The Shoalhaven Women’s Health Centre
Lyn has been involved with the centre for 9 years, initially on the board and progressing to the position of today’s chair of the board. With her nursing background Lyn is also a frontline volunteer and a receptionist at the centre. Lyn’s voluntary work extends beyond the centre working with Can Assist and holding advisory, councillor and national executive positions with the View Club.
Lyn gave a little history on the centre saying that it started, in the early 1980’s, with a group of people getting together to form a refuge for women and children, then to a family planning service. Then in 1983 the services were further extended and the organisation changed its name to the Shoalhaven Women’s Health Centre. The centre is exclusively for women and men are not allowed into the centre. If male contractors or advisors are needed the approval by clients of the centre is sought prior to their admission.
The centre operating hours are dependent on funding. At the moment they are 5 days a week however, may have to be reduced to 4 days if additional government funding is not forth coming. Not withstanding this the centre can be contacted out of hours and the enquiry will be responded to when staff come into the centre next.
Expressing her and Tracy’s gratitude to the wonderful, compassionate volunteers at the centre. Lyn said they often work extended hours and provide their own support items for the women they assist.
Lyn outlined the free confidential services provided at the centre and in their city-wide outreach program including, Mental Health, Domestic Violence, financial and legal counselling, massage, herbal medicine, a Women’s Health Nurse, pregnancy and termination information and support, workshop on a range of issue, information and referral, groups and activities (e.g., yoga and meditation). The main focus of the centre is intervention and prevention. Lyn said that the staff support staff are very good listeners and if women just want to have a chat over a cuppa, they are also welcome.
Lyn said that the voluntary staff punch way above their weight, so much so, that in a recent gruelling accreditation process the centre was given a 100% score in all 8 criteria for their service and ranked 7th best in the country as quoted by the assessor.
On behalf of “CoW” The centre’s Committee of Women, Lyn thanked Rotary Nowra for their $500 donation saying that it helped the centre run programs that it couldn’t normally run. She also said that she thoroughly enjoyed our fellowship and light-hearted humour, on the night, and could see herself as a Rotarian in the future.
Following Lyn's talk, Arthur Moorhouse pointed out that Rotary Nowra refurbished the former residence in the Salvation Army Citadel in Worrigee St.in 1980 for the first Women & Childrens refuge in Nowra. Arthur said that John Turner was Captain of the “Corp”& also joined the club in the same year, a very satisfying project all round. The project was completed with great support from members, local tradesmen & suppliers. The Refuge opened in June 1980. This aligns with Lyn's historic time line suggesting that Rotary Nowra was heavily involved in the foundation of today's Shoalhaven Women's Health Centre