"Hear me now."

–Grace Tame

Playful Mother and Daughter

About Us

Statement of Purpose

Penrith Women’s Health Centre Inc provides a feminist health service run by women for women, ensuring accessibility without financial and cultural barriers, for women in the Penrith region.

Objects of the Association

• To identify the health needs of women who live in the Penrith Region • To provide a broad range of services, strategies and workplace environment within a feminist, social justice framework that addresses identified need. • To provide services that focus on prevention and holistic care - provided by women for women. • To ensure women’s self-determination regarding their health care. • To provide medical and complimentary health treatments for women which alleviate sickness and emotional distress caused by illness, injury, domestic and other forms of violence, social isolation, relationship problems and financial hardship. • To provide counselling services for women to alleviate the suffering and distress caused by domestic and other forms of violence, illness and injury, social isolation, relationship problems and financial hardship. • To provide assistance to women attending court for matters relating to domestic violence and sexual assault. • To provide services to women regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, sexuality, physical ability or age with priority focus on the needs of the more disadvantaged and marginalised women/groups in the community. • To work towards an integrated, coordinated approach with other non government / government organisations in the provision of appropriate strategies and services for women’s well being. • To be a key contributor to the social dialogue on the status of women’s health and wellbeing. • To be an advocate for women. • To advocate on behalf of women in the relevant systems in which they participate; • To empower and support Women to advocate for themselves in these systems. • To ensure effective community based governance and operational management of the association. • To uphold a healthy work environment to ensure the wellbeing of workers to offer an effective delivery of service.

Principles of the Association

• Respects dignity, rights and potential of all women. • Holds that every woman has a right to experience optimum wellbeing and to control her own life and healthcare decisions. • Service delivery is based on the understanding that health is determined within a broad social context: environmental, economic and biological factors – that women’s health needs can not me isolated from life circumstances. • Holds that social inequality and discrimination have adverse affects on the wellbeing of women in our society and it is therefore committed to working towards the elimination of all forms of social disadvantage. • Is committed to a preventative, holistic approach to the health needs of women which encompasses the whole of women’s life span and reflects women’s various roles in Australian society, not just their reproductive role. • Promotes the participation of all women in debate and decision making about health issues, their own health care and health service delivery. • Holds that health promotion, disease prevention, equity of access to appropriate and affordable services and strengthening the primary health care system are necessary, along with high quality illness treatment services.

Our Management Committee

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Vanessa Donald-Smith

President

I am a strong passionate woman who believes and strives towards a society free of violence against women and children, where all identifying women and their children are safe in their homes and their communities and have the support and resources they need to live active and fulfilling lives. I have worked in the Domestic Violence Sector for over 25 years, prior to this I was a primary/infants schoolteacher. I am a mother of two strong independent women who share the same passions and causes as their mother. I currently manage the Nepean team of Specialist Domestic Violence Case Workers with DV West. I have worked closely with Penrith Women’s Health Centre for all of these 25 plus years. I joined the Penrith Women’s Health Centre Management Committee over 12 years ago and am honoured and proud to continue to support this great service.

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Barbara Shorthouse

Treasurer

I have worked in the community sector as a paid employee for 21 years and as a volunteer for approximately 28 years. My experience has mainly been in Community Development and for 15 years working with at-risk youth. I am currently employed as General Manager with Community Junction Inc (which is based in North St Marys with offices in St Clair, Colyton, Werrington, and two youth Centres and a preschool and OOSH). I am passionate about enabling our staff and clients to meet their full potential. My qualifications include Cert IV WHS; Diploma Community Management.

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Ordinary Member

Marisa Moliterno

I am a Counsellor and Psychotherapist with over 20 years’ experience in the community sector and hold clinical registration with PACFA. My career has focused on working with victims of violence in youth homelessness, residential Out Of Home Care, disability and adult/family support services. I am currently working as Program Manager for the Community Restorative Centres Miranda Project which supports women impacted by the Criminal Justice System who have been victims of Domestic and Family Violence, and the rising overrepresentation of First Nations Women in the criminal justice system. I was an Insight Exchange Associate and in 2022- 2023 I am participating in the Insight Exchange Cross-Sector Leadership Exchange Program. I am passionate about advocating for every person's basic rights of safety, dignity and equality but also for the cultural, societal and systemic change that needs to occur to reduce the injustice and violence for future generations.

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Secretary

Kerry Dolaghan

After working in the public sector for approximately 15 years for both the state and commonwealth governments I moved to the community sector where I have been working for the past 30 years. During this time I have worked and managed services in the youth and adult homelessness sector and during the last 9 years I have also managed a domestic violence service. I am currently employed as the Client Services Manager with Link Wentworth Housing in Penrith managing the adult homelessness and domestic violence services. I am passionate about social justice, ensuring that everyone has the right to a home and my favourite rugby league team Manly Sea Eagles. I have a degree in Bachelor Social Science (Welfare & Sociology).

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Debra Nikitin

Ordinary Member

Admitted as a lawyer in 1986, I worked for the State DPP in the drug prosecutions unit, then the child sexual assault unit. I went into private practice in 1987, had a general practice, then became a partner in a Western Suburbs general practice, where I was doing rostered DV work, Children’s Court work, family law, workers compensation, wills, probate, residential and commercial conveyancing. I did voluntary work at the Nepean Hawkesbury Community Legal Centre and was on the management committee of that Centre as well. I did advice at the Barnardos Legal Service in Cranebrook. I did recovery reading at Barnardos for a period of time, then worked in a boutique Family Law firm. Then joined Legal Aid NSW in 2000. I worked variously in family law and care and protection litigation as the Senior of a team of lawyers and then in the Early Intervention Unit of Legal Aid, working mostly in the Indigenous Hub.

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Dr Anne Marie Hadley

Ordinary Member

Strong focus on accountability while promoting and developing a culture of ownership and inclusiveness. Takes pride in developing and building high performing teams and embracing collaboration. 

Consistently places a high value on building relationships and embracing collaboration to discover the best solutions for patients and staff. Over 30 years in health care as a Chief Experience Officer, Chief Information Officer, Director of Change and Transformation and clinician. Tertiary qualifications in medical science, health administration and project management and extensive experience in patient experience, strategic business planning; customer relationship management, transformational change management, stakeholder and business relationship management including with C level executives.  I commenced my MBA in 2019 and awaiting confirmation of being awarded Fellow in Person-Centred Care from Planetree. Greatest achievement Mum and Glammy to 4 amazing glam babies.

Annual Reports

FY 2020-2021

"It is humbling to present this annual report to the members of PWHC, our many partners and the public. The report demonstrates the breadth of services that PWHC provides and demonstrates how fortunate the organisation is to have such a wonderful team of capable, qualified, professional, empathetic and committed employees and volunteers. This report is a tribute to their work."

- Chief Executive Officer, Kath Skinner

Download Full Reports:

Work With Us

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Women’s Health Centres are in danger of having to close their doors or significantly reduce services due to decades of under investment by the New South Wales Government.
 

We need your help to survive. NSW politicians must show their commitment to gender equality by committing to adequately funding Women’s Health Centres across the state.

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Keep up to date with the mission and share your thoughts using #fundwomenshealthnsw

Email your MP

Let your local MP know that you value the Women's Health Centre in your region.

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