Annual Report 2018-19

Read the messages from our Chairperson and Executive Director below or download the full annual report.

View the report in PDF

A message from our Board Chair

This was a remarkable year for MCWH, with two key events highlighting our work with migrant and refugee women, and our ongoing commitment to their health and wellbeing.

The ‘Building a Healthy Future for Migrant Women’ forum in July 2018 brought together 58 stakeholders including government representatives, key health organisations and community leaders to talk about how we can look ahead to a healthy future for migrant and refugee women. And our spectacular ‘Migrant Women Matter’ gala event in October 2018 was a fitting finale to our 40th Anniversary celebrations.

I was honoured to host this beautiful evening and was pleased that our guest list included so many of our important stakeholders and partners, a group of founding members, many previous staff and Board members and, in particular, some of the migrant women factory staff we have worked with over the years.

Now that our 40th year is behind us, we are putting our energies into building our capacity for sustainability to ensure that MCWH is here for another 40 years, and beyond. As the population of migrant and refugee women grows and diversifies, MCWH is working on building its financial base, as well as adapting to changing needs.

MCWH remains an accessible and relevant organisation, maintaining the principles of equity and access that laid the foundations of the organisation 40 years ago. I’d like to thank all who have made MCWH the thriving organisation it is today, and warmly welcome those who will be joining us on the journey, as we forge ahead into the next 40 years.

Tamara Kwarteng
MCWH Chair

A message from our Executive Director

Women’s stories are always compelling to me. A highlight of my work at MCWH is hearing the stories that women share with us about their lives and their health.

This year, I was heartened to hear that one woman who attended an MCWH health education session was encouraged to make an appointment for an overdue breast screening test. As a result, a developing problem was diagnosed in its early stages. She told us, “You saved my life!”

Another woman, who attended one of MCWH’s leadership courses, told us it was her first activity out of the house since having a baby. It was great to hear that the program was effective for her, and that she learnt skills to prepare her for the workplace.

Many women have told us that the discussions on gender equality in our sessions have been life-changing, and given them strength and confidence.

The stories I have heard this year show me that MCWH programs and projects are definitely hitting the mark when it comes to meeting the needs of migrant and refugee women. While our health education sessions follow a tried-and-true methodology, developed over the 40 years we’ve been working with migrant and refugee women, some of our other projects are forging new pathways, particularly in the area of preventing violence against women.

These projects are based on emerging evidence, and contribute to that evidence base, about what works best to engage migrant and refugee communities in making the world safe and equitable for women and girls.

I am proud to be part of an organisation that can so effectively combine the old with the new, and this year has been a fabulous example of that. We also welcomed a group of new and highly-skilled staff members to build on the many years of expertise and experience that our current staff provide.

It has certainly been an eventful and important year of growth, and continuing contribution to the community of migrant and refugee women that we serve. May their stories continue to reflect MCWH’s vision of excellent health and wellbeing for migrant and refugee women, their families and communities.

Adele Murdolo
MCWH Executive Director