Safety, health and wellbeing
Discover achievements made in 2022 and focus areas in 2023 to deliver on commitments made in the Queensland women’s strategy 2022–27 (the strategy) in the areas of safety, health and wellbeing.
- The Department of Education (DoE):
- will provide free period products to students in selected state schools over 3 years following the establishment of a partnership with Share the Dignity; Dignity Vending Machines were installed in 62 Queensland state and non-state schools during 2022 and—through this partnership—all Queensland schools also have access to the Period Talk educational program and resources, designed to educate students in Year 5 to Year 8 about menstruation and the impact of periods
- released the new Respect program, an updated suite of teaching and learning materials to support the delivery of respectful relationships education in Queensland schools and a public online hub for families, secondary school students and staff that provides information to support the development of safe, healthy and respectful relationships.
- Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy (DCHDE):
- committed a record investment of $115.8 million over 4 years through the 2022–23 Queensland Budget to neighbourhood and community centres which provide a vital role in local communities across the state including supporting women and girls
- invested almost $14 million over 4 years (2021–25) to implement the Housing Outcomes for Older Women initiative, which includes building new homes and delivering specialised housing support services to older women.
- On behalf of Queensland, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence endorsed the National plan to end violence against women and children 2022–2032 in October 2022.
- Department of Justice and Attorney-General (DJAG):
- committed $7.1 million funding to support CentacareCQ to partner with Helem Yumba to provide support for women and families escaping violence in central Queensland
- released the revised Domestic and family violence common risk and safety framework to guide the delivery of integrated service responses to enhance the safety of victim-survivors and their children, and to hold perpetrators to account.
- The Queensland Government:
- committed an additional $225 million in funding over 5 years to support implementation of the recommendations made in the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce report Hear her voice – Report Two – Women and girls' experiences across the criminal justice system
- introduced the Domestic and Family Violence Protection (Combating Coercive Control) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2022, which included the legislative foundation to introduce a specific offence of coercive control
- established 2 independent Commissions of Inquiry: one into Queensland Police Service (QPS) responses to domestic and family violence (DFV) and the other into Forensic DNA Testing in Queensland, both of which will have significant and long-lasting impacts on the safety, health and wellbeing of women in Queensland.
- Queensland Health commenced work on the new Queensland women’s health strategy and provided an opportunity to articulate the changes that can be made to help improve the health of women and girls.
- The QPS delivered the following DFV reforms:
- the embedded police officer trial in Ipswich and South Brisbane which commenced September 2022 and included multi-disciplinary reception centre embedding police officers within two DFV support services
- QPS coercive control training which aims to provide specific training around identifying and dealing with coercive control in domestic violence relationships, and give QPS staff a better understanding of the nature of coercive control
- sharing of a domestic violence protective assessment framework with support services, which involves an automated system to strengthen the police referrals process and information sharing capability to enhance victim safety through sharing of DV-PAF indicators with specialist DFV providers.
- Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport (DTIS):
- partnered with the media, sporting organisations and community action groups to advocate gender equity in sport, including media coverage and conditions
- delivered the ActiveKIT program, which supports the implementation of new and innovative products or services to get more Queenslanders active; funded initiatives include Queensland’s Touch Association running an extra 3 seasons of the Women in Touch Program.
- Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) completed an evaluation of the Third action plan 2019–20 to 2021–22 of the Domestic and family violence prevention strategy 2016–2026. The evaluation function co-ordinates 6-monthly reporting to the Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Executive Group (DFSVEG), publishes the Annual highlights card, manages the annual Queensland social survey, and oversaw the independent evaluation of the Third action plan and development of the Fourth action plan 2022–23 to 2025–26.
- The Public Service Commission (PSC) developed and implemented a workplace response to DFV, including a workplace support package that aims to strengthen support for employees affected by DFV.
- Department of Environment and Science (DES) Possum Drey community of practice investigated recruitment practices to identify opportunities for improvement with a focus on ensuring equitable recruitment pipelines for women in Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and Partnerships.
- In partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), QPS and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES), the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) led sponsorship of the UNIQ YOU Foundation partner program, which aimed to connect female school students and career officers with organisations, to build a future pipeline for roles where women are currently under-represented.
Good news story
Award winning EmpowHER hiking program by Scenic Rim Regional Council
The Queensland Government, through Round 1 of the ActiveKIT program, proudly supported the Scenic Rim Regional Council’s EmpowHER hiking program. The EmpowHER program hosted 75 guided walks—catering for a range of abilities—between February and June 2022, with 390 women between the ages of 10 and 76 years lacing up their hiking boots to participate.
The program has been nationally recognised, taking out the Programs and Activities Award at the Australian Sport, Recreation and Play Innovation Awards in July 2022 in addition to winning the Government Achievement category of the Outdoors Queensland Awards in October 2022.
- Delivery of the new Queensland women’s health strategy. Community consultation commenced in November 2022, with submissions intended to inform the strategy to help understand core elements and focus areas. Consultation closed in January 2023 and Queensland Health is now working towards the release of the strategy.
- The National plan to end violence against women and children 2022–2032 action plan is anticipated in the first half of 2023. The Office for Women and Violence Prevention will continue to lead Queensland's engagement in the national plan and associated initiatives.
- Strengthening legislation in relation to affirmative consent, the criminalisation of stealthing and the criminalisation of coercive control, all of which will be introduced in Queensland Parliament within the next 12 months.
- Establishment of 3 new high risk teams over 4 years led by DJAG to improve referral of DFV victims in need to wraparound services provided by the integrated service response within the community.
- Expansion of specialist DFV courts, including 2 new courts in Cairns and Brisbane.
- Development of a 5-year whole-of-government domestic, family and sexual violence (DFSV) strategic investment plan.
- Delivery of culturally respectful sexual and reproductive health education to students in state secondary schools through a partnership between Queensland Health and DoE.
- Uplift to a range of DFSV services, including the Townsville sexual assault response team, to meet immediate demand.
- QPS will invest $100 million in a raft of reforms and initiatives to provide enhanced support and protections to those caught up in domestic violence. Their suite of initiatives includes hundreds of extra QPS staff to provide specialised support, advocacy and liaison services for the victims of domestic violence.
What the Queensland Government is already doing
- Queensland Health is committed in a vast number of health and safety areas, including DFV and health services. These include the following initiatives:
- delivery of the Mobile Women’s Health Service in more than 100 rural and remote locations of Queensland, to increase access to cervical screening and other women’s preventive health services
- BreastScreen Queensland, which delivers accessible breast screening services across Queensland, through fixed and satellite sites, along with rural outreach via BreastScreen Queensland mobile vans and a 4WD
- McGrath Breast Care Nurses program which is supporting the establishment of 20 breast care nurses in Queensland to help individuals and their families who are affected by breast cancer by providing physical, psychological and emotional support for the time of diagnosis and through cancer treatment
- the Queensland Pelvic Mesh Service ensures patients receive multidisciplinary services (e.g. physiotherapy, social work, psychology and pain management) closer to home and simultaneously addresses growing demand through a “one service, multi-site” approach; multidisciplinary team meetings and clinical nurse consultants/navigators will ensure continuity of care as patients are referred between the hub and spoke sites
- establishment of the Statewide Obstetric Leadership Advisory Group as a subcommittee of the Queensland Maternity and Neonatal Clinical Network to promote and advise on best-practice care for pregnant women across Queensland Health maternity facilities
- the Queensland Birth Strategy project aims to increase normal birth; 5 principles underpin the strategy: change culture to promote normal birth and mitigate fear of birth; centre women's informed decision-making; access and control; respect the scope of practice for midwives, obstetricians and other maternity service providers; use cost effective evidence-based solutions and privilege consumers voices in service design and delivery
- work with stakeholders, including the Queensland Nurses’ and Midwives Union, to explore, develop and trial potential options for expanding nurse-to-patient ratios and midwife to woman ratios to places experiencing high demand including emergency departments, maternity wards, operating theatres, and prison health services
- convene a statewide community of practice for DFV clinicians in Hospital and Health Services (HHS) that works with women with lived experience and specialist DFV services to further develop trauma-informed, culturally safe DFV training resources for the frontline health workforce
- development and delivery of a specialist DFV training module that is aimed initially for social workers in HHSs across Queensland that is evidence-based and incorporates reflective learning processes that build expertise in responding to complexity
- to establish a network of DFV Specialist Clinicians in each HHS in Queensland to improve the DFV literacy of Queensland’s secondary and tertiary health workforce
- sexual assault service reform for HHSs to take a consistent approach to managing the clinical and psychosocial needs of people who have experienced sexual assault, including the person-centred provision of forensic examinations
- through the Queensland Sexual Health Framework acknowledge and support the unique sexual and reproductive health needs of women of reproductive age and before, during and after pregnancy
- partner with True Relationships and Reproductive Health for a range of reproductive and gynaecological health services, community education, and reproductive and sexual health education to young people
- the school-based Youth Health Nurse Service, in partnership with the Department of Education, will ensure ongoing access to sexual and reproductive health education for students in state secondary schools
- partner with the Endometriosis Association of Queensland to develop and promote a mobile application for women with endometriosis to track their symptoms, develop a care plan, and make use of resources to assist in their treatment.
- Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs (DCYJMA) initiatives include:
- the Youth Justice program which aims to support young women having their child live with them in youth detention if it is assessed as being in the child's best interests and is operationally viable; this will strengthen connections between parents and children, provide tailored support to promote parenting skills, and provide appropriate and tailored healthcare and wellbeing support for expectant mothers
- the Young Mothers for Young Women program aims to provide individualised planned family support, post-natal groups, education and advocacy for young women aged under 25 years who are pregnant and/or parenting
- the K.I.N.D. program (kinship, improving relationships, no violence and developing skills) is designed to help young people break the cycle of violence; the goal of the program is to reduce the use of violence in the lives of young people and help them create safe and respectful relationships.
- Health and Wellbeing Queensland funds the Queensland Country Women’s Association (QCWA) to deliver the QCWA Country Kitchens program, which builds the capacity of the QCWA volunteer members to support regional, rural and remote Queensland communities to improve their health by adopting healthier lifestyle practices.
- Women’s Infolink is a DJAG initiative that aims to provide Queensland women and girls with resources, information and links to services and organisations across Queensland. Women's Infolink responds to issues, queries and problems Queensland women and girls face, providing confidential support and referral options through free call telephone service and online services.
- DTIS promotes initiatives and projects that aim to improve participation of women and girls in sports through regular media statements and social media posts. They provide funding to Queensland-based state level sport and active recreation organisations through the Active Industry Fund to State Level Organisations and Industry Peak Bodies to grow and strengthen the active industry to provide quality and inclusive participation, including for girls and women.