As the NSW parliament prepares for the introduction of a bill to decriminalise abortion in that State, Ashlee Gore writes that many believe abortion is already legal and freely available in NSW, and that while decriminalisation will be important for women’s choice and autonomy, there will remain many other medical, social and interpersonal barriers that restrict the exercise of this autonomy after the law has changed.Read More
Older Aboriginal Australians are considered one of the most vulnerable populations in the country as they are at greater risks for multiple chronic diseases while being less able to access culturally appropriate care.
In this post from The Conversation, Neuroscience Research Australia’s Tony Broe believes that an effective Indigenous aged care model must facilitate greater family and community involvement to improve the health outcomes of older Aboriginal Australians.Read More
Imagine getting turned away for not having a broken-enough leg. There would be complete outrage, but yet for people with eating disorders this is happening on a day to day basis. People are turned away for not being “sick” enough. We know a healthy BMI is 18.5 or above but yet some places in the UK are turning people away if their BMI is about 14! In this post, Hope Virgo (the Author of Stand Tall Little Girl and Mental Health Campaigner) shares her experience and talks about her #DumpTheScales campaign.Read More
With the recent release of the jobactive inquiry report and the current inquiry into ParentsNext, today’s policy analysis could not be more timely. Natalie Jovanovski provides a summary[i] of research she conducted with Policy Whisperer Kay Cook into how current Welfare to Work policies inform single mothers’ food provisioning practices, and the consequent impacts on mental and physical health for both the mothers and their children.Read More
In this article, republished from the Conversation today, Associate Professor Helen Dickson from the Public Service Research Group at UNSW and Dr Catherine Smith from the University of Melbourne discuss their recent research published today by the Australia and New Zealand School of Government. The authors discuss the pros and cons of automation and say that the governments need to carefully plan for the inevitable expansion of new technologies to safeguard vulnerable people.Read More
If you work for a social enterprise, youth organisation, health organisation or government, you are invited to participate in the ‘NSW Social Enterprise and Well-being for Young People Workshop’ hosted by the Centre for Social Impact in partnership with Vic Health, the Foundation for Young Australians and Social Traders.Read More
Mental health trusts in England are now to play a vital role in processing the huge number of citizens referred under the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, known as Prevent. A new policy announced in November by the Home Office means urgent psychiatric care will now be provided by mental health trusts to those people with psychological problems who are referred to Prevent. But this will remove them from a pipeline of support under a programme called Channel, aimed at those suspected of radicalising. In this blog re-posted from The Conversation, Charlotte Heath-Kelly and Erzsebet Strausz debate GPs bizarre incentives to refer mental health patients as radicalisation threat.Read More
When the debate about public funding for PrEP started up, I was concerned that it would go down the same path as PEP — with a set pool of funding, left to state/territory governments to administer, with de facto rationing based on sexual risk, and only available from a set number of locations. So my own position on PrEP was that it needed to be funded via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and not rationed.Read More
This week the national broadcaster's current affairs programs have focused on Australia's rapid population growth, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne. Discussion has highlighted the policy and planning challenges posed for governments and communities when population growth outstrips infrastructure planning. Few regions are grappling with these challenges in the quite the same way as Melbourne's west.
In this piece, Rodney Maddock presents a three-pronged approach that considers changes to planning laws, transport improvements, and creation of decentralised employment hubs to meet Melbourne's growth challenges across the West.Read More
There are high levels of awareness in Australia concerning the importance of men’s mental health. However, in today’s post Sarah Squire, recently appointed as the head of the Women’s Research, Advocacy and Policy (WRAP) Centre at Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, argues that this is coming at the expense of awareness and investment in women’s mental health. There are specific gendered differences when it comes to addressing mental health needs, and the absence of women and girls within national mental health policy is deeply concerning.Read More
This week the Victorian Upper House will debate - and possibly pass - the Assisted Dying Bill. This legislation is extremely emotive, and emotions have been at the heart of the discussion in the wake of the protracted and painful deaths of family members experienced by MP Jill Hennessy and Premier Dan Andrews. However, it is critical to ensure adequate public debate on this issue prior to its passage precisely because it is emotive. The medical community itself is divided on this topic, with the Australian Midwifery & Nursing Federation supporting it, while the Australian Medical Association and Palliative Care Australia are both opposed.
The merits of a policy must be considered, not in the light of those who have high levels of personal agency, but in terms of how it will affect those in the margins. As always, the Women's Policy Action Tank is interested in how policies may impact differently on women compared to men. Today's analysis, by Rachel Wong and originally appearing in The Conversation, provides a gender analysis on the Assisted Dying Bill.Read More
Bars, gyms, the homes of friends and all the places that community life happens; it’s no secret they are often inaccessible for people with disabilities. The NDIS funds individual packages and community linkages to reduce this social exclusion. Jen Hargrave from Women with Disabilities Victoria says the fledgling scheme may need external architecture to increase social inclusion.Read More
The Women’s Policy Action Tank recently published a special issue of the Good Policy newsletter, exploring three areas of policy with a gender lens: women and the criminal justice system, Indigenous women, and women’s experience of employment. Each topic is explored using a dialectical approach, in which two authors approach a topic from a different angles. We will be publishing the paired articles on our blog over the coming three weeks. This week we publish the last two articles, exploring women and work. This article is a companion piece to Productivity and Pressure: Social Services get an Unhealthy Squeeze, by Fiona MacDonald.Read More
Policy change in health often seems to be a reactive process with high profile failures in the delivery of healthcare prompting significant changes. Alison Brown, PhD candidate, University of Melbourne considers why major reforms in health care policy often seem driven by disaster rather than design.Read More
A recent professional symposium held in Melbourne presented research findings on the often hidden toll experienced by women whose partners perpetrate online child sexual abuse. Here Zoë Goodall, a graduate of the University of Melbourne and Media Coordinator for PartnerSPEAK, urges for a policy rethink in the area of family violence and victims of crime.Read More
Australia offers an interesting analogue for England in thinking about how mental health treatment and illness prevention might develop. Inevitably there are limitations on what can be learnt and what can be transferred, but there are lessons. In the post below, Professor Paul Burstow looks at what Australia's approach to mental health can teach the English.Read More
Next week at UNSW Canberra, a range of international and domestic experts are coming together for a workshop entitled 'Public management and policy implementation for public health policy – new directions for research and practice'. But what is the history of collaboration between these respective academic disciplines? Are they, as the cliche goes, a match made in heaven? Gemma Carey discusses below in advance of the workshop next week.Read More
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of premature death for Australian women, largely due to a lack of a gender lens in both education and medical response. Today’s policy analysis provides the evidence for a gendered approach to CVD.Read More