Welcome to our May newsletter!
Hi there - I'm Adelaide Haynes and I commenced several months ago as Women's Health Matters Communications and Administration Officer. As Marcia is currently on leave, it's a pleasure to be providing an update on all of the wonderful things we've been up to for the month of May.
Despite temperatures dropping to below zero (something I, as a coastal woman, have been struggling with), things have been heating up in the Women's Health Matters Office with plenty of projects and initiatives taking place.
Women from Multicultural Backgrounds Focus Groups
We received an overwhelming response to our survey, hearing from women from multicultural backgrounds. Julia Tran will be conducting focus groups in the coming weeks to dive deeper into the experiences of women from multicultural backgrounds in accessing health services.
If you or someone you know is interested in participating in a focus group, please get in touch.
Women with Disabilities research
We have been working away at our social research project about women with disabilities' experience of health services, and their overall health and wellbeing.
This research has highlighted significant barriers to health services for women with disabilities in the ACT. Additionally, this research has highlighted psycho-social impairment as one of the main disabilities experienced by women and highlights the need for gender-specific responses in addressing mental health in a nuanced and individualised way.
The report is expected to be finalised in the coming weeks. A huge congratulations to Amber Hutchison and Nida Mollison who have worked incredibly hard on this important project.
Sexual Assault Survey
We also received an overwhelming response to our survey that aims to understand women's experiences of seeking help following a sexual assault. We have since used preliminary findings in discussions with Ministers and key stakeholders.
Pip Courtney-Bailey has been analyzing the data and we hope to circulate key findings in the coming weeks.
As we enter winter and flu season, ACT Health are advising women to talk to their GP about receiving a flu vaccine. While you're there, check your eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine. Remember these vaccines must be administered several weeks apart so chat to your GP, make a plan, and book your appointment today.
This month, I found myself absorbed in the conversation around burnout, particularly the story and experiences of Yumiko Kadota. Yumiko was working towards her dream of becoming a plastic surgeon when months of burnout led to her resignation. Earlier this year, she released her debut book Emotional Female that reflects on her journey navigating a toxic workplace, mental and physical health, and standing up for herself.
Amber and I attended an event this month brilliantly organised by the YWCA as part of their She Leads In Conversation Events, featuring a conversation between Yumiko Kadota and Rasi Gupta. The conversation tackled topics of stress, bullying, and burnout, with Kadota explaining what it is beautifully;
"Burnout is a failure of the system, not the person experiencing the burnout.” It is the result of a system that has failed to provide these flexible, meaningful, and supportive jobs to an employee; burnout is not typically the result of the employee being unequipped to handle the demands of the job. Burnout is also not characterised by age or experience level. Rather, it’s the failure of a workplace or career ecosystem to care for its employees."
After the stressful and uncertain 18 months we've all experienced, I invite you to read this book and start a conversation with your friends and colleagues. Not because I think you might be burnt out or overly stressed, but because it's always important to check in with yourself, with others and ask for help when we need it.
I hope you enjoy this book and the subsequent discussions you have as much as I enjoyed engaging with the event and the topic of looking after yourself in the workplace.
Keep an eye on our Facebook and Linkedin pages for more updates on our work and until next time, we wish everyone a safe, warm, and healthy start to Winter.