We are committed to promoting a strategic and coordinated state-wide approach to enabling women to live safe, well and economically secure. We support strategies and implementation plans that are tailored to the diverse needs of different groups of women and the particular demographics of specific communities and regions.
The work undertaken by the Women’s Community Health Network is guided by a recognition that health is primarily affected by the social determinants of health; with gender being a particularly powerful one. This understanding of the social determinants of health is reflected throughout our strategic planning.
The Women’s Community Health Network’s priority areas are strategically aligned and leverage off Federal and State policy frameworks. This approach ensures that WCHN’s work supports the current policy agenda; while partaking, where possible, in purposeful implementation processes and activities to ensure that the lived realities of disadvantaged women in Western Australia are effectively and meaningfully responded to.
The suite of State and Federal policy frameworks that WCHN is guided by and directly impact on its work include, most notably, the Western Australian Women’s Health Strategy 2013-2017; the National Women’s Health Policy 2010; The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022; Western Australia’s Family and Domestic Violence Prevention Strategy to 2022. The Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) commitment to mental health reform outlined in The Roadmap for Mental Health Reform 2012-2022 also informs the work of WCHN as will the Western Australian ten year plan for mental health and alcohol and other drug services. Other Government documents and information, such as Improving Maternity Services: Working together across Western Australia: A Policy Framework (January 2008) are also utilised.
The Network’s activities around connecting services and building partnerships are aligned with the State Government’s Partnership Forum Strategic Plan – Future Directions 2014-15. The intention of the Plan is to improve outcomes for Western Australians through government and non-government partnerships in the policy, planning and delivery of community services in Western Australia. The Community Partnership Forum promises a more co-ordinated approach to address underlying problems and catalyst issues.
Data informing WCHN’s work
The work of the Women’s Community Health Network is informed by the highest standard of evidence and research available from both national and international sources. WCHN also conducts its own research in order to have localised data that reflects the lived realities of women in Western Australia. Furthermore, information is gathered from service providers and women in the community to inform WCHN’s efforts to influence policies and services to improve the outcomes for women in Western Australia.