Projects —

We collaborate with a range of services and organisations around the region to create innovative projects uniquely tailored to the needs and aspirations of women in regional and rural Victoria.

Current projects

Read a synopsis of our current projects and find links to specific project resources and websites

Whether it’s climate impacts like fire and flood or a global pandemic, disaster is no longer unprecedented. So what do we need to care for each other well – before, during and after a disaster?

This is the question we’re asking, in partnership with our favourite visionary alliance of leaders, thinkers and practitioners at AUSTRALIA REMADE , for a research project about what’s needed to keep our communities safe and thriving in a disaster-prone world.

Between now and the end of July, we’ll be talking with as many people as possible in our communities to explore how we can better set ourselves up to care and be cared for well, especially during times of deep disruption.

We want you to get involved! Learn more here.

The Gendered Data and Planning resource for local government demonstrates the value of sex-disaggregated data and by applying a gender lens, highlights priority areas for men, women and gender-diverse people, specific to our region.

Incorporating gender as a key consideration in health and wellbeing planning will prepare local government to meet their new requirements under the Gender Equality Act 2020.

This short video presentation elaborates on the development of this resource, and explains how it might be used by local government and other bodies to best effect.

WHGNE has also developed a Gender Equity Snapshot for each local government area. Each Gender Equity Snapshot applies a tailored gender lens to education, workforce participation and safety and may be used in conjunction with the Planning Resource.

Alpine Shire Gender Equity Snapshot

Benalla Rural City Gender Equity Snapshot

Greater Shepparton Gender Equity Snapshot

Indigo Shire Gender Equity Snapshot

Mansfield Shire Gender Equity Snapshot

Mitchell Shire Gender Equity Snapshot

Moira Shire Gender Equity Snapshot

Murrindindi Shire Gender Equity Snapshot

Strathbogie Shire Gender Equity Snapshot

Towong Shire Gender Equity Snapshot

Rural City of Wangaratta Gender Equity Snapshot

City of Wodonga Gender Equity Snapshot

Find all our Gendered Data and Planning resources for local government here.

The Storylines project began in 2019 to collect lived experience data from women living in the Goulburn North East and Loddon Mallee areas, around sexual and reproductive healthcare in a rural and regional context.

You can peruse the stories we collected in this first iteration of Storylines here.

In 2023 WHGNE and project partners Women’s Health Loddon Mallee (WHLM) have renewed and expanded the project, newly named Long Sory Short: Reshaping the narrative of women’s sexual and reproductive health, to include the diverse voices of women and gender diverse people in our regions, through the collection of stories, a Community Advisory Group and consultation with health professionals working in the area of sexual and reproductive health. This qualitative work is being supported by quantative data collection on our behalf by Bendigo Health.

The Long Story Short project is currently conducting focus groups to gather lived-experience perspectives on how to improve sexual and reproductive health. You can join a focus group in either Shepparton, Yea or Wodonga through the Long Story Short page, or submit your perspective online.

This multidirectional approach to understanding the sexual and reproductive healthcare landscape, with community voices at its heart, will contribute to advocacy and the development of resources for improved access and education around SRH in our communities.

The WOMHEn project (which stands for ‘workforce of multilingual health educators network’), aims to address the barriers faced by migrant and refugee women when accessing health related information, aided by in-language health educators in communities across Victoria.

This project has been a collaboration between the wider Victorian Women’s Health Services, spearheaded by Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health, with funding from the Department of Health.

In it’s third iteration in the 2023-2024 year, the WOMHEn project is on track to improve health equity in our region and around the state by broadening access for women from diverse migrant and refugee communities.

You can read more about the WOMHEn project here.

With funding from the State Government and a host of innovative initiatives within local communities, WHGNE is undertaking a number of activities to contribute to flood relief and the prevention and mitigation of mental health related impacts of disaster in northeast Victoria. 

Seven recipients from the region have received Flood Recovery Wellbeing Grants through WHGNE and we are supporting a number of events fostering the wellbeing of diverse communities in northeast Victoria.

The Care through Disaster research project will contribute to the understanding of what women and communities need before, during and after disaster. WHGNE has also contributed to disseminating resilience packs, designed to foster the wellbeing of children and young people who have been impacted by floods.

Read more about flood recovery in the northeast.

Crises such as the 2019-20 bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic unfairly impact women’s health and wellbeing, with pre-existing gendered social inequalities being highlighted as women have taken on a greater share of additional care responsibilities for children, other family members and at-risk community members.

This has contributed to an observed ‘triple load’ during the crises, including paid work, care work and the mental labour of worrying in the wake of disaster.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, women were more likely than men to report feeling ‘nervous’ and that ‘everything was an effort’ at least some of the time. Women have also reported increased psychological distress, reduced life satisfaction and heightened feelings of anxiety and worry, compounding existing inequalities for mental health between women and men. 

This special project aims to further understand the experiences of women living in smaller, rural communitie through bushfire and COVID-19 recovery by gathering community stories. It aims to explore how women are connecting with community and any key barriers to social connection in order to inform WHGNE’s ongoing advocacy and support for women’s mental wellbeing.

Click here to learn more about the Community Minded: Women’s Mental Wellbeing project, and to find out how you can be involved.

The Women Gathering model was developed by Women’s Health Goulburn North East in 2006-08 in response to the ongoing drought in the Hume region. Originally called Women Gathering In Dry Times, the model was adapted in response to the 2009 bushfires. 

Women Gathering Online (2021) is the next iteration of this project. Women Gathering has always been an in-person model of working and this will continue. However, while restrictions around COVID-19 may finally be lifting, the possibilities around gathering online have broadened. In rural Victoria, people are finding it easier (both physically and attitudinally) to connect online both within their local communities and with those outside of geographic boundaries. The current project is reviewing the previous work and adapting the model for online delivery and pilot an online gathering.

Find the Women Gathering resources developed to date here.

In late 2019, Women’s Health Goulburn North East partnered with The Wheeler Centre to deliver a series of literary events, forums and shows to roll out across Goulburn and north-east Victoria. Designed to showcase the power of regional arts, festivals and event programming to platform the cultural change towards gender equality that we want to see in our towns and cities, the events (like so many events during the period 2020-2021) took a little longer to deliver than planned.

Between 2019 and 2021, we hosted four events, with our fifth and final event, The Gender Binary and Beyond, due to be held on 28 September 2021.

UPDATED 1/6/21: After 13 years of providing No Interest Loans (NILS) to women who need temporary financial support, Women’s Health Goulburn North East is discontinuing its NILS program.

If you have clients that you’d like to refer for a NIL, please refer them to:

  • Good Shepherd’s website for more information or to find a NILS provider near you;
  • the NILS hotline on 13NILS (13 64 57) 5 days a week for more information or to apply for a loan;
  • For those who have recently experienced family and domestic violence, contact the FDV NILS team five days week on 1300 031 001 or email


Women’s Health Goulburn North East was the first women’s health service in Australia to implement a specific No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) for women experiencing or exiting family violence, in addition to our general No Interest Loan Scheme for women on low incomes.

In recent years, the NILS program has expanded across Australia and there are a significantly greater number of providers now than in 2008. WHGNE has helped to shape the newly implemented central domestic violence ‘hotline’ run by GSM. The loan application requirements under this program are less stringent for women seeking assistance via this program. And very recently, the Neighbourhood House network formed a partnership with GSM and is able to refer for NILS loans. This is significant extra access to NILS loans for women in our region.

Courageous Conversations encourages individuals and organisations to have conversations that challenge sexist comments, discrimination and disrespectful behaviour.

Through these discussions and actions, we can create a culture that is free from rigid gender stereotypes, and a community where all men and women, and boys and girls, feel safe, included and respected.

Watch this video to learn more about the Courageous Conversations campaign.

Find the Courageous Conversations resources here

CENTSable was an online resource to support workers in the community sector working with women accessing the No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS), experiencing financial abuse, or seeking assistance with personal financial management.

Watch this video from the former CENTSable website for a brief introduction to this project, the types of resources available and how practitioners might use these resources.

Find the CENTSable project page here

Storylines: Her Voice Matters is a collaborative project by Women’s Health Goulburn North East, Women’s Health Loddon Mallee and Murray PHN that invites women to share their experiences of sexual and reproductive health.  

Each story becomes part of a bigger story that will help build a picture of how we can improve the quality, access, and type of health support for women.

Sexual and reproductive health is an important issue for all women, affecting them at every life stage, and influences how women develop and maintain meaningful relationships, appreciate their bodies, interact with others, express affection, love, and intimacy and by choice, bear children (WHV, 2016).

A woman’s sexual and reproductive health is influenced by her access to affordable and timely information and services.

It can be about :

  • sex education

  • periods

  • sexually transmitted infections

  • contraception

  • polycystic ovarian syndrome

  • endometriosis

  • libido

  • fertility support

  • all-options pregnancy support

  • termination of pregnancy

  • childbirth

  • prenatal and postnatal support

  • cancer screening (breast/cervical)

  • menopause & peri-menopause; and

  • other issues that affect a womans health.

What does the project involve?

Storytelling is the universal tool that enables humans to express, understand and connect. It helps us to process and express feelings, and make meaning from our experience. Visual storytelling uses images which can help us find the words to share our experience.

Storytelling has been chosen because it is accessible for all women and deepens our connection to who we are. Her Voice Matters provides different ways for you to tell and share your story.

What will happen to my story?

Your story will be used to tell us where things are working well and where things are not working well. As we gather experiences of women from across our region we will have a clear picture of what women really need in order to have great sexual and reproductive health.

You can share your story on the Storylines website or download the Her Voice Matters Pack from the website and email your story to us. Your experience will become an important part of future changes to Women’s Health services in our region.

How can I be involved?

Visit the Storylines website to find out more about contributing your story.

We will always treat your experiences with understanding, respect, kindness, and confidentiality.

Find the Storylines: Her Voice Matters stories contributed so far here

Making Two Worlds Work is an initiative that aims to build the capacity of the health and community sector to work effectively and respectfully with Aboriginal communities.

It is a collaboration between Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation and Women’s Health Goulburn North East, supported by the Upper Hume Primary Care Partnership and Wodonga Regional Health Service.

The project focuses on creating and making available:

  • Locally produced Aboriginal artwork and images that health services could display in their agencies;
  • Accessible information about local Aboriginal history and culture, protocols, key organisations and contacts; and
  • Resources to support health services in their work with Aboriginal clients, families and community.

Find the Making Two Worlds Work resources here.

Gender & Disaster (GAD) Australia (formerly the Gender and Disaster Pod) is an initiative of two Victorian Women’s Health organisations, Women’s Health Goulburn North East (WHGNE) and Women’s Health In the North (WHIN),working in partnership with the Monash University Disaster Resilience Initiative (MUDRI).

Gender and Disaster Australia was formally established in 2015 to promote an understanding of the role played by gender in survivor responses to natural disaster, and to embed these insights into emergency management practice.

Gender and Disaster Australia will build on the many initiatives emerging from foundational research conducted by WHGNE researchers Debra Parkinson and Claire Zara following the 2009 Black Saturday fires in Victoria. These initiatives include:

  • The development of a range of practice based resources
  • Hosting the first conference on natural disasters and family violence in 2012, followed by a subsequent conference on men and natural disaster in 2013;
  • Involvement in the establishment of the Gender & Disaster Taskforce — an Australian first—in 2014. The purpose of the Taskforce is to provide ‘statewide strategic direction and leadership to reduce the compounding effects of gender on disaster impacts’.

Watch this video for an overview of why gender matters when it comes to disaster.

Visit the Gender and Disaster Australia website