Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

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Case Study: Women’s Health Grampians

ProjectCoRE Hi Vis




Rural and regional Victoria Supporting women and girls in Victoria’s Central Highlands region to fill non-traditional workforce roles
Reducing inequality Implementing quality actions to improve gender diversity across a broad range of roles with a focus on trades and manufacturing
Building organisational capacity Working with organisations to ensure an equitable and positive culture for all employees
Collaboration and partnership Drawing on the local knowledge and expertise of the CoRE Alliance of 110 local members, Federation University, City of Ballarat and key local industries

Improving gender equality in the workforce across the Central Highlands

Significant skills shortages in manufacturing and construction are emerging in regional Victoria, but many women are facing structural, informal and formal barriers to workforce participation in these industries. This initiative will identify the barriers to women participating in traditionally male-dominated industries, and work with the CoRE Alliance, an established regional business and community network, to develop and implement strategies to overcome these challenges - for the women that want to work, and for the employers who need to grow a committed, skilled, local workforce.

Image WHG CoRE Hi Vis Project aims to support organisations to attract and retain women into non-traditional workforce roles. Photo credit: Michelle Dunn Photography

Women’s Health Grampians developed the ‘Communities of Respect and Equality’ (CoRE) Alliance, a network of 100+ local organisations, businesses, clubs, groups and networks in the Central Highlands region to address violence against women and children and to share a vision for safe, equal and respectful communities.

Building on the success of the CoRE Alliance, the CoRE Hi Vis project aims to reduce the gender gap in construction and manufacturing in the Central Highlands region by 5%. The long-term goal is to reach a critical mass where equitable roles, policies and structures become the norm through the actions of its members.


  • Determine the barriers and enablers to a gender-diverse workforce;
  • Provide training opportunities for women;
  • Develop professional resources to assist employers in recruiting and retaining women;
  • Work intensively with at least 15 medium and large local employers;
  • Monitor and evaluate progress;
  • Attract new CoRE employer members across target sectors;
  • Develop case studies of success stories to benchmark and promote best practice;
  • Build the CoRE Alliance to a level that will sustain the program.
  • The CoRE Alliance was developed through a previous HMSTrust grant to Women’s Health Grampians.


“We need to normalise women in trades and construction.” Brett Edgington, Secretary, Ballarat Regional Trades and Labour Council