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Happy Healthy Women Update June 2011

In order to fund this research Associate Professor Jan Coles has applied for ARC and DECRA grant money. AFMW would partner Monash University for linkage in carrying out research and we are also seeking sponsorship from the private sector. Our project is now on the “Women Donors Network” site Online Project Showcase – a site that seeks to match women donors with transformative projects, of which ours is one. An RACGP grant is also been sought to fund a statistician to extract data from the Longitudinal Women’s Health Survey.

We are currently partnering with Professor Caroline Taylor, whom we commissioned to do our original research, as she seeks funding for a project to help doctors navigate the legal system. She is also the principle author of an article under consideration by the MJA based on the original research entitled “Toward an Integrated Model of Treatment for the Longterm Healthcare of Survivors of ST.” Our projects have also been submitted to the ACSSA Sexual Assault Research Project Register.

Since last writing, Jan Coles & I, as part of an Australian Women’s Coalition delegation, met Minister for the Status of Women Kate Ellis after she had launched Project RESPECT, a telephone counselling service available to women across Australia. We informed her of our ongoing work on the HHWNJS project and our belief that a policy that addresses the longterm health and wellbeing of survivors of sexual violence is needed.

Jan Coles & I were also privileged to represent AFMW/VMWS at a Parliamentary Roundtable on “Ending Gender-based Violence in the Asia-Pacific Region” on May 9th at Government House in Canberra. Based on presentations, the participants, including Australian Parliamentarians and Members of Parliament from Samoa and PNG, Ambassadors and High Commissioners throughout the region generated a series of recommendations for improving multi-sectorial responses to gender-based violence in the region to serve as a platform for future Australian and regional engagement.

I am delighted to announce that, in association with Associate Professor Angela Taft, a speaker at our National Summit, we sponsored the following recommendation: “To ensure that health professionals are trained and supported to recognise and respond sensitively to gender-based violence and the serious physical and psychological sequelae over a lifetime. They should know pathways to care for survivors and support services and be equipped to provide longterm care.”

Whilst in Canberra we also held fruitful talks with Ms Fiona Smart, who is leading the development and implementation of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and Ms Veronica Wensing, Manager, Office for Women, Canberra.

Please remember to lobby your connections about the importance of long-term service provision for the survivors of sexual assault, in particular your state’s Office for Women.


– Raie Goodwach, VMWS President

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