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Awarded for service to Health, service to Human Rights
Entered on roll: 2011
The 1970s were a time of great social activism and change for women. This activism led to the establishment of feminist, community-based, women’s health centres throughout Australia. However, it was not until 1987, after much lobbying, that Tasmania received a small grant to organise a Women’s Health Forum, followed by 18 months funding to do research on cardiovascular issues for women. This work led to the establishment of the Hobart Women’s Health Centre.
The Centre initially operated from the Women’s Health Foundation building in Moonah, moving to ‘Weroona’ in Elizabeth Street in 1991 where it remained until November 2002. The Centre is now located in Lefroy Street, North Hobart.
Since its establishment, the Hobart Women’s Health Centre has taken a holistic approach to women’s health and has been at the forefront of taking health out of surgeries and into the community. The Centre acknowledges the impact of societal influences such as income, education, gender, sexual orientation and isolation on health outcomes for the individual.
The Centre has continuously lobbied for improved services and programs that meet women’s needs. Nutrition and body image programs; the Encore breast cancer program; support groups for endometriosis and lymphoedema sufferers; social groups for same-sex attracted women; and, programs for older women are just some examples of the breadth of the Centre’s work.
The Centre has also been a key advocate on issues such as a woman’s right to make informed choices about her own body, migrant and refugee women’s health, and the arts in health. The Centre has continued to lobby both State and Commonwealth governments on a range of policies that impact on women’s health.
The Hobart Women’s Health Centre continues to uphold the Women’s Health Services Principles with a commitment to providing outstanding women’s health services.