WOMEN’S Health Grampians will share in $3.8 million from the state government to continue its violence prevention work.
The government last week launched its First Action Plan, which included a four-year funding commitment for regional and statewide women’s health services across Victoria.
Each service will receive $100,000 in the first year.
Grampians group chief executive Marianne Hendron said she was delighted something the group and the sector had long advocated for was being realised.
“We've been saying for years we need an ongoing commitment rather than project funding, which we've had up to now,” she said.
“It’s fantastic they've indicated four years of funding, but we are still unsure about our amount – that’s the thing we're most keen to know, as we need to be able to plan ahead.
“Ongoing funding allows us to recruit and give staff some certainty, and put strategies in place.
“In the meantime we'll put the $100,000 to work and continue to promote the need for a long-term co-ordinated approach, and advocate to ensure the funding matches the need.”
Ms Hendron said the first-year funding would allow the organisation to progress its Communities of Respect and Equality work.
Women’s Health Grampians launched its CORE plan in 2016, designed to provide a framework for organisations, businesses and clubs in the Grampians region to prevent violence against women and their children.
“At the moment we have 75 organisations that have signed up to be part of the CORE alliance,” Ms Hendron said.
“We've done some numbers and $100,000 enables us to provide support to roughly 40 organisations in terms of delivering CORE.
“We commit to supporting the alliance members in undertaking actions and change within their organisation, and every cent we get is invested in the delivery of that plan.
“Organisations are very keen to work in this space. There is an awful lot of interest and enthusiasm – in a very serious way.
“They are keen to take up training opportunities and meaningful actions around processes in their organisations to bring about gender equality.”
Women's Health Victoria executive director Rita Butera said the state government commitments were exciting.
“It's fantastic the women's health sector has been acknowledged as a key player in prevention of violence,” she said.
“We're also excited about the new prevention agency the government has committed to. We're waiting to hear more details on that.”