All posts by Assistant Manager

Farewell from Patsy Molloy

DR, PM & Jenni Brodie

Patsy’s Speech From Farewell Afternoon Tea

I acknowledge this beautiful Wadjuk Noongar country and the Elders custodians and community leaders’ resilience, generosity of spirit and hard work in our community. Since coming to work here, at 26 Railway Parade, now a beautiful new building for Ngala and the Swan Alliance, I have begun to learn the true value of community. Whatever you give, comes back in buckets.

With great respect and appreciation, my Aboriginal friends and family Nytunga and Dianna and the beautiful children have taught me, reinforced by working with Aunty Di Ryder and listening to the wonderful stories of Aunty Josie, then hearing the words of Harley Eagle, that with knowledge comes responsibility, and the way through whatever detail of the mess we find ourselves in, that Aboriginal knowledge can inform healthy communication and respectful practice. I have deep appreciation for the gentleness and kindness that I have been taught these things, with patience and generosity and time to absorb and process. They have allowed me to honour myself and once you have your song, you can always sing it!

I want to thank those, some of whom first walked in escaping violence and abuse that many years ago, and who have come to say “adieu” to me today, that I am almost overwhelmed (it’s always better to be overwhelmed than under-whelmed) by the wonderful powerful women that they have become. I think I have learnt the most from the desperate and homeless who have taught me so much, their resilience and power in reclaiming their lives, and I thank them for their generosity in sharing their struggles as well as their tears and their joys.

In the last few days, I have also heard disappointment in in people’s voices and the sense of abandonment that sometimes comes from our experience as women.

We have a held to our vision “Healthy Women, Strong Community” and we’ve worked together through our fear of abandonment, by facing that fear and using our connection and our love, to overcome it. We stand on the shoulders of those who come before, many of whom I am honoured to join us today. I sincerely thank you for your integrity, foresight & inspiration.

I feel I’ve learnt so much about our community over the years and I celebrate as I look through the treasure trove of our gathered jewels. We have tried to do things the right way, respectfully and inclusively from our Smoking Ceremony that the Architects and Builders had never experienced before, our partnerships with City of Swan and Lotterywest for this building, which stays the hub and heart of our work, and recently for our Lotterywest Grant to future proof the organisation with the computer system that will make it easier for us to give funders the numbers for the supply chain.

I’ve learn that we Wadjellas often focus on “stuff” – how many meetings have I been to where we sit & whinge about resources (?) and what I’ve heard from a wonderful international Indigenous leader who visited Midland – yes, he came to Midland this week – Harley Eagle from the Dakota peoples, is that with knowledge comes responsibility. If we peel back the layers of our own experience, in our own hearts, the sexism, the racism and fears, our struggles to overcome require courage and integrity and managing that process is our journey.

The sense of abandonment I mentioned before, speaking from my own personal experience, comes I think form feeling “dumped on”. As women we get dumped on a lot, abandoned with other people’s junk, from violence to bills and I have learnt from sharing stories with individual women, that it is our capacity, our resilience and our love that carries us through. I might even suggest that this “being dumped on” is something that we share with the dispossessed in our society, for whatever reason. This year, I have also shared some experiences in losing children, that I would not wish on anyone, but it has given me the capacity to start to understand what grief of losing our younger ones, and the hammering that inter-generational trauma might generate.

I’ve been accused of being passionate, as if it’s a bad thing. Sometimes words like passion can be used by people to maintain the status quo but I choose to accept that passion can inform practice, and its not what they call you, its what you answer to that counts. My passion is about inequity – we have enough stuff and we can share and heal together

I came here to use my head, heart and hands and I hope to overcome frameworks of fear, the iceberg of racism and the structures that demand explanations all the time; that we can play our bit, supply the information, look after the money, provide the evaluations, prove our worth, but the biggest challenge is to keep focussed on what is important.

In reflecting on these past few months, as I congratulated the Young Parents graduating with their Certificates in Education, met a young man from Karnany’s Fathers Project,  was invited to the launch of Meerilinga’s RAP  program, met with the inter-generational Aboriginal family that came to WRD was smoked at the White Ribbon Day march, pushed shopping trolleys off the pavement for the Police Pipe Band, carried messages from the children of Swan View Primary school to stop violence, and had  Vision building workshop to give us some direction for the next twenty years, I am immensely grateful for the opportunities I have benefited from.

If we can create the kind of safety to hear the uncompromising truth, not to turn our backs with fear in our hearts, or reject the truth tellers, and share the responsibility of knowledge, then we have the opportunity to heal together.

I heard recently on the radio, from Elder Jack Charles, who I was privileged to meet in the street one day, that resilience is holding back your pissedoffedness.

I also heard that same day from a Sami Elder from Norway, a traditional Joiker who sang a wolf song and then said, “if someone finds the wolf inside them, then I have reached the stars.”

My sincere thanks for sharing your journey with me, my gift to you my head, heart and hands, is that I won’t go away because you are too precious to abandon.

So please step through the fear of abandonment. I am still here, connected by my passion to this most precious jewel, this country, this Midland community. Stand on my shoulders and see ahead, steer us towards our vision, Healthy women Strong Community.

Patsy Molloy

General Manager

24th January 2018.

 

General Manager’s Silly Season Message

 

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Silly Season arrives!

Hello to All Members, Friends and Supporters,

Thank you all for your support of our term timetable and programs and for referring or bringing in friends who might be going through difficult time during 2017.

Although the Christmas season is presented as a very happy family time, for some of us who have lost loved ones this year, it may be a particularly difficult experience. I encourage you to keep in mind your own needs at this time. Christmas is only one day, and if you don’t feel like spending time with lots of people, possibly arranging a visit with supporting and understanding friends might help. And take it one day at a time. Christmas parties can also be a bit overwhelming; please do take care with your intake of alcohol. A few drinks are fine, but stress may cause us to drink fast or under-estimate how many drinks we imbibe. We want to see you back here in the New Year.

Midland Women’s Health Care Place will be staying open through the holidays (except for Public Holidays) so do drop by to register for the Summer Program or exchange books at the Little Free Library (which has become a rather BIG free library) and share a cuppa with friends.

Wishing you all a safe and healthy festive season.

Patsy Molloy, General Manager

White Ribbon Day: The Midland March That Matters

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Another successful White Ribbon Day event, the Midland March That Matters, was held on Thursday 23rd November with the Police Pipe Band bringing people onto their balconies and out of their offices to herald a larger crowd than ever before.

A Smoking Ceremony was held before the March, with a Welcome to Country and the Police Horses and the Police Bike Squad joining in. Detective Matt Bethune sang a song he had composed called “329” about a young child growing up in a family with domestic violence.

Aunty Di Ryder, 2017 Winner of the NAIDOC Lifetime Achievement Award was MC, and thank you especially to a lady who bravely told her story to show that domestic violence doesn’t discriminate. The focus this year was “shift the shame”, and the participants in the event certainly indicated that they understood that stopping violence against women and children is a shared community responsibility.

Thank you to Swan View Primary School for the posters and ribbons that they sent, which were carried in the March that expressed their feelings about violence with messages asking for it to STOP!

Thanks to food donated by Midland IGA and a Barbecue and cooks from Australian Services Union (ASU) we were able to enjoy a sausage sizzle and cold drinks as it was a pretty hot day.

Finally thank you to the Committee and all of those who donated their time and resources, from making the ribbons up to give out, or making and visiting businesses with the posters.

A special thank you to San Churros, who after seeing the parade go past, sent out iced fruit cups to refresh the crowd.

See you again next year!

Ellenbrook Pram Walk for Postnatal Depression Awareness Week

 

Pram Walk 2017Our annual event invites the Ellenbrook community to participate in a Pram Walk, and this year it was held on Wednesday the 15th November from 9.30 am until 11.30 am. The event promotes Peri natal Depression and Anxiety (PNDA) Awareness Week.
Postnatal Depression Awareness Week is an opportunity to raise awareness about perinatal mental health issues in our local community. It is a time to increase community knowledge about antenatal and postnatal depression & anxiety as well as other mental illnesses experienced during the perinatal period and eliminate the stigma attached so that those affected can feel free to seek help. It is also a time for services to promote themselves to those directly in the community.
Midland Women’s Health Care Place in partnership with The City of Swan, Playgroup WA, CLAN Midland, Ellenbrook Community Library as well as the local Child Health Nurses, all working together to host the free community event.
Small groups proceed with their prams to walk from the Ellenbrook Community Library down Main Street in Ellenbrook. The groups were again this year lead by walking marshals who assisted in facilitating the event. This year’s event was very successful with 63 local parents (mum’s and dad’s, grandparents & relatives) participating.
Perinatal Depression and Anxiety (PNDA) Awareness Week was formally known as Postnatal Depression Awareness Week. The name change is in response to the importance of recognizing and supporting parents’ mental health right through the perinatal period (during pregnancy and after birth).
Antenatal anxiety and depression are strong risk factors in developing postnatal anxiety and depression. Early treatment during pregnancy can reduce these risks and it’s important that a parent’s well being is considered across this continuum, rather than viewing these periods as separate.
Many expecting mums and dads struggle with antenatal depression and more than 1 in 7 new mums and up to 1 in 10 new dads are diagnosed with postnatal depression each year. Even more are thought to suffer anxiety. It’s important for expecting and new parents, as well as those around them, to be aware of perinatal anxiety and depression, to know the signs to look out for and where to go for help. With the right treatment and support, new parents can make a full recovery.
Anxiety during pregnancy and after birth accompanied by mood swings is not uncommon. Statistics show about 10% of women and 20% of expectant fathers’ depression and anxiety can become a significant factor which is absolutely debilitating.
PND is not a weakness. It is an illness, often present in families. Raising awareness and identifying risk early, through prenatal screening throughout pregnancy, can lead to early intervention that can minimize the duration and effects of this significant illness.

Christmas Can & Gift Drive

MWHCP is supporting the Swan Aboriginal Community Christmas Party Can and Gift Drive. Please help by donating non-perishable food and brand new presents. We have set up a collection point in Reception. Donations will be accepted until Thursday 14th December.

Let us know if you are willing to volunteer to help in the lead up to the event and during the Christmas party to carry out different roles such as helping wrap gifts and hampers.

Swan Aboriginal Xmas Party
Swan Aboriginal Community Christmas Party December 15th 2017

The Swan Aboriginal Community Christmas Party is an annual community celebration that provides more than 600 presents and over 200 hampers to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged Aboriginal families living within our community.

 

Growing Up Unequal – Young Women’s Health

How sex and gender impact young women’s health and well-being: Issues Paper

Adolescence is associated with physical change, friendships, first intimate relationships, and pressure to lay a strong foundation for a healthy and productive adulthood. However, research clearly shows that girls and boys are subjected to different expectations and pressures during adolescence and that between the ages of 10 and 20, young women’s experiences and health outcomes can differ significantly from those of their male peers.
Growing up unequal takes a comprehensive look at how sex and gender expectations impact health outcomes for young women, ultimately finding that the most effective way to reduce the risk of poor physical, emotional and mental health outcomes for women is to create a more equal society for girls to grow up in.

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Courtesy of Women’s Health Victoria

Pap Tests are Changing in Australia

The Australian Government’s Department of Health has advised that on 1 December 2017, the Pap test is going to be replaced with a more accurate test called the Cervical Screening Test. In the new test, the sample is collected in the same way as the Pap test – by taking a small sample of cells from the woman’s cervix. However the new test will be processed in a different way in the laboratory.

Read about the upcoming changes to Pap tests here.

Information courtesy of Jean Hailes for Women’s Health.