As Bathurst’s Central West Women’s Health Centre prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary, its executive officer stresses there is still much work to be done.
Erica Pitman says much has been achieved over the centre’s decades of existence, but there is “still a real need for the same sort of principles of care in the community”.
In particular, she says gender inequities and gender stereotyping remain, beginning from childhood, which have been shown, ultimately, to contribute to domestic violence.
“Let’s change the story and make a difference, which we can do as a community,” she said.
The William Street centre’s anniversary event in late October – titled “30 Years On … Let’s Change The Story” - will explore that theme.
It will feature a question and answer panel looking at the subject of empowering women and children.
Federal funding for women’s health initially came from the Whitlam Labor government, but the first steps towards the establishment of the centre in Bathurst came in 1984.
After a visit to Bathurst by the NSW Women’s Advisory Council in April that year, advertisements were placed in the local media to organise a meeting of concerned women in an attempt to gain better services for women in the area, and the Women’s Health Group was formed.
The group held a meeting to gauge interest in the establishment of a women’s health centre, which led to the preparation of a submission to the Federal Government for funding.
This submission was not successful, however, a reworked submission in 1985 was successful in gaining funding, which became available in 1986.
The group defined the legal aspects of incorporation and in February 1986 the 27 members elected office bearers and the association was registered.
In the early stages of development, the centre was housed in the premises used by the Family Workers Scheme. Subsequently, the notification of allocation for a permanent building was given by the Federal Government.
For six months, while awaiting the final renovation for the permanent residence at 20/22 William Street (owned by the Western Local Health District), the Women’s Health Centre leased premises at 140 Rankin Street.
The Central West Women’s Health Centre’s anniversary event will be held on Tuesday, October 25 at the Bathurst City Community Club.
Those who want to attend are asked to register (for catering and seating purposes) by Monday, October 17.
Phone 6331 4133 or email Erica at email@example.com