Women’s Health Grampians has reviewed the successes of the past 12 months, and discussed building pathways to healthcare for Indigenous women, at a meeting this week.
The annual general meeting, at Ararat’s Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre on Wednesday, summarised the health organisation’s recent achievements.
One of these was the expansion of its CoRE Program.
CoRE stands for Communities of Respect and Equality and engages companies, clubs and networks with the aim of working together to prevent family violence.
The membership base has grown to more than 90 groups since its launch in 2016.
The organisation has also been working towards improving access to women’s sexual and reproductive health services across the Grampians region.
The organisation found there is currently no clear referral pathway for women needing assistance.
The health service has been conducting an unintended pregnancy study.
It also found 38 per cent of GPs surveyed indicated they referred the patient to another colleague due to a conscientious objection to abortion.
The study also examined barriers to the provision of medication for aborting early term pregnancies, with some of those barriers being financial, lack of access to timely ultrasounds and surgical backup options.
Across the Central Highlands region, work to engage sporting clubs in combating family violence has also been successful, with member clubs growing from three to 16 in the past 12 months.
The board also farewelled some members and welcomed new ones. Members farewelled included Talei Deacon, Katherine Cape and Leanne Greenwood. New members are Jude Channon and Frances Salenga.
Guest speakers talked about the challenges of accessing health and family violence services as Aboriginal women.
Women’s Health Grampians chief officer Marianne Hendron said the organisation aimed to continue to build on its work and continue to collaborate with the Aboriginal community.
“I think we were really happy with how today went in terms of the participation from the community, but most especially of the quality and the strength of our guest speakers,” she said.
“Women’s Health Grampians and other organisations that were here today are very keen and committed to support Aboriginal women and the community more generally in regards to a whole range of health issues and in regards to prevention of family violence.”
*A previous version of this article contained incorrect information. Women's Health Grampians have conducted a study into GP referral practices for unintended pregnancy.
The organisation said data, separate to their research, showed that about half of all women will experience an unplanned pregnancy in their lifetime.
The data showed about one in three women will seek an abortion at some stage in their life. More than 40 per cent of women having an abortion already have children.
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