Who we are

Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health (MCWH) is a national, community-based organisation which is led by and for women from immigrant and refugee backgrounds. We are committed to advancing the health and wellbeing of immigrant and refugee women, through our research, leadership, education and advocacy: our experiences, our stories and our voices.

Our vision is to be the national voice for immigrant and refugee women’s wellbeing in Australia.

MCWH works together with immigrant and refugee women, community organisations, health practitioners, employers, communities and governments to build and share knowledge, achieve equity and improve health and wellbeing for immigrant and refugee women.

Find out more about our work by viewing or downloading our 2017 Annual Report (PDF).

Our approach

MCWH follows a feminist, peer-education and research model where women's knowledge and experience is valued and respected.

Expert bilingual health educators facilitate health education sessions within their shared communities and in their shared languages. Our multilingual women's health library supports our education messages and is free for women to access and request information.

MCWH’s unique approach is shaped by the lived experiences and perspectives of immigrant and refugee women, who we place at the centre of our work.

MCWH employs an intersectional and feminist based approach to health, which acknowledges the complexity of women’s lives and identities in the context of social and systemic oppression including gender, racial, ethnic or religious identity, ability, socio-economic position, sexuality, age and immigration status.

You can view or download a PDF version of the MCWH Quality Standards that underpin our approach to health education and training here.

Our strategic direction

MCWH is guided by a positive vision of the future for immigrant and refugee women’s health and wellbeing and a belief that the stories women share with one another today significantly contribute to imagining that future. MCWH continues to be guided by current knowledge and to be responsive to the dynamic needs of immigrant and refugee women.

Our goal from 2016-2020 is to magnify, focus and celebrate our significant and positive impact on immigrant and refugee women’s health and wellbeing across Australia.

You can download a printable PDF version of our vision, mission, values and approach by clicking here or view it online in flipbook version.

Strategic Plan Flipbook 2016-2020

Our history

In 2018 it will be 40 years since the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health was first established in 1978. Originally named Action for Family Planning (AFP), MCWH was formed in response to research that showed that immigrant and refugee women’s had limited access to multilingual health education about contraception, which hindered their capacity to make informed reproductive choices. A public forum of over 200 women, held at Monash University in 1977, called for a multilingual peer education program that visited immigrant and refugee women in factories, heralding MCWH’s existence.

From its beginnings as a Factory Visiting Program, MCWH has continued to grow and learn by acting on research while valuing the lived experiences and expertise of immigrant and refugee women. The welcome daughter of women’s research and activism, MCWH’s unique legacy is a growing evidence base for immigrant women’s health that is guided by immigrant and refugee women’s leadership.

You can read a more detailed history of the organisation by viewing or downloading a PDF document here.