WOMEN’S Healthworks History (WHW)
WOMEN’S Healthworks is one of 12 Women’s health centres across metropolitan and regional Western Australia. Some of these centres have provided services by women for women since the early seventies. All provide a unique, holistic, woman-centered approach to primary health care provision, blending medical and clinical services with a range of counselling, health promotion, education, self-help and consumer advocacy services that respond to the needs of women.
The rationale for a women’s health centre in the northern suburbs was to assist in meeting the health needs of women in the fastest growing area of Perth. The general demographics of the region showed the population to be isolated by geographic and transport factors with families often living under significant financial stress. Also, many women living in this area were born overseas, resulting in a high likelihood of limited family networks.
After years of negotiating the Whitford Women’s Health Centre (WWHC) opened its doors in September 1989 under the auspice of Women’s Health Care Association. It began with a staff of three women – Coordinator, Nurse Practitioner and Receptionist/Information Officer – each employed for twenty hours per week.
WWHC’s aim was to enhance women’s health and wellbeing by providing a drop-in facility where information could be shared and referrals made, health education groups conducted and self-esteem and responsibility promoted, plus clinical services provided which focused on women’s sexual health. A doctor was appointed on a sessional basis in February 1990.
In May 1990, WWHC became autonomous, developing its own constitution, philosophy and plans. Over the next ten years, WWHC outgrew two premises, the original site at the Jean Beadle Centre in 1994, and then Endeavour House in 1999.
In March 1999, WWHC changed its location and its name, and WOMEN’S Healthworks (WHW) came into existence in Joondalup Lotteries House.
In July 2014, WOMEN’s Healthworks joined with Womens Health and Family Services Northbridge. Over the coming year the services of each organisation will become more integrated, with staff and programs from Northbridge being made available at the Joondalup offices, as well as Women’s Healthworks staff and programs coming to Northbridge.
Our 21st Booklet, “Celebrating 21 years 1989 – 2010” provides you with a brief history of our organisation.
WOMEN’S Healthworks files have been archived at the State Library of Western Australia. This enables future generations to have access to our history.