Our year in review –

Annual report FY2022

A message from the Chair of the WHGNE Board

When I think about regions reIMAGINED, I reflect on the tireless work Women’s Health Goulburn North East has done to create spaces in which we can imagine and strive to create more equitable communities.

Through creating connections and working collaboratively with other Women’s Health services, Women’s Health Goulburn North East has been part of an advocacy campaign, applying a strong business case for increased funding to support gender equality, which was further eroded during COVID-19.

What started off as reimagining our regions, resulted in a funding increase for Women’s Health Services of $19.4 million across twelve women’s health services over two years, a fantastic result of which all involved should be proud. 

On behalf of the Board, I want to thank all the staff at Women’s Health Goulburn North East for their ongoing and often thankless work. I have been very moved by the work they have done over the past year and appreciate their attendance at our Board meetings where we have had the opportunity to hear about their work and how they have operationalised the strategic plan.

I have also been very touched and inspired by the team’s work on their organisational values, exploring what they see as valuable behaviours the team should encompass. This reflective exercise was meaningful as it translated into a model of what these values look like in practice and how they support their feminist way of working.

I believe this has forged a synergistic path of how we can work operationally and strategically.  

It has been a real privilege to be part of Women’s Health Goulburn North East for the past five years. I have really enjoyed working closely with our CEO Amanda Kelly and am excited to see how she and her team drive the WHGNE strategic plan in the next three years.

I want to thank our Board members leaving this year, Emma Butko, thank you for being such a valuable treasurer and Board member, Tricia Hazeleger, Secretary, thank you for sharing of your wisdom with us, and Sara Noori, Board member, for your compassion and care.

Lastly, thank you to all of our Board members, for their work over the past year. I look forward to observing next chapter of Women’s Health Goulburn North East as the team continues to bring people together to imagine and in turn create gender equality for the benefit of our communities.  

– Katherine Robertson
 Chair, WHGNE

A message from the CEO

This year, we’re exploring the idea of reIMAGINING our regions. 

For more than two years, we’ve been asked to radically rethink what it means to be a community.

We’ve had to lock ourselves in our homes, to connect in different ways, to be physically separated from our loved ones, our kids have had to undertake their schooling remotely and we’ve worked in ways we never thought possible.

This rethink has led us to understand so much more clearly the value of our care and service workers – the people who care for our elderly and our children, those who clean our public spaces, who work in our supermarkets, our health workers and our community health providers, as well as our local governments and our teachers.

And we’ve become much more acutely aware of those in our communities who are more vulnerable because of their health, their financial situation or their life circumstances.

What we’ve seen through the different stages of the pandemic is that each of us is in fact vulnerable in ways we never considered before but that when we work together, we can truly support each other to change things.

We saw the amazing effort of the people in Shepparton, who rallied together to provide care and support when a significant portion of the community was unwell.

We saw the doubling of the Job Seeker allowance and the introduction of Job Keeper – both introduced in response to a need that was thrown into relief by the response to the pandemic. We also saw how telehealth supported those living remotely, or without access to reliable transport. And many companies and organisations worked out how to keep operating with a significant portion of their workforce at home.

These changes were put in place in response to the needs of our communities. They demonstrate that change is possible and that with focus and a clear understanding of the issues, change can be implemented swiftly and to great effect.

June 2022 sees the end of the first year of WHGNE’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan. This Plan focuses on the systemic changes that our communities are telling us they want  – the changes that we can make if we work together. One key focus of our work this year has been our advocacy at a national, state and regional level.

We’re focusing on the changes that can be made at a policy-level and include issues such as access to transport, telecommunications, healthcare, housing and more, all of which impact people across our state (and country) but impact our regions even more significantly.

The purpose of reIMAGINING our Regions, is to cultivate a vision for the future we can work towards. Having a vision allows us to work together,] towards the future that we want.

It’s been a pleasure to do this work with a Board that supports us to think in the long-term to advocate for the future we want – and to do all that we can right now. I want to thank each and every Board member for their support.

I also want to thank my amazing staff team who not only turn up, but turn up with commitment, drive and clear love for working alongside our community to create the future that our region imagines for itself.

– Amanda Kelly

A message from the Treasurer

It is my pleasure to present the Reviewed Annual Financial Statements for Women’s Health Goulburn North East (WHGNE) for the year ending 30 June 2022.  FY22 has been a year of recovery, that has presented both unique challenges and opportunities for the organisation. Despite challenges, WHGNE has again demonstrated its resilience and in FY22 the team consistently delivered on its strategic objectives, produced quality work and secured new sources of funding. Further, they have continually demonstrated to the Board their passion, dedication and diligence, which has greatly contributed to another solid financial result.

In summarising the statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income –

Revenue totalled $1,242,251, which was an increase of +$219,044 from FY21. This increase was largely the results of additional program funding from the Department of Health and the addition of a new funding stream from the MCWH – WOMHen program.

Expenses were $1,120,747 which was a +$107,859 increase from FY21. This related to salaries and wages, financial support and other program expense.

Overall, this resulted in a profit of $121,505, which was a +$53,882 uplift on the organisations FY21 result.

Moving on to BALANCE SHEET of the organisation –

It remains exceptionally strong with: 

  • Assets of $1,180,846, of these assets 94% are cash & cash equivalents.
  • Liabilities of $336,912; and
  • Total Equity of $843,933.

The current ratio stands at 3.55 which demonstrates the organisation’s strong liquidity.

Annual Review of financials –

The annual review of the organisation’s financials has been completed by Selwood Ackerly Accounting Service.

The reviewers commented that:

  • All financial record keeping was very strong; and
  • Complimented the organisation on the level and diversification of the qualifications of the Board Members, which provided strong internal controls and support.

It should be noted, due to a legislative change, a review rather than an audit was completed by Selwood Ackerly in FY22. While this review is still very thorough and fulfills of all of WHGNE’s legislative requirements, WHGNE has appointed Crowe Australia to undertake all future audits. Crowe Australia was appointed following a comprehensive EOI process and under legislation can complete full audits.

In closing, I would like to thank Will Randall of Randall & Associates, who took over the Financial Management role of the organisation in FY22 and has provided dedicated financial assistance throughout the year.

Additionally, I would like to thank Amanda Kelly for her commitment and vision throughout FY22 and further commend the WHGNE team for their efforts.  The additional funding announced by the Victorian State government for women’s health services, is an exciting next chapter for WHGNE. The Board has approved a highly strategic budget, which aims to maximise the impact of this funding and provide the organisation with the greatest opportunity to assist women and girls in our region.

– Emma Butko
Treasurer, WHGNE

Working with our community

Tracking progress: WHGNE’s policy submissions  

WHGNE completed a total of 14 submissions and contributed to an additional two joint submissions with strategic partners. These submissions included three at the national level, ten at the state-wide level, and three at the regional level. 


We responded to 181 enquiries for collaboration, support and information 


Over the year we have received requests for training and facilitation, presentations to stakeholder Boards, advice on creating surveys, providing social media support to amplify messages, assistance with Gender Equality Act/Health and Wellbeing/Council Plans and more.From local government agencies to health services, community organisations to education providers and political representatives, enquiries for our support and resources have come from far and wide across the region and the spectrum of settings. 


This year the bulk of requests for support were for the provision of our expertise via specialist feedback on plans and policies, for resources, or for network linking through the provision of referrals or request to join existing groups. We worked with our stakeholders to further their understanding of sexual and reproductive health rights as well as how they could further gender justice in our region.  

We reached out to our communities through our website and social media channels 


With a new website in our suite of communication tools this year, we’ve continued to build upon our resources available for all to use. 


As in the previous year, the website formed a major part of our 2021 16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE CAMPAIGN It was the centralised point for us to coordinate a regional events calendar, 16 Days talking points and share a Powerpoint presentation template for use by our partners. We also hosted our video Stay or Leave,  a creative collaboration between WHGNE, author Cate Kennedy and animator Annie Murray of Bigger Picture Animation. 


We also curated, hosted and distributed via our social media channels, our exploration of the amazing work being done in our regional communities “We Are Here”.  


Throughout the year, our social media channels – FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, TWITTER and LINKEDIN -have been critical to enabling us to continue to connect and communicate critical information with our communities, even during times of lockdown. Through these channels we’ve: 

  • continued to share a localised, intersectional campaign raising awareness about Covid-19 vaccination; 
  • participated in collaborative social media campaigns with our sister Women’s Health Services, such as the 2021 Sexual and Reproductive Health Week campaign and the EndoMarch campaign supported by Gender Equity Victoria; 
  • promoted the work of partners and allies such as Gender Equity Victoria, the Climate and Health Alliance, School Strike for Climate, Women with Disabilities Victoria; Rumbalara and Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporations; 
  • celebrated days of significance such as NAIDOC Week, Reconciliation Week, Sorry Day, Pride Month, International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia & Transphobia. 

We launched our new logo in November 2021 and have been slowly rolling it out across our website and our social media communications since then. 


We also undertook the ultimately successful #sickofsmallchange campaign with the support of so many of our stakeholders. We increased funding for all Women’s Health Services by $19.4million over two years. 


Despite our Communications Officer role being vacant for almost 6 months, we were able to provide significant coverage of events across our region and the State via our social media channels. Our regular newsletter was on a six-month hiatus for the same reason, but it is coming back for the 2021-22 year. 


Throughout the year, WHGNE has been mentioned or featured in 91 news articles in print and online media. These stories have covered topics including the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, International Womens’ Day and the Women’s March for Justice; the Gender Justice in Disaster: Inspiring Action conference; responses to the Victorian budget 2021-22; women in bushfire-affected areas; gender equality and flexible working arrangements; the gender pay gap and the Covid-19 pandemic and the Gender Equality Act. 


Knowledge sharing

Nine staff accessed a total of 127 hours of formal professional development.

As part of whole-of-organisational capacity building, WHGNE staff committed to fully embracing and embedding reflective practice into regular team meetings and one-on-one supervision sessions.

How we achieved this: 

  • WHGNE staff participated in 11 formal reflective practice sessions in 2021-22, including two with an external facilitator.
  • One internal staff consultation session was held to review the WHGNE Theory of Change model to consider a refreshed version that incorporates the new Strategic Plan, including a re-imagined vision for wellbeing with inspiration from Reclaiming our Purpose report (Australia reMADE).


Staff professional development included courses from:

We actively participated in 22 networks

WHGNE continues to maintain extensive connections to networks and partnerships across both regional and state-wide platforms. A review was undertaken in 2021 of existing networks that WHGNE is represented on (26 in total), with analysis linked to strategic direction and impact areas, to ensure that WHGNE role was active and purposeful for meeting collective goals.

In 2021-22 WHGNE actively participated in a total of 22 strategic networks, covering multiple settings and sectors such as Women’s Health Services, Local Government, Community Health and Youth, and Family Violence Response Services.

Demonstrating the expansion into other impact areas, a total of four new connections were established in 2021-22, including with state-wide Women’s Mental Health Alliance (joined March 2022); Towong People and Wellbeing working group (from May 2022); Wangaratta-Wodonga and Dhelk Dja Aboriginal Community Protocols against Family Violence network (from April 2022); and Ovens Murray Family Violence Executive (joined October 2021).

Highlights include:

  • Collaborative projects with Women’s Health Services to consolidate and demonstrate our position as critical statewide prevention infrastructure: in 2021-22 there were two key projects that WHGNE were involved in leading as part of the Women’s Health Services network; the Victorian State Budget Advocacy collective submission and supporting resources to enable community participation in advocacy, and Women’s Health Services Unite on Roe v. Wade campaign including a joint media release and social media collateral and resources for consistent messaging on women’s sexual and reproductive health rights framed in the Victorian context.
  • Strengthened position at the state-wide level by working collectively in representing the Women’s Health Services network: WHGNE acted on behalf of Women’s Health Services Council members at three state-wide working groups including Respect Victoria Theory of Change for Prevention of Family Violence Design Group (October 2021 – February 2022), Department of Health Community Health – Health Promotion Guidelines Reference Group (August 2021 – June 2022), and Department of Health Victorian Women’s Health Program Guidelines Advisory Group (June 2022)

WHGNE actively participated in the following networks:

  • Alpine Community Recovery Resilience Committee
  • Alpine Health and Wellbeing Partnership
  • Benalla Health and Wellbeing Partnership
  • Central Hume Strategic Implementation network
  • CERSH Sexual Health Network
  • Community Inclusion and Women’s Empowerment Program Advisory Group
  • Corryong and District Family Violence network
  • GenVic Communications Community of Practice
  • GenVic Gendered Violence Community of Practice
  • GenVic Sexual and Reproductive Health Community of Practice
  • Goulburn Family Violence Executive
  • Mitchell Shire Social Justice Committee
  • Ovens Murray Family Violence Executive
  • Rural Women’s Health Services Network
  • Tallangatta Family Violence Prevention committee
  • Towong People and Wellbeing working group
  • Wangaratta Health and Wellbeing Partnership
  • Wangaratta-Wodonga and Dhelk Dja Aboriginal Community Protocols against Family Violence network
  • Wangaratta Youth Services Providers network
  • Women’s Health Services Council
  • Women’s Mental Health Alliance
  • YACVic regional huddle

WHGNE trained 418 people across 15 formal training sessions 

This encompassed sessions with local governments on gender impact assessments for the Gender Equality Act, foundational gender equity sessions with youth councilors and leaders in sporting clubs, and Conversations in the Chair with personal service industry workers.

Additionally, WHGNE collaborated on the WOMHEn Project (Workforce of Multilingual Health Educators), led by Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health (MCWH). This training encompassed 29 group sessions, reaching 414 women from six different cultural groups. 

In 2021-22 WHGNE worked closely with organisations to build the internal capacity of key staff with roles and responsibilities for gender equality, often outlined in their Gender Equality Action Plan (GEAP). Activities that we have delivered include: 

  • Introductory gender equity training with one local government organisation, comprising 45 participants 
  • Gender Impact Assessment training with three local government organisations, comprising 137 participants 
  • Tailored support for key contacts by way of regular meetings and email/phone communication 
  • Contributing expertise to the policy review process for three partner organisation, including policies and workplace processes related to discrimination, harassment and bullying, family violence and gender equality 
  • Review of Gender Impact Assessment framework and templates, rolled out by one organisation 
  • Contribution to five Gender Equality Action Plans, led by public sector partner organisations 


We started to develop our online Learning Management System (LMS) 

In 2019, we started to consider how we could reach more people across our region. We undertook an environmental scan and the idea for an online Learning Management System (LMS) was born. 

The LMS sits in the space between, generic ‘gender equity’ training and WHGNE’s tailored, in-person facilitated conversations. It is designed to enable us to use region-specific themes and topics ensuring that our stakeholders see themselves and their organisations reflected in the work. 

We are using a ‘blended learning’ approach that involves delivering knowledge in a scalable way. Rather than using our scarce resources to deliver “training 101” in person, this information will be delivered via self-directed online courses within our LMS. We will then be able to spend our time with our partners delivering in-person (either online or in the physical room) facilitated conversations that support them to deepen their understanding of the path to gender equality. The ‘blended learning’ approach ensures that we are able to support the transformative process of deepening knowledge and skills to make real steps towards gender equality. 

The LMS, once launched will be a key component of our Gender Equity Pathway, ensuring that we can support our current partners, and also reach out to new ones. Once it is established, we will also ensure that the work is available more widely to community members in our region. 

WHGNE are not a Registered Training Provider and are not seeking to be. The content we are developing is designed for informal learning. It is for those that are curious and want to simply explore these topics, for those that want to deepen their knowledge and for those that want to build skills.  

Our project highlights

Have you renewed your WHGNE membership for 2022-2023?

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 2022-23 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 regular 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.