and wellbeing of women in the Goulburn Valley and North East Victoria.

A strong and active membership base is vital to our ability to achieve safer, fairer and more equitable social, environmental and economic outcomes for women. We hope you’ll take this opportunity to renew your membership for 2020-2021 and to encourage your colleagues, friends and acquaintances who are invested in gender equity in our community to join.

To become a member of Women’s Health Goulburn North East, it is important that:

  • You, or your organisation, agree that all women should have the right to make informed choices and the right to control their bodies in every aspect of health and wellbeing, and
  • You, or your organisation, support the purposes of the association and agree to comply with the rules of Women’s Health Goulburn North East Inc.

By becoming a valued member you will receive our bi-monthly newsletter, a copy of our annual report, voting rights at our Annual General Meeting and invitations to key events and forums.

To become a member or to represent an organisation as a member of Women’s Health Goulburn North East, you must identify as female and be over 18 years of age.

Sign up as a WHGNE member now by clicking here.