Women’s Health Goulburn North East is invested in supporting initiatives to nurture the mental health and wellbeing of women in flood affected communities in our region. 

The long-term impacts of disaster on rural and regional communities include adverse effects on health outcomes including mental health and wellbeing. These outcomes are also often compounded by a lack of access to services and support. 

In 2023, with funding from the State Government and a host of innovative initiatives within local communities, WHGNE has undertaken a number of activities to contribute to flood relief and the prevention and mitigation of mental health related impacts of disaster in northeast Victoria. 

WHGNE has provided several organisations within the northeast Victorian community with Flood Recovery Wellbeing Grants, supporting initiatives to improve the mental health and wellbeing of women in flood affected areas. Grant recipients include:

  • North East Women in Dairy -Women’s wellbeing and connection event
  • LINE Wangaratta – ‘Embracing Connections’ through art sessions
  • Cobram Community House -Women’s wellbeing and connection event
  • Benalla Saints Sports Club – replacement of equipment post floods
  • NCN Health – Mental Health First Aid courses for women in the Moira community
  • Euroa Arboretum – weaving workshops for healing women

With women’s wellness in mind, WHGNE has supported the following community led events: 

  • The Embrace Collective ‘Activate by Embrace’ event – Wodonga event  
  • Barmah Community event- Women’s Wellness lunch 
  • Shepparton women and children’s Zoo trip – Afghani community 
  • Shepparton women and children’s Zoo trip – Iraqi, Syrian and Congolese community 
  • EID Celebratory Event – Shepparton  
  • Shepparton Multicultural Women’s Wellness Day – health checks & information sessions  
  • Disaster Preparedness with emergency services for Shepparton multicultural women and families  
  • Murray/NE Women in Dairy – wellness event  

A total of 950 Resilience Packs have been distributed to Shepparton agencies and kindergartens for use in the community.

These packs are an initiative of Tots2Teens Albury Wodonga. They consist of items for a range of age groups to provide distraction, build connections and demonstrate that young people have not been forgotten during times of disaster and emergency.

Care through Disaster explored what it takes to ensure our communities are truly cared for before, during and after disaster with our partners, Australia reMADE.

We asked this question of our communities as part of the research project, listening to experiences and ideas with a view to compiling this lived experience data into a resource for communities, organisations and government to embed care in disaster work.

For more information visit Care through disaster – Women’s Health Goulburn North East (whealth.com.au).