Women's Groups 2013 - Women’s Health and Family Services/Women’s Health Care House/Perth Women’s Centre/Women’s Health Service

Women’s Health and Family Services/Women’s Health Care House/Perth Women’s Centre/Women’s Health Service

Purpose of the group

The first dedicated women’s health centre in Western Australia has undergone many changes since opening as Women’s Health Care House at 92 Thomas Street, West Perth. After a change of management and relocation to Aberdeen Street, Northbridge, the foundations of the current services were securely established. From these very early days to the present, the associations’ primary aim has been to provide quality health care to disadvantaged women in Western Australia.

Women’s Health Care House initially operated as a feminist collective, offering clinical services. Decisions were made by group discussion at staff meetings. The main objective was to provide a centre where any woman could feel safe and comfortable accessing the help they needed. The centre was a place where women could access the information they required and have their questions answered honestly so they could make informed decisions and take responsibility for their own health care needs. Early on, the centre had regular medical sessions as well as support with social, marital, legal, educational, and emotional problems. Groups operated for discussion and practical help with things such as assertiveness, relaxation, self defence.

The organisation later changed to a management structure and has been an incorporated body since 1987. Members of the board have expertise, experience and understanding of issues relating to women’s health and organisational management. The philosophy of the organisation remains based in a social model of health and aims to create opportunities for women to improve their own, their families and their communities’ health and wellbeing.

Services now include programs for Aboriginal women and women from different ethnic groups, nutrition and lifestyle workshops, women’s medical services, counseling, mothers support group and programs relating to alcohol and other drugs. Events run by the organisation include leadership and personal development, body awareness, art therapy, shared meals and groups for women experiencing mental health issues.

From small beginnings as a feminist collective offering clinical services, the organisation has grown to become the largest integrated gender sensitive health service in WA. Continually responding to community needs and identified gaps in providing new and innovative health and wellbeing services to all WA women, their families and communities.

Time period

Women’s Health Care House first opened on 1 April 1977. In 1990, the Perth Women’s Centre was established to provide services for women with alcohol and other drug issues. Both services were located on Aberdeen Street in Northbridge. In 2005, the name changed to Women’s Health Services, encompassing both the Perth Women’s Centre and Women’s Health Care House. More recently, the services relocated to share purpose-built premises in Northbridge and the name was changed to Women’s Health and Family Services. Although the public name of the organisation has changed several times, the official name of the incorporated body is Women’s Health Care Association.

Key achievements

It is a pioneer women’s health and wellbeing service, with WA now having 11 women’s health services throughout the state. It has been nationally accredited for over 15 years and attained international accreditation in 2012 The group secured ownership of purpose built accommodation, ensuring the long term sustainability of the organisation and its services for the community.

Programs run by the group have won many awards including: Aboriginal Grandparents Family Support Service (AGFSS)

  • 2008 NAIDOC Runner-up
  • Perth not-for-profit organisation category
  • 2005 Winner of the Community Services Industry Awards
  • Strengthening Communities Category

Multicultural Women’s Advocacy Service (MWAS)

  • 2008 Winner of the WA Multicultural Community Service Award
  • Recognising individuals and organisations who achieve excellence and innovation in advancing multiculturalism, inclusiveness and participation. Organisation category
  • 2008 Third finalist for the Community Public Service Award
  • 2004 Winner of the Crime and Violence Prevention Award
  • For research and publication of "Preventing Family Disintegration in Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Communities - A partnership approach - working with new and emerging communities."

Mental Health Community Outreach Program (MHCOP)

  • Commonwealth Award for Excellence in Women’s Health
  • Model of Good Practise
  • 2000 Finalist in the Community Support and Development category
  • Community Service Industry Awards
  • 1999 Bronze Achievement Award
  • Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Services


  • 2008 WA Alcohol & Other Drug Sector Award for Excellence Consumer Participation in Service Delivery 2008

Key people and positions in the group

Ann Deanus.


Website: http://www.whfs.org.au/aboutus/whca.

Article Index
Women's Groups 2013
Abortion Law Repeal Association/Association for the Legal Right to Abortion (ALRA)
American Women's Club of Perth (AWC)
Association of Civilian Widows of WA Inc
Australian College of Midwives WA Branch (ACM)
Australian Local Government Women’s Association (ALGWA)
Beta Sigma Phi
Business and Professional Women Western Australia (BPW)
Catholic Women’s League of Western Australia (Inc)
Chrysalis House Women's Refuge
Cine-Matrix: Women in Film and Television WA
Cockburn Women’s Peace Camp
Combined Equal Pay Committee/WA Council for Equal Pay and Opportunity
Community Midwifery WA
Country Women’s Association (CWA)
Domestic Violence Action Group (Geraldton)
Emily’s List
Equal Opportunity Law Reform Coalition
Fremantle Women’s Health Centre (FWHC)
Girl Guides WA
Graduate Women Western Australia (GWWA)/Australian Federation of University Women (AFUW) Western Australia
Grapevine/Perth Wimmin’s Collective
Gretel Club of Perth (Inc)
Harvest Guild
Incest Survivors Association (Inc.)
Inner Wheel Australia
Inside Out Project
Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Centre
Kalgoorlie Auxiliary of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Karrakatta Club
Labor Women’s Association
Lespar Library
Living Child Inc.—Safe Village Births
Lutheran Women WA
Marninwarntikura Fitzroy Women’s Resource Centre
Mining Mums
Modern Women's Club
Mothers’ Union Australia
Movement for the Ordination of Women
Muslim Women’s Support Centre of WA (Inc)
National Council of Women of Western Australia (previously known as West Australian National Council of Women and Western Australian National Council of Women)
National Council of Jewish Women of Australia—WA section (NCJWA)
Nintirri Centre
Older Women’s Network (OWN WA)
Penguin Club
Perth Ionian Club
Polyhymnia Reading Group
Rape Crisis Line
Rural Remote Regional Women’s Network (RRR)
Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC)
Sibyl/University of Western Australia Student Guild Women’s Collective
Society of Women Writers WA
Soroptimist International of Western Australia
Starick Services Inc
Status of Women Committee WA—Australian Labor Party
Tradeswomen on the Move
UN Women Australia (formerly UNIFEM Australia)—Perth Chapter Young UN Women Perth Chapter
Union of Australian Women—WA Branch
V.I.E.W. Western Australia
West Australian Women’s Society of Fine Arts and Crafts
War Widows’ Guild
Warrawee Women’s Refuge
Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL)
West Australian Housewives’ Association (Inc)
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
Women in Media
Women’s Information Referral Exchange (WIRE)
Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) of Western Australia
Women in Education Coalition
Women in Mining WA (WIMWA)
Women in Sailing (WIS)
Women in Sport Committee of the Western Australian Sports Council
Women in Technology WA (Inc) (WiTWA)
Women Lawyers of Western Australia (Inc) (WLWA)
Women with Disabilities WA Inc (WWDWA)
Women’s Action Alliance (WAA)
Women’s Advisory Council (WAC)
Women’s Broadcasting Cooperative
Women’s Committee of State School Teachers’ Union WA Executive
Women's Committee of the Waterside Workers Federation
Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services (WA)/Women’s Refuge Group of WA (WRG)
Women’s Health and Family Services/Women’s Health Care House/Perth Women’s Centre/Women’s Health Service
Women’s Information Service (WIS)
Women’s Interest Network
Women in Engineering WA (WIE WA)
Women’s International Zionist Organisation (WIZO)
Women’s Liberation
Women’s Service Guilds
Women’s Studies Group
Yanay Yanma
YWCA of Perth
Zonta International
Additional Groups
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