Womens Health and Family Services has gone through a number of changes over the years, growing from several smaller organisations into the service it is today. Here we look at the organisations that have, over time, come together to form WHFS.
This page offers some insight into the history of our organisation and services.
- (1977, WHCH) Women’s Health Care House Women’s Health Care House was the first women’s health centre in Western Australia. The organisation was established in 1977 with the primary aim of providing quality health care to socially disadvantaged women in Western Australia. From its small beginnings as a feminist collective offering clinical services, the organisation grew considerably; adding on other specific services for women to meet identified gaps in service delivery. Then in 1989 WHCH moved to the larger premises of 100 Aberdeen Street, which eventually expanded to include the neighbouring building at 102.
- (1989, PWC) Perth Women’s Centre In 1989 the Board of Management of Women’s Health Care House (WHCH) identified an increasing number of women accessing the service who had significant issues relating to Alcohol and Other Drug use. However, as additional resources were required to manage the complex needs of this client group, it was not until 1990 that the Perth Women’s Centre was able to be established. PWC provided services to women with AOD issues, and was located just one block away from WHCH at 100 Aberdeen Street in Northbridge. This offered the opportunity for cross program client referrals, providing women with access to a holistic multidisciplinary approach to enhance their health and wellbeing.
- (2005, WHS) Womens Health Services In 2005 after consultation with women in the community, Board members and staff, Women’s Health Care House and Perth Women’s Centre started trading together under the name of Women's Health Services. The name change was in preparation for the relocation of the many different programs and services to a purpose-built facility in the future. The name also better reflected the many and varied services offered by the Association.
- (1989, WWHC) Whitfords Women's Health Centre In 1989 the Whitford Women’s Health Centre (WWHC) opened its doors in September 1989 under the auspice of Women's Health Care House. It began with a staff of three women – Coordinator, Nurse Practitioner and Receptionist/Information Officer – each employed for twenty hours per week. In May 1990, WWHC became autonomous, developing its own constitution, philosophy and plans. Over the next ten years, WWHC outgrew two premises, the original site at the Jean Beadle Centre in 1994, and then Endeavour House in 1999.
- (1998, WHW) WOMEN'S Healthworks In March 1998, WWHC changed its name to WOMEN’S Healthworks (WHW), and then in 1999 the service moved to its current location at Joondalup Lotteries House. In 2002, WOMEN’S Healthworks noted an increasing number of enquiries from women experiencing eating disorders. A research/needs assessment project was conducted that led to the establishment of the first self help program for women with eating disorders, The Body Esteem Program.
Womens Health and Family Services
In 2011 WHS moved in to a new, purpose built facility on Newcastle Street
After further community consultation, the organisation's name was updated to Women's Health and Family Services; as a reflection of the holistic and comprehensive services offered to women, their children and their families.
In 2014 WOMEN's Healthworks once again joined with Women's Health and Family Services, to become the Joondalup branch of WHFS. The services of each organisation became more integrated, with staff and programs from Northbridge being made available at the Joondalup offices, as well as Women's Healthworks staff and programs coming to Northbridge.
Additional Program notes:
- Kids in Focus Program
In 2010 WHS received the contract to be the state representative of the Kids in Focus program; this program joined with existing WHS services which operated with a greater focus on children and on the family.
- Rural in Reach Program
After extensive planning and consultation with key stakeholders, including over thirty Community Resource Centres across WA, Regional Commissions, Regional women’s health centre’s, WA country health and the Department of Regional Development and Lands, WHFS launched its Rural in Reach Program. The first of its kind in WA, the program uses the latest video conferencing communication technology, to deliver long distance one-on-one counselling, family consultations and group education sessions with trained professionals to over thirty rural towns across WA.Nearing a year of service provision the program is now set to expand to 60 rural communities at the beginning of 2013. Major successes of the program include the continued engagement, trust and relationship building that has developed between the Rural in Reach Program staff and the participating CRCs. Through consultation and feedback, challenges presented have not been seen as a barrier but as an opportunity to ensure that the program is consistently evolving to meet community needs.