Illawarra Women’s Health Centre

I’m writing to let you know that, as per the attached fact sheet from NSW Health regarding the Violence Abuse Neglect teams and the classification of domestic and family violence services as essential, until otherwise directed by the NSW Government the Illawarra Womens Health Centre is working on the assumption that we are classified as an ‘essential service’ and we will remain open for:

  1. Domestic and family violence and related mental health support services (including crisis support); and
  2. Essential medical services such as abortion, contraception and adverse cervical screening results.

This includes when we go into ‘lockdown’ which is expected shortly. We have all the appropriate hygiene and distancing protocols in place.

The fact sheet states very clearly that VAN services are considered ‘essential services’, because of the higher risk existing DFV clients will be in in this shutdown/lockdown environment as well as more generally, the inevitable increasing rates of DFV due to the crisis (which has been well covered in the media).  The fact sheet specifically notes that in many instances it is NOT appropriate to provide telehealth support to DFV clients, because it creates additional risks for them and where possible support should be provided in person.

Also, we have established a Social Support telephone service, as per the attached flyer. Please feel free to refer your clients to this line, or the above services.

Please let me know if you have any questions or if you need the Centre’s support.

Sally Stevenson AM, General Manager

t:   4255 6800 m: 0419 169 911


Disaster Recovery

Victims of natural disasters are priority clients for Legal Aid NSW. We provide free legal advice to anyone affected by the bushfires. That advice is often about:

  • insurance, particularly what is covered in a policy, clean up costs, total loss settlements, the claims process, appeals.  We can look at policies and tell people what is covered.
  • employment,
  • financial hardship (loans and credit cards)
  • tenancy
  • government entitlements

How to access Legal Aid NSW Services:

  • Disaster Response Legal Service-1800 801 529

Individuals, households and business people can call this free hotline for advice and will be immediately referred to a specialist  lawyer.

  • We are at the Recovery Centres at Ulladulla, Batemans Bay and Bega.
  • Or you can refer a client to their local Legal Aid office (for example, Nowra Legal Aid).

Legal Aid have also developed factsheets relating to common legal issues that people affected by bushfires face. More information and links to these factsheets can be found at following link:

If any organisations would like to get copies of Legal Aid NSW  factsheets or  referral postcards and posters please order online at following link:

The Status of an Enshrined Constitutional Voice for Australia’s Indigenous People

The Illawarra Centre for Enablement (ICfE) is inviting communities in the Illawarra to discuss the historic developments and explore what needs to happen to enable long-lasting substantial and enduring change for First Nations, to enable Australia’s political leaders to commit to long-held Indigenous aspirations to take their rightful place in their own country and strengthen the future of Australia’s relationship with its Indigenous People.

Expert Indigenous Panel Members:

  • Thomas Mayor;
  • Teela Reid;
  • Charline Emzin-Boyd;
  • Richard Davis;
  • Marcia Ella-Duncan

Panellist Bios are at

Thursday 19 March 2020, 7.00pm to 9.00pm

Australia is the only Commonwealth country that does not have a treaty with its Indigenous citizens, though it has been attempting to take historic steps towards reconciliation with Indigenous people.

In 2017, the Uluru Statement from the Heart emerged from the constitutional convention of 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander delegates held at the foot of Uluru in Central Australia on the lands of the Anangu people.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart presented the Indigenous consensus position on Indigenous constitutional recognition and asked for two reforms:

  • a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution;
  • a Makarrata Commission, which could be set up by legislation

The Auditorium at The Fraternity Club, 11 Bourke Street Wollongong

Contact the Club on 02 4283 3333 free onsite parking is available.

Tickets of $20 (General Admission) & $15 (Concession) can be purchased at

High School students and current Undergraduate UOW students can attend free of charge and must register.

Registrations close on 19 March 3pm.

A conversation with the NSW Carers Advisory Council

Friday 21 February 2020

10:30am to 2:30pm – with morning tea and lunch

The Pavilion Kiama, 2 Bong Bong Street, Kiama

Council Chair Prue Warrilow and Council members would like to hear from carers in and around Kiama about issues that are important to local carers, such as carer recognition, the NDIS, or any issues in caring for older people, people with mental illness, disability, chronic illness or dementia.

The Hon. Gareth Ward, Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Service, Member for Kiama will be joining us for part of the day and is looking forward to the opportunity to speak with carers.

RSVP (due 14 February):

Enquiries: Kylie Fulton, Council Secretariat Ph: 8753 8378

Please contact Kylie if you have any questions.

The NSW Carers Advisory Council provides advice to the NSW government on legislation, policy or other matters that affect carers

NSW Carers Advisory Council Event

The NSW Carers Advisory Council would like to invite local carers to attend an upcoming event in your local area.

The NSW Carers Advisory Council provides advice to the NSW government on legislation, policy or other matters that affect carers.

Council Chair Prue Warrilow and Council members would like to hear from you about issues that are important to local carers – eg carer recognition, the NDIS, what works well or not so well for people who are caring for older people, or people with mental illness, disability, chronic illness or dementia.

Friday 21 February

Location: The Pavilion Kiama

To see more about the Council go to

A formal invitation will be sent closer to the event.  If you would like to RSVP to this invite or know of any other community groups who may be interested in attending please contact :

Enquiries:  Kylie Fulton, Program Officer, Department of Communities and Justice

Ph: 8753 8378

Have you say of a Nation Obesity Strategy

The COAG Health Council has committed to developing a national obesity strategy.

From now until 15 December 2019, you are invited to give your own or your organisation’s views on what a 10-year strategy to reduce overweight and obesity in Australia should focus on.

A range of social, environmental and economic factors contribute to obesity and impact a person’s ability to maintain a healthy weight. If the current trend continues, more than 18 million Australians will be overweight or obese by 2030.

Governments want to hear from you about what actions could be done to prevent obesity, particularly for communities where overweight and obesity are more common.

We encourage you to:

  • tell your stakeholders, members and communities you work with about the consultation process
  • complete the surveys – there is a long and short form survey to choose from. The long form survey provides the opportunity for organisations to submit comments against each of the proposed strategies and sub-strategies outlined in the consultation paper.
  • feature the consultation process in your next newsletter or on your website
  • spread the word about community forums in locations where events are being held. Please note that these forums are targeted for community and are designed to elicit local level community responses to consultation questions.

This is an opportunity to help shape a national strategy that focuses on what government will do and how government can work with communities, non-government organisations and industry to create environments that support a healthy weight and support and empower individuals and communities.

Resources are available on request, including a Communication Kit containing background information, key messages, example media releases, newsletter copy, social media tiles and web badges; and an Engagement Pack, should you want to hold your own consultation activity.

For more on how to get involved, go to the national obesity strategy consultation hub.

If you require any further information about the consultation process, or you would like to receive a copy of the Communication Kit or Engagement Pack, please contact