Women and girls are respected, safe and healthy and experience full participation and equality in their lives.
We work to improve the physical, mental and social health and wellbeing of women and girls and advocate for positive change for women in the community and the health system.
Respect Women involved with our Centre are treated with respect and dignity.
Equity We focus on women and girls who are at high risk or have special needs, and we stand with women in their struggle for justice, safety and equality.
Compassion We provide a caring, non-judgemental and person- centred approach to service delivery that responds to each woman’s individual circumstances.
Integrity Honesty, transparency and trustworthiness are foundational to the professionalism of our board, staff and volunteers and our relationships with clients, other services and donors.
Diversity We value and respect women’s racial, cultural and sexual diversity and strive for excellence in being a culturally competent and inclusive service provider.
Recognition And Reconciliation We value and recognise the heritage and history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and are committed to advancing healing, reconciliation and justice for Indigenous Australian
Our Approach to Women’s Health
We operate from a feminist perspective. This means we understand and value women’s life experiences and recognise the continued discrimination and structural inequality they face in their communities and Australian society. It also means we see an ongoing need for a gendered analysis and approach to health, empowerment of women and girls and strong advocacy for gender equity and women’s rights.
We embrace a social view of health, as framed by the World Health Organisation, and reflected in Australian federal and state health policies. This view recognises health status is shaped by the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. Factors such as financial security, affordable housing, education, employment, disability, racism, locational disadvantage, gender inequality and discrimination based on sexual identity and preferences impact individual health outcomes and cause health inequalities.
Our feminist beliefs and this social view of health shape our approach to women’s health and they underscore why our focus on marginalised and disadvantaged women and girls is so important. Illawarra Women’s Health Centre is a nationally accredited community health service. We are committed to excellence in service delivery and continuous quality improvement and learning, guided by national standards and research relevant to our field
The Centre recognises, respects and values the diversity of its staff, clients and the community in which it operates. The Centre aims to identify important and significant cultural groups within the region and implement strategies to meet their needs. The Centre also aims to accommodate the specific needs of clients who experience disadvantage and increased disease risk whether due to socioeconomic factors, Aboriginality, experience of violence or sexuality. Many clients have compounded disadvantage owing to educational or literacy issues, cultural background or disability.
Sue Dignan – Domestic and family violence adviser
Dr Karen Williams – Mental health adviser
Helen Volk – Legal adviser