Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

Closing date for this current Grant Round is 31.05.2018 View Grant Dates

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Case Study: Women’s Health West

ProjectAction for Equity: A Sexual and Reproductive Health Plan for Melbourne’s West 2013-2017

Amount$196,333 over three years



This grant was approved under our previous grants policy (Jan 2014 – March 2017)
Supporting Indigenous Victoria Improve the sexual health of Indigenous youth in the western suburbs
Rural and regional Victoria Support women’s health services across Victoria by sharing transferable resources and evaluation findings
Building organisational capacity Build the capacity of partner organisations through policy and workforce development, training, governance and leadership, joint planning and evaluation, and resource sharing
Extending opportunity Improve the health and human rights of high risk disadvantaged members of the community
Collaboration and partnership Seventeen project partners including state and local government, youth and healthcare organisations

First comprehensive plan in Victoria to increase the sexual and reproductive health of disadvantaged communities

A four-year health promotion plan for Melbourne’s West is having significant impact on the future direction of sexual and reproductive health in Victoria by providing good practice models, expanding the research base and informing policy makers.

Image L-R: Health Promotion Workers Ngahina and Shukria, Women’s Health West CEO Robyn Gregory and Health Promotion Manager Elly Taylor, pictured with the Action for Equity Health Plan for Melbourne’s West.


2013 statistics for Melbourne’s west revealed that only 53% of youth practised safe sex; no publicly accessible condom vending machines; sexually transmissible infections had doubled between 2009-2011; high rates of sexual violence and unwanted pregnancies; and high rates of preventable illness among young people in the region. In response, Women’s Health West developed a four-year Action for Equity plan for Melbourne’s west in collaboration with seventeen cross-sector organisations.

  • Action for Equity aims to improve access to contraceptives, fertility control, Pap testing for disadvantaged women, treatment of sexually transmissible infections and to ensure that health services are youth, diversity and disability accessible.
  • Six discrete projects are being undertaken ranging from: health promotion to current and exiting women prisoners; sexuality education for young people with disability; installation of publicly accessible condom vending machines across 7 local government areas (LGAs); and delivery of sexual and reproductive health promotion theory and practice knowledge, as well as clinical and service-system knowledge in regard to fertility and pregnancy for medical practitioners.
  • An evaluation strategy is measuring process, impact and outcomes.
  • All project tools, resources and outcome findings will be disseminated and available through an online resource hub.


"Introducing 'Girls Talk, Guys Talk', to specialist schools is an exciting new phase of the project." Jo Richardson, Prevention Manager, cohealth