A message from Acting Chair of the WHGNE board
Reflecting on the past year, I’m inspired and proud of the work Women’s Health Goulburn North East staff, under the leadership of chief executive officer Amanda Kelly, have achieved in driving systemic change to improve the health and wellbeing of regional women.
Working for gender equality has its challenges, particularly when we consider the social and political environment in which we find ourselves in.
To bring about such change requires grit, resilience and dedication and the staff of WHNGE have these qualities and more.
We celebrate the success of the March for Justice campaign that saw more than 500 people from our region joining thousands of others around Australia uniting to raise their voices to say enough is enough to violence against women and the sexist culture that drives it.
It is through WHGNE’s important advocacy work along with other Women’s Health services across Victoria that result in meaningful progress, none more important than the Gender Equality Act 2020 which commenced on 31 March 2021. The Act requires the Victorian public sector to be proactive in achieving workplace gender equality. We congratulate WHNGE for providing local government with gender equity snapshots through a gendered lens along with resources and training to support them to achieve gender equality.
We also celebrate WHNGE’s role in the Gender Justice in Disaster: Inspiring Action conference and collaborations with the Wheeler Centre, particularly Women at the Edge: Disaster and Beyond event, which were both highly successful and attracted press attention in our region.
As we near the end of our 2017-2021 Strategic Plan we reflect on the successes the Board of Management and WHGNE staff had in its achievements. In developing our 2021-2025 Strategic Plan, our Board along with WHGNE staff and members had a fantastic strategic planning session. In the session we explored WHGNE’s vision and mission, defined what success looks like for our organisation and what we would strategically focus on for the next four years. It was an enjoyable process where we collaborated to form our new Strategic Plan whose purpose is to lead change towards gender equality to improve women’s health, wellbeing and safety in rural and regional Victoria. Our integrated impact areas for the next four years integral to women’s health, wellbeing, and safety to achieve gender equality are: Gender Justice, Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights and Climate Justice. Thank you to all who contributed in this process.
I would like to thank our Board of Management for their work during the past year and in particular our members that are departing. Thank you to Nadia Tilson for her eight years on our Board, much of that time in the capacity of Secretary and thanks also to Simone Campbell and Helen Hickinbottom, Board Chair for their contributions. On behalf of the Board, I would also like to thank and congratulate Christine Alexander, for her 20-plus years working for WHGNE contributing in many ways, particularly in finance. We wish Christine well in her future endeavours. We look forward with great enthusiasm to the next 12 months as we work to deliver on our strategic plan, improving women’s health, wellbeing, and safety to achieve gender equality.
– Katherine Robertson
Acting Chair, WHGNE