Newsletter - January 2021

Women's Health Matters January Newsletter

Welcome to our January newsletter.

Welcome to our first newsletter for 2021. It feels like we all just got back from our Christmas break, and now January is almost over. 

Now that the new year is underway and we are able to get out and about, it's important to take time to schedule those essential women’s health checks that we put aside during COVID-19. Read more in the article from Jean Hailes about what health checks you need. 

And if you have been enjoying using the e-scooters locally, you should check out the advice below on the laws that apply to their use to keep you safe.

2021 is a big year for us as we celebrate the year of our 30th Birthday! We are already planning for April (our Birthday month) so we look forward to sharing more with you as we celebrate!

Email Women's Health Matters
Women and this week's awards
Thirty-three Australians were listed as finalists in the Australian of the Year awards across the four award categories (Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year, Young Australian of the Year and Australia’s Local Hero), and for only the second time in the history of the awards, women won all four Australian of the Year categories. The winners were:
  • Australian of the year: 26-year-old advocate from Tasmania, Grace Tame, who fought for a voice for survivors of sexual assault has been named Australian of the Year. As a victim of sustained abuse, she took on the restrictive Tasmanian legal system to win the right to publicly share her traumatic experience.
  • Senior Australian of the Year: Aboriginal activist, educator and artist Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann, from Daly River in the Northern Territory. The 73-year-old is an elder, writer and public speaker. In 1975 she became the Territory’s first fully-qualified Aboriginal teacher. In 2013, she established the Miriam Rose Foundation to bridge the divide between Aboriginal culture and mainstream society.
  • Young Australian of the Year: Social entrepreneur Isobel Marshall, 22, from Adelaide. At age 18, she co-founded TABOO with a school friend to break down stigma around menstruation and providing greater access to hygiene products to help women around the world. TABOO sells women’s hygiene products in Australia, with profits going to One Girl – a charity providing education programs for girls and women in Sierra Leone and Uganda.
  • Australia’s Local Hero: Advocate for migrant and refugee women, Rosemary Kariuki, 60, from Oran Park, NSW. The multicultural community liaison officer for the Parramatta Police, Kariuki, who fled Kenya in 1999, specialises in helping migrants who are facing domestic violence, language barriers and financial distress.
Then on Australia Day, 844 people received the country's highest honours, including Order of Australia awards, meritorious awards and distinguished and conspicuous awards. But of these only 36.7 per cent of recipients were women — which was a drop from 41.6 per cent last year.
Australian of the Year Award 2021 Recipients
International Women’s Day 2021 – ACT Women’s Awards
International Women’s Day (IWD) 2021 is being celebrated on 8 March 2021 and the theme for that day is “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.” This theme celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future. We encourage you to nominate those women who have made an outstanding contribution to the lives of women and girls in the ACT for the 2021 ACT Women’s Awards. 

More information and nomination forms click here:

Nominations close 5:00pm Wednesday 10 February 2021
2021 ACT Women’s Awards Nomination Guidelines
Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman delivers a poem at President Joe Biden's inauguration
On 20 January 2021, Amanda Gorman, a 22-year-old woman who is the youngest and first Poet Laureate in US history, read her deeply moving poem “The Hill We Climb” during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the US Capital in Washington DC which captivated not just the nation’s attention but also the rest of the world. Her recitation was met with global critical acclaim as an inspiration for us all.
In a time of uncertainty, division and tension felt around the world, Gorman’s message for being a part of and carving a legacy on hope and light inspires us all in creating something positive that will last beyond our lifetime.
For while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.”
We’re reminded that it is stories that make up who we are, and it is the choices that we make, or don’t make, that will shape the stories and legacy the future generations inherit.
Australia is too a country that “isn’t broken. But simply unfinished.” and there is still much of “the hill we climb” to build a better land that is more inclusive, equitable and just for the diversity of culture, background and abilities that make up the proud people of Australia. Gorman encourages that change is possible, and it is critical that we remain hopeful of all our efforts for a brighter future:
“For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”
"The Hill We Climb" by Amanda Gorman transcript
Reminder - The traffic laws that apply to E-scooters in the ACT
Over the Christmas and New Year break E-scooters were out and about in force, with many locals and visitors using them to get around!  But ACT Policing had to issue a reminder that motorised scooters are more than a novelty, after issuing some infringement notices.
But many people do not realise that while you do not require a licence to ride an e-scooter, you are still bound by ACT traffic laws while using them.   
Here is a reminder of the rules that apply:
  • E-scooter rides must obey ACT road transport laws.
  • Riders must wear approved bicycle helmets.
  • Riders cannot carry passengers.
  • E-scooters must not travel on the road unless there is not a footpath, shared path or nature strip along the road or an on-road bicycle lane.
  • The speed limits for e-scooters are 25km/h on shared paths and bicycle paths, and 15km/h on a footpath.
  • Riders must give way to pedestrians and keep left on footpaths.
  • Scooters must slow down to 10km/h when approaching and when travelling across a crossing.
  • Riders cannot use a mobile device while riding on an e-scooter.
  • E-scooters must have a bell or warning device.
  • E-scooters must have lights and reflectors at night or in rough weather conditions.
  • Riders cannot drink and ride.
  • Children under the age of 12 must not use an electric scooter without adult supervision. E-scooter providers Beam and Neuron do not allow riders under the age of 18 on their scooters.
Transport Canberra E-Scooter Safety

Visit the Canberra Safety Map

As you're getting into the rhythm of the new year, please consider contributing your views about areas of Canberra where you feel unsafe. The Safety Map is easy to use and the data we are collecting is being used by us to influence the ACT Government to make changes to improve ACT’s public spaces for women. You can read more about it at the link below.

Canberra Safety Map article

Health checks - "Start the year right!"

In this month's Jean Hailes health article, Jean Hailes specialist women's health GP Dr Amanda Newman tells us about one new year's resolution that’s both achievable and potentially lifesaving, not just for now but for the future. Find out more in the link below.

Published with the permission of Jean Hailes for Women's Health.

Health checks - Start the year right
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Women's Centre for Health Matters · PO Box 385 · Mawson · Canberra, Act 2607 · Australia

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