About Us

We focus on translating evidence into action; leading to positive change.

We are an independent, feminist, not-for-profit organisation committed to intersectionality, gender equality and best practice health promotion.

Women’s Health & Wellbeing Barwon South West is the lead organisation for this work in our region: which extends from Barwon to the South Australian border and covers nine local government areas.

WHWBSW was incorporated in 2011 following several years of collaboration to develop a dedicated organisation to advance the women’s health promotion agenda in this region.

The Barwon South West region was the final area within Victoria to be represented by a dedicated women’s health service – and is now one of nine across the state representing regional and metropolitan areas. The peak body for our sector is Gender Equity Victoria (Gen Vic).

Prior to this time, this work had been spread across a range of roles within varied organisations.

Victoria leads the nation in providing a network of coordinated women’s health services that cover the state.

The Victorian women’s health policy and health promotion landscape is strong and active, with a proud history of advocating for – and creating change, built up over many decades, and grounded in the work of pioneering feminists.

Victoria celebrated 40 years of women-led women’s health services in March 2018.

With a proven history of delivering in this area of health promotion expertise, much of the sector – including Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West – is now funded through the Victorian Government’s Department of Health & Human Services, through the Victorian Women’s Health Program. Victoria leads the nation in providing a network of coordinated women’s health services that cover the state.

The Victorian Women’s Health Program (VWHP) was established in 1980 following a broad consultation and report on women’s health needs. The principles outlined in the report included:

— The health and well-being of women is directly related to the social context in which women live their lives;
— Women should have equal access to all health services;
— Policy and programs should have recognition to the different health needs of women; and
— Women should be represented and able to participate equally in decision-making.

The sector is the direct result of many pioneering feminists who have advocated for, and created, change over many centuries.


We progress our work:

In partnership
We strive to create strong and strategic collaboration with partner organisations and the communities we serve, to both influence and strengthen our work

To make lasting change
We will use the best available evidence to:

— Understand the problems
— Draw from other successful work
— Plan comprehensive evaluation of our activities
— Influence our partners through collaborative work and advocacy

We will draw from best and promising practice health promotion to address the causes of violence and ill-health, primarily the social and economic determinants of health.

As feminists
We will take action to promote equality and challenge harmful gender norms

Recognising our differences
We will strive to give women opportunity

— We recognise that some women experience greater disadvantage and discrimination
— We will ensure women’s voices enrich our work

Adopt a human rights/social justice approach

We will strive to advocate for societal responsibility to influence sustainable change and to encourage community change.

Our region includes three traditional owner groups, the Gunditjmara People, the Eastern Marr People and the Wadawurrung People and nine Local Government Areas (LGAs). The G21 region includes City of Greater Geelong, Borough of Queenscliff, Surf Coast and Colac Otway Shires, and the Great South Coast (GSC) region includes the City of Warrnambool and Corangamite, Moyne, Glenelg and Southern Grampians Shires.

The estimated resident female population in the BSW region is approximately 190,500.

Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.