WHGNE strives towards a future where rural and regional women of all ages have optimal health and wellbeing. Our work is health promotion – put simply this is action on the things that shape health, beyond individual choices. Our focus is on dismantling the social, economic and political inequality between women, men and non-binary communities through advocating for change to policy, law, regulation and social norms.
In December 2023, the Hon. Ged Kearney MP launched Australia’s first National Health and Climate Strategy (the Strategy). WHGNE commends the Minister and the Federal Government for this National Health and Climate Strategy. Recognising the health and wellbeing impacts of climate change is critical. The call to action is urgent and resounding. The vision, ‘Healthy, climate resilient communities, and a sustainable, resilient, high quality, net zero health system’ is ambitious and necessary.
In August 2023, as part of the Consultation process, WHGNE called for an expansion of the then draft Strategy (Our submission) a call to go further; broaden the understanding of health as a resource and a right; recognise and address inequity as an enduring impediment to climate justice; and elevate the role of First Nations people. Overwhelmingly our recommendations are captured in this final Strategy, providing a robust and evidence informed way forward.
Safe-guarding and promoting health underpins this Strategy, which will assist in mitigating and adapting to climate change, and nudge deeply entrenched inequity that currently sees some communities carrying a larger burden of the climate change health impact.
WHGNE wholeheartedly commends the Government for the development of this Strategy, and its clear commitment to evidence, equity and health system reform. We would like to see this Strategy inform decision making and funding going forward. Critically an adequately funded health system would be able to provide quality healthcare that includes action to prevent chronic disease, along with strides towards decarbonisation and reductions in emissions.