GenWest’s work to improve the health and wellbeing of communities in Melbourne’s west received a welcome boost in the Victorian State Budget this week.
Victoria’s women’s health services, of which there are 12, will receive $19.4 million over two years to continue their vital work to promote health and wellbeing and prevent family violence. Kate Phillips, GenWest’s Interim CEO said:
"GenWest are delighted and relieved to receive the government’s announcement of additional funding for women’s health services. This is the first funding increase we’ve seen for our primary prevention work in over 30 years. This increase in funding will allow us to reach many more communities in Melbourne’s west with our vital health, safety and wellbeing programs over the coming two years. We again express the need for this to becoming ongoing core health promotion funding in future.
We applaud the State Government for the delivery of Victoria’s first gender-responsive budget. Victorian women were hit hardest by the pandemic, and critical funding for gender equity, family violence and women’s health will contribute to ensuring a recovery that is equitable. We were delighted to see Women with Disabilities Victoria included as part of the Victorian Women’s Health funding, and are maintaining advocacy to ensure the needs of Aboriginal women and LGBTIQA+ communities are also prioritised."
In 2021, GenWest’s health promotion and prevention programs reached nearly 65,000 people in the west, including running groups for socially isolated people with disabilities, training health professionals to identify and respond to family violence or female genital cutting, and providing health information sessions for migrant and refugee communities.
Funding for this work has not kept pace with population growth, demographic changes or emerging health challenges. The population of Melbourne’s west has grown by over 20 percent over the past five years, and continues to grow rapidly. Despite this growth, GenWest’s health promotion programs had not received an increase in core funding since they were established in 1988.
This additional funding will allow us to reach more individuals and communities in Melbourne’s west. Visit the 'what we do' section of our website to find out more about our programs and services.
Resources for more information:
- Victorian Council of Social Services: Breaking down the 2022 Victorian Budget
- GenVic: State Budget 22/23 – Welcome steps forward for recovery and resilience
- Premier for Victoria: A Safer Future And More Support For Victorian Women
- Women's Agenda: ‘Historically significant’: Victoria delivers first gender-responsive budget
- Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health: A welcome boost to equity and wellbeing for migrant and refugee women