About the Hobart Women's Health Centre
Tasmanian women are informed, supported and active decision makers in their own health and well being.
To be a leader in advancing women's health in Tasmania.
The Hobart Women's Health Centre adopts the World Health Organisation's model of health. "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." In line with this definition the Hobart Women's Health Centre operates under the following principles:
- Women will be involved in, and have control of, decisions about their bodies;
- Women will have access to a wide range of information, and be assisted to fully comprehend this information, to enable them to make informed choices;
- Women have a right to be treated with dignity and respect;
- Women will be guaranteed confidentiality;
- Women will be offered affordable and accessible health care;
- Women will be offered a safe and supportive environment;
- The Centre will adopt an holistic approach to women's health;
- The Centre will focus on preventative approaches to women's health; and
- The Centre will actively promote strategies to maintain and improve women's health.
In keeping with this philosophy the Hobart Women's Health Centre:
- Is run by women for women according to feminist principles;
- Actively consults, recognises, respects and listens to the views of all of its staff, Board members and the women who use the Centre;
- Strives for consensus decision making;
- Undertakes ongoing research and information gathering to inform current practice;
- Ensures the service is responsive to all women especially those who experience disadvantage and discrimination;
- Undertakes a range of activities including health promotion, education, advocacy and lobbying to influence women's health policies and to engage in public debate for the benefit of women's health;
- Works towards improvement in women's health and well being through participation, collaboration and partnerships with women, the community, women's services and other organisations;
- Recognises the social, economic, political and environmental determinants of health; and
- Provides efficient, effective and responsible administration of all human, financial and physical resources.
How the Centre is Organised
The Hobart Women's Health Centre is run on a day-to-day basis by a dedicated team of health workers. These workers provide individual support, information and referral to women on general health issues. Workers develop the Centre's programs, run workshops and conduct forums that offer clients opportunities to gain new skills and facilitate a broader understanding of women's health issues. Such activities emphasis a preventative perspective rather than the usual curative approach to health care. In addition, workers advocate and lobby for and on behalf of women for improvements to appropriate and accessible health services and policies.
The team includes an Executive Officer, who is responsible for the management of Centre operations, ensuring it promotes an effective and appropriate primary health care service for women in Tasmania. The Executive Officer also ensures the Centre continues in its commitment to feminist philosophies of health promotion and its adherence to principles of a democratic work environment. She provides the pivotal communication link between staff and the Board of Management.
The Board of Management is responsible for the overall financial and strategic management of the Centre. Board members are involved in staff recruitment, assist in policy development and operate as final decision makers in this regard. The Board is made up of a diverse range of community women, reflecting and representing the wider community. They are ultimately accountable to other community women in Tasmania and to the Centre's funding bodies. The Centre receives its core funding from the Department of Health and Human Services through a Commonwealth/State agreement.
Although the Centre has a Board of Management, its origins as a collective are reflected in its ongoing use of consensus decision-making processes in all areas.