May 2016 Update

CERSH news and events

Goulburn Valley and North East Victoria Network Meeting – Adapting our sexual health and relationships education for different learning styles

Wednesday 18th May, 10.30am – 3.30pm Department of Education and Training, 150 Bridge Street, East Benalla. Catherine Madill, Specialist Services, Complex Clients Unit, Department of Health and Human Services will facilitate a practical workshop around tailoring education to suit a range of cognitive levels including learning disabilities and cognitive impairments. Jenny Walsh author of  the NEW national resource The Practical Guide To Love Sex and Relationships  and Catching on Early Teaching and Learning activities for years 1-6 will facilitate a discussion and workshop about adapting strategies and resources for one-to-one clinical and education settings, and  with young people with a range of abilities and learning styles. Time is also allocated for network participants to share their knowledge and strategies in adapting sexual health and relationships education for different learning styles. Please contact Kylie Stephens to express your interest. RSVP to by 16th April and note any dietary requests or access issues.

Stakeholder influences on rural young peoples’ sexual health knowledge: a contextual study

18th May, 2.45 – 3.30pm, Sexual Health Network Meeting, Benalla (see details above)

CERSH has been undertaking a project in Wodonga for the past 18 months around better understanding the service systems and contexts that contribute to the sexual health and wellbeing of school-based rural young people. Part of this project involved local stakeholders participating in focus groups. The data from these focus groups have been analysed and four key themes became evident about stakeholders’ perceptions of the systems and contexts in which these young people’s sexual health knowledge is developed. Two themes relate to the school setting: (1) teacher confidence to deliver sexuality education, and (2) parental support for sexuality education. The other two themes relate to the broader settings in which young people are situated: (3) the role of technology, social media and pornography in shaping how young people develop and enact sexuality knowledge; and (4) the socio-cultural contexts in which young people are situated. Alana Hulme Chambers, who is leading this research, is interested in your views on these findings, and what these might mean for how stakeholders work together in the delivery of sexuality education, within and outside school settings.  Alana will lead a presentation and discussion at the Network meeting.

Cystic Fibrosis & Intellectual Disabilities: Implementing innovative sexual health programs

24th May, 6pm – 8pm, Burnet Institute, Prahran. The Sexual Health Society of Victoria is facilitating a discussion focusing on sexual and reproductive health challenges facing young people with cystic fibrosis presented by Dr Katherine Frayman (Royal Children’s Hospital)  and Dr Siobhan Bourke (CERSH), and innovative sexual health programs for people with intellectual disabilities presented by Dr Patsie Frawley (Deakin University). RSVP  by 14 May. Free for members, $20 non-members, $10 student non-members

STI and Contact Tracing Workshop -Mildura

25 May, 10:30am-3pm Mallee and Districts Aboriginal Services (MDAS) Family Services Hall, 120 Madden Ave, Mildura. CERSH invites you to an informative workshop  facilitated by experienced sexual health nurse, counsellor and partner notification officer Tom Carter.  Tom will present an overview of common STIs and current information on contact tracing and partner notification.   The workshop will also include some hints on how to contact trace, useful resources and small group, scenario based discussions to build practical skills for contact tracing. Please RSVP by email to by Friday 20th May or phone Andrea Boudville 54447071.

Sexual and Reproductive Health Update

4th June, 9.30 – 4.00pm. A training program for GPs in the Murrumbidgee and Hume regions, coordinated by Murray PHN, Murrumbidgee PHN and CERSH. The program includes: the key elements of adolescent sexual health practice; the role of rural GP practices in facilitating early pregnancy termination; and LGBTI-inclusive practice within the primary care setting. Presenters include: Dr Siobhan Bourke (CERSH), Dr Evan Schuch (Central Medical Group), Dr Catherine Orr and Lauren Coelli (Gateway Health), Dr Rachel Richardson PhD Charles Sturt University. Online registration An application for 40 Category 1 points has been submit ted for this activity.

Central Victorian Sexual Health Networks meeting – Bendigo Overview of HIV and Hepatitis C prevention, transmission and treatments

Wednesday 15th June, 11am -3.30pm, La Trobe Clinical, Bendigo. An overview of HIV and Hepatitis C prevention, transmission and updates on new treatments will be presented by The Victorian AIDS Council, Hepatitis Victoria, Living Positive Victoria and Positive Women. Topics will include transmission risks, new treatments, and effective strategies for working with affected communities. The meeting also provides an opportunity to link in with relevant state-wide services, discuss referral pathways, and assess local capacities to maximise engagement and support for people affected by Hepatitis C and HIV. There will also be presentations from Bendigo Community Health and Victorian AIDS Council outlining the newly established STI/BBV Program for Loddon Mallee. RSVP by 10 June and note any dietary requests or access issues.

CERSH Position vacant -12 month Parental Leave – Loddon Mallee region

The Sexual Health and Wellbeing Project Officer -12 month Parental Leave position – will be advertised shortly. Opportunities for secondment, or project specific appointments will be considered. The position is based in Bendigo or other locations in Loddon Mallee can be negotiated. Visit  Enquires to Kylie Stephens PH: 0417054040

CERSH New position– Communications and Administration Officer -Wangaratta

This new position provides support and coordination in administration and communications. Closing date 15th May Enquires to Kylie Stephens PH: 0417054040

FORTHCOMING training and events

Community meeting for people living with HIV – Bendigo

Wednesday 11 May, 6:30-8:30pm, Community Hub, 34 Myers street, Bendigo . Living Positive Victoria and VACountry want to hear ideas for social and peer support services for people living with HIV in the Loddon Mallee area. Contact 0437004680.

National Hepatitis Health Promotion Conference

19 – 20 May 2016, Melbourne. The conference will explore the future health promotion response to viral hepatitis in Australia and look at how the sector workforce can maximise engagement and support people affected by viral hepatitis

PrEP Community forum – Albury

Tuesday 14th June, 6.00pm at  Paddy’s Hotel (upstairs), Dean St Albury. The aim is to discuss the impact of PrEP on HIV prevention and how it can be accessed through the EPIC NSW Study. RSVP via

ARCSHS Course in Pre and Post Test Discussion 

A 4 day accreditation program is designed to equip participants with appropriate knowledge and skills to engage in pre- and post- HIV and hepatitis C antibody test discussion, and prevention education, in a range of settings. July course: 11th 12th, 18th & 19th, ARCSHS, Melbourne. $790,

 The second Ngar-wu Wanyarra Aboriginal Health Conference – Save the Date13th and 14th October 2016, Department of Rural Health, The University of Melbourne, Shepparton

2016 Australasian Sexual Health Conference

14th – 16th November 2016, Adelaide. Invitation for Abstracts now open.  Abstracts must be submitted by 29 May 2016.

Australasian HIV & AIDS Conference

16th – 18th November 2016, Adelaide. Abstracts must be submitted by 29 May 2016.


Safe Access Zone Laws Around Premises Providing Abortions – Commenced 2 May 2016

The Victorian Government has introduced laws providing for safe access zones around premises performing abortions.  The legislation – the Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Safe Access Zones) Act 2015 – is to ensure that women and staff entering or leaving premises performing abortions, can do so safely and privately, without fear or harassment. The laws will took effect on 2 May 2016.The laws, which will be enforced by Victoria Police, will provide for a 150 metre safe access zone around premises providing abortions. Certain types of behaviour will be prohibited within a safe access zone, including harassing and intimidating behaviour.

Engage, Educate, Empower: International AIDS Candlelight Memorial

5pm Sunday 15th May, City Square, Melbourne. The 33rd International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, co-ordinated worldwide by the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+), will be hosted by Living Positive Victoria. The Memorial is an opportunity for all Victorians to remember those who have died from AIDS, people currently living with HIV and their future. Keynote speaker Rowena Allen (Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality), personal narratives from HIV Positive speakers and performances by Low Rez Male Choir

New Emergency Contraceptive pill on the market effective for up to five days

The new form of emergency contraception called EllaOne is ideally taken as soon as possible after unprotected intercourse, but is effective for up to five days afterwards. This is two days longer than levonorgestrel (commonly known as the morning after pill).

RESOURCES and opportunities  

Sexual Health Society of Victoria (SHSV)

Have you considered joining the Sexual Health Society of Victoria (SHSV)? Their aim is ‘promoting sexual health by the multidisciplinary exchange of knowledge and ideas’. The annual membership subscription for 2016 – 2017 is $50 for full membership and $35 for student membership per year. SHSOV has scholarships to specifically support rural practitioners. For an application form email:

Seeking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women working in health and allied health

Weenthunga will be holding two Women’s Health Days in Bendigo on 19 July and in Melbourne on 17 June to encourage young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to enter the health professions, build self-confidence, and to continue into interesting and dynamic careers.  We are looking for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women working in health and allied health to speak about themselves and their work. Contact

RESEARCH and publications

Report from High Level Summit on rising HIV, Sexually Transmissible Infections (STI) and Viral Hepatitis in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities

The Summit was convened in recognition of the rising rates of HIV, endemic rates of STI in many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, as well as disproportionate rates of viral hepatitis.  The Summit brought together 90 high-level stakeholders to discuss key public health and clinical priorities within Indigenous communities, culminating in a set of recommendations.

The social and ethical implications of HIV cure research

The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS) is seeking participants for a new research project. There are currently a number of clinical trials happening in Australia and across the world exploring new approaches to the development of a cure for HIV. While it is unlikely a cure for HIV will be available for many years (or decades) ARCSHS is interested in how people living with HIV feel about HIV cure research and the media attention HIV cure research has attracted.  Eligibility criteria: Both women and men, aged over 18-years who are living with HIV contact Andrew Westle