On 5 September Women’s Health Queensland Wide Inc (Women's Health) reached an important milestone - 30 years of providing health information and education services to the women of Queensland. By Kirsten Braun
The organisation was initially a collective, formed in October 1982. In September 1985, the organisation became incorporated under the name Brisbane Women’s Community Health Centre Inc. Services were provided through a mixture of small grants, donations from trade unions, pledges from individual women and fundraising efforts. In 1987, funding was secured under the Women’s Health Development Program (WHDP). In November of that year, the organisation held the Queensland Women’s Health Forum, attended by 400 people. The forum was part of the consultation process for the National Women’s Health Policy, which was released in 1989. In the same year the organisation received funding under the National Women’s Health Program for an initial period of three years.
Following the employment of grant-in-aid (GIA) workers in the late eighties, the organisation continued to play a role in multicultural health. The Having a Baby in Queensland publication was translated into eight different languages.
In 1997, following an extensive strategic planning process, the organisation changed its name to Women’s Health Queensland Wide Inc to reflect its broadened statewide role. At this time, the organisation also shifted its direction to become more of an information agency, publishing its own factsheets and booklets and launching a website. Factsheets on menopause and hormone replacement therapy, infertility and endometriosis were among the first topics.
In 2000, the organisation used videoconferencing to deliver a health education seminar on menopause from Toowoomba to 11 other rural and remote sites in Queensland. With the purchase of our own equipment, a regular videoconference program was established. Between 2000-2005 over 1500 people participated in the videoconference program at over 90 sites.
In 2004, Women’s Health produced a booklet on postnatal disorders, the first of several resources directed at pregnant women and new mothers. This was followed by a booklet Looking After You: A New Mum’s Guide to Feeling Great in 2009. This booklet, aimed at providing new mothers with information on eating well and physical activity, was updated this year. An indigenous version of the booklet, Looking After You: The Deadly Mum’s Guide to Feeling Great was also produced providing similar information for Indigenous Australian mums.
In 2007, Women’s Health’s quarterly publication, Health Journey, was reviewed and the style changed from an organisational newsletter to a full colour magazine featuring up-to-date women’s health information.
In 2013, Women’s Health continues its focus on pregnant women and new mothers by establishing the Midwife Check-in service. The service offered regular phone calls from a nurse-midwife to women in the perinatal (during pregnancy and after birth) period.
In 2014, the organisation moved premises from 165 Gregory Terrace, Spring Hill to its current location on 68 Anderson Street, Fortitude Valley.
Last updated: November 2015