WHAV looks forward to a Victoria free from family violence


WHAV looks forward to a Victoria free from family violence
Victoria’s peak body for women’s health, safety and wellbeing congratulates the Victorian government on standing strong on their commitment to all 227 recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence. The Women’s Health Association of Victoria (WHAV) believes the unprecedented investment of $1.9B will go a long way to making the difference that is needed for women and children experiencing violence to get the service responses they need to live free from violence.

WHAV is pleased to see a strong focus on improving family violence responses within culturally diverse, LGBTI and Aboriginal populations. We are also impressed with the investment in building the capacity of the family violence and social services workforces to prevent and respond to family violence.

WHAV Convenor, Kristine Olaris says “To end violence against women we need long term, coordinated action to change the social structures, norms and cultures that enable and support violence against women and children. Gender equality is the key.”

WHAV welcomes the inclusion of $50.7M in the budget to prevent family violence, which includes the implementation of today’s exciting release, the Free From Violence prevention strategy. It also funds a new state-wide independent Family Violence Prevention Agency to oversee the work in prevention. This is an important mechanism to ensure the longevity of this vital prevention focus beyond government cycles. The budget also includes $5.9M to implement Safe and Strong; A Victorian Gender Equality Strategy.

WHAV see these investments in prevention as an important show of the State government’s commitment to ending family violence in Victoria. We anticipate and will welcome additional funds in subsequent years to ensure the full implementation of the Safe and Strong, and Free From Violence strategies.
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Media enquiries: Kristine Olaris, WHAV Convenor, 9851 3700 or kolaris@whe.org.au

Who is the WHAV?
The Women’s Health Association of Victoria (WHAV) is the peak body for women’s health, safety and wellbeing across Victoria. WHAV represents the nine regional and two state-wide women’s health organisations (Women’s Health Victoria and the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health) funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. WHAV membership also includes Victorian specialist women’s organisations; Women with Disabilities Victoria, Positive Women and WIRE.

In order to improve health outcomes for women, our current key priorities include the prevention of violence against women, the promotion of gender equity and women’s sexual and reproductive health.

Regional women’s health services have been leading Prevention of Violence Against Women Action Plans in every metropolitan and rural region across the State, with support from other WHAV members.

WHAV: The women’s health peak body with specialist expertise, state-wide reach and a
regional focus

World Congress on Public Health- Field Visit to MCWH (7th April 2017)

On the 3-7th April, the 15th World Congress on Public Health was held in Melbourne. During this time, The Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health (MCWH) hosted a field visit where we were fortunate enough to welcome and meet like-minded, passionate people from all over the world, including fellow Australians who are leaders in their field on health and wellbeing.

We had the opportunity to talk with visitors who specifically selected our organisation as part of their visit to Melbourne, including: Indigenous Allied Health, UCLA World Policy Analysis Centre, Umea University, The University of Western Australia, The University of Connecticut- Women & Health, School of Public Health-Sydney University, University of Papua New Guinea, Central Michigan University, Lagos State University, The University of Melbourne, Breastscreen Victoria and Alcohol and Drug Foundation, Victoria.

Some of MCWH’s resources on show and available at the library

Joyce Jiang, Health Promotions Manager, welcomed the delegates and gave an overview of the work and the various programs and projects undertaken at MCWH. Joyce spoke about the ongoing drive behind our organisation that started over 35 years ago and how we continue to use the same approach to delivering health information, research, health education and training to migrant and refugee women all over Australia.

Amira Rahmanovic, Health Education Program Manager, shared her experience and boundless energy about the health education sessions we conduct in multicultural communities across Victoria. Our Bilingual Health Educators Manasi Wagh-Nikam and Yanping Xu had the opportunity to speak on behalf of the dynamic Bilingual Educator’s team and share their own experiences of facilitating sessions using the peer educator’s model approach.

Monique Hameed, National Training Officer, spoke of the impact and the complexities of the term ‘cultural competence’ and challenged this term, citing how her training program looks beyond cultural competence. Medina Idriess, who has been a constant ambassador and FARREP worker for the Family and Reproductive Education Program for over 20 years, also spoke about her role at MCWH. In her role Medina has been an integral part of the changes and education that have taken place all over the world in the practice of Female Genital Cutting. Medina retold the story of when the controversial conversation about female genital cutting first started in Victoria and the implications for our work in the education and prevention of this practice today.

Manasi addresses the delegates

Manasi addresses the delegates

The delegates learning about MCWH

The delegates learning about MCWH








We would like to thank everybody at the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health for being such an integral part of the day and we would also like to sincerely thank our new friends who took the time to find out a bit more about the uniqueness of our work at MCWH. After meeting the delegates on the day, it is inspiring to be sitting on a platform with people who share a similar, if not the same philosophy, of supporting migrant and refugee women and their health on a global level.