Mallee Region

Summaries of meetings held are listed below, by year. The dates for 2019 meetings will be released shortly.

For more information or to discuss possible topics or presenters please contact CERSH:

2018 Network Meetings

Thursday 8 November 2018

Topic: STI/BBVs and Contraception Choices – 2018 Update

Meeting debrief: The final network meeting for the year was held in Swan Hill on Thursday 8 November 2018. Almost 20 workers from a diverse range of organisations and locations attended. Thanks to our presenters  Associate Professor Jane Tomnay, Director of CERSH, for an update on STIs/BBVs notifications; Cath Hannon, The Women’s,  for a contraception  overview and case study discussion; Sarah Thistle, Family Planning Victoria, for outlining training opportunities available to the rural and regional workforce; Damien Stevens-Todd and Martin Gladman, Thorne Harbour Health, for a presentation about gender inclusive language and practises and male pregnancies; and Nicole Mckay, Swan Hill District Health, who shared a rural nurse practitioner’s experience of delivering sexual health services.


2017 Network Meetings

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Topic: Supporting LGBTI Young People: Skills For Building Inclusive Services

Meeting Debrief: At the October Mallee Sexual Health Network meeting, held in Swan Hill, Mill O’Sullivan a Queer and Non-Binary activist and The Head of Outreach at Minus18, facilitated a workshop for 15 participants.  Through interactive discussions about the experiences and issues that LGBTI young people face, the workshop positioned participants to explore ideas about sexuality and gender with a focus on young people at the forefront of change.

Larni Baird and Finley Hopley Willcock presented an update on the expanded support services for LGTBI youth coordinated by Headspace in Mildura.

Wednesday 31 May 2017

Topic: Working with Young People, 16 and Under

Meeting Debrief: The Swan Hill Network meeting was a collaboration between CERSH and YacVic and explored not only Working with Young People under 16, in relation to consent, confidentiality and responsibility in a clinic context, but also the new laws in regards to Failure to Disclose/Failure to Protect Laws. Two presentations were given, one by Karen Chilbert, a lawyer from Youth Law, and one from Dr Siobhan Bourke, University of Melbourne.  Both presentations were practical and involved attendees in conversation and problem solving.

Following these interesting workshops, there was a lively panel discussion from representatives from SOCIT, SHDH, Headspace, MSAU-MDVS, DET, DHHS, Youth Law and University of Melbourne, exploring real life scenarios that explore the shady areas of working out what is best for the young person, what the law says and what factors need to be considered.

There were 30 attendees from a diverse range of organisations and services, including, Bendigo FLO, DET, MMLLEN, St Mary MacKillop Colledge, Sunraysia Community Health, Women’s Health Loddon Mallee, Centacare Ballarat, Swan Hill City Council, and MDAS.

2016 Network Meetings

Wednesday 12 October 2016

Topic: Contemporary sexuality education in a range of settings: a practical workshop

Guest Presenter: Jenny Walsh, author of national resources, The Practical Guide to Love, Sex and Relationships for years 7-10 and Catching on Early for years 1-6.

Summary: Jenny facilitated a practical workshop that supports contemporary sexuality education in a range of settings and adaptation for one-to-one clinical settings. Attendees also heard an update from the Loddon Mallee HIV/BBV program advisory group and a CERSH presentation on the #YOLOLiveWell campaign. There was also great discussion and information sharing amongst local workers and time spent addressing local challenges and initiatives.

Resources: More about Jenny and her work –

Tuesday 3 May 2016

Topic: Overview of HIV and Hepatitis C Prevention, Transmission and New Treatments

Guest Presenters: Martin Forrest -Hepatitis Victoria, Harry McNaulty – The Victorian AIDS Council, Alison Boughey – Positive Women Victoria, Max Niggl – Living Positive Victoria

Summary:  The focus of this meeting was to provide an overview of HIV and Hepatitis prevention, transmission and updates on new treatments.

This meeting provided an opportunity for workers to:

  • learn the basics about Hepatitis C and the new direct acting antivirals (DAAs) for Hepatitis C treatments and models of care;
  • update knowledge about HIV including transmission risks, and new HIV treatments PrEP (taken daily for prevention) and PEP (taken after exposure);
  • explore effective strategies for working with affected communities;
  • link in with relevant state-wide services;
  • identify the local implications, referral pathways and capacities to maximise engagement and support for people affected by Hepatitis C and HIV.