a group of healthcare workers with stethoscopes and blood pressure machines.

Helping to keep women healthy: Christine Drennan, Rosie Smallie, Loretta Smith, Tegan Ryan-Chapman, Michelle Heffernan, Emily Terrasson, Brenda Highan, Lisa Roach.

Sharing health knowledge and celebrating women

Sep 27, 2023

Mid North Coast Local Health District partnered with local health and support organisations to give women a one-stop event for information and a little pampering to celebrate Women’s Health Week.

On Tuesday, 5 September, around 20 health and support services gathered at Dunghutti Elders in Kempsey to present the Women’s Health and Wellness Expo.

Around 140 attendees gathered for information, free health checks and access to financial and legal services, disaster relief information and some alternative healing. The hand massage table was extremely popular. The event perfectly captured the 2023 Women’s Health Week theme ‘Grow your knowledge’.

The expo was a collaboration between Mid North Coast Local Health District, Durri Aboriginal Corporation Medical Service, Dunghutti Elders and the Kempsey Neighbourhood Centre.

Embracing the event were teens from Melville and Kempsey High Schools as part of the NASCA (National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy), women and Elders. Durri Aboriginal Health Worker Teresa Silva from the Hearing and Eyes Program said these events are a welcome reprieve for a community that has been through much sorrow this year.

MNCLHD Manager of Integrated Care Initiatives for Aboriginal People, Ro Stirling-Kelly, credited her colleague, Aboriginal Health Worker Christa Smith, for the initial idea and enthusiasm. A small planning and action team came together across six directorates in the true spirit of integrated care to enable the event’s success.

“We worked together to provide this expo and get the word out to the community to come and celebrate women across their lifespan,” Ms Stirling-Kelly said.

Keynote speaker, Women’s Health Physician Dr. Janet Snow, informed the audience of the latest health information.

“New treatments are being developed constantly, but many women can suffer in silence until they access health services. Women tend to juggle many roles and may not attend to their health needs or understand the available services.”

Sixty health checks were attended on the day; to date, three appointments have been made with Dr Snow.

Clinical Nurse Consultant Women’s Health, Renee Bell, said the flow-on effect of increasing health outcomes for women is many-fold.

“The WHW expo allowed all of us, as women and girls, to come together, to share and connect, and learn from each other,” Ms Bell said.

“When women are healthy, our community benefits socially, emotionally and economically.”

Shirley Kent, manager of the Kempsey Neighbourhood Centre, said the centre was proud to support the event.

“It’s a great idea to have many health and support services in one place,” Ms Kent said.

“We see a lot of women needing financial counselling, emergency relief and other support. The expo lets us chat with people in a friendly and relaxed way and discuss how we can help.”

Click the photo below and scroll through more photos from the expo.

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