Media Release: Women’s health experts appointed to tackle ‘medical misogyny’

MCWH Executive Director has been appointed as a member of the new National Women’s Health Advisory Council, which will bring together diverse expertise to examine the unique challenges that women and girls experience in the health system.

Media release from Minister Kearnery, Department of Health and Aged Care: 31 January 2023

Members of the new National Women’s Health Advisory Council have been appointed, bringing together diverse expertise to examine the unique challenges that women and girls experience in the health system.

Growing evidence has shown that systemic issues in healthcare delivery and medical research mean women often suffer poorer health outcomes. Women disproportionately experience delayed diagnosis, overprescribing, and a failure to properly investigate symptoms.

Chaired by Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney, the National Women’s Health Advisory Council will bring together leaders and experts from women’s health organisations, consumer groups and peak bodies.

The Council will also conduct ongoing community consultation and consider input from those with lived experience to better understand the barriers and bias women face.

The Council’s first meeting will outline initial priority areas and is scheduled for 20 February 2023.

The Council will consider:

  • health equity in healthcare and services
  • health literacy for women in priority populations
  • strengthening and diversifying medical research
  • health workforce training and education

The Council will also focus on a range of key concerns, such as menopause, cancer care, reproductive healthcare, causes of pelvic pain and cardiovascular disease. The Council will aim to promote better health outcomes for women and girls, and ensure their care is better tailored to their needs.

A panel of special advisers will contribute topic specific knowledge and relevant research from their areas of expertise to support the Council.


“Since announcing the Council last year, I have heard an outpouring from women young and old, no matter their background, who all have a story to tell.”

“Woman have told me they’re being seen but not believed. They seek help for crippling pelvic pain as teenagers but suffer into adulthood from raging endometriosis. They have symptoms dismissed for weeks, only to have a stroke from a brain aneurysm.”

“The bias against women in the health system is deeply entrenched. We are now bringing together experts to begin to peel back the layers so we can chart a different course.”

National Women’s Health Advisory Council Members

Name Organisation
Professor Gita Mishra
Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH)
Ms Lorna Scott
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation
Dr Danielle McMullen
Vice President
Australian Medical Association
Ms Bonney Corbin
Executive Chair
Australian Women’s Health Network
Dr Elizabeth Deveny
Consumer Health Forum
Dr Sarah L. White
Jean Hailes for Women’s Health
Dr Adele Murdolo
Executive Director
Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health
Ms Donnella Mills
National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)
Ms Keli McDonald
National Rural Women’s Coalition
Dr Benjamin Bopp
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG)
Dr Sue Matthews
Royal Women’s Hospital
Professor Robyn Norton AO
Principal Director
The George Institute for Global Health
Associate Professor Cathy Vaughan
Unit Head, Gender and Women’s Health Unit
University of Melbourne, Centre for Health Equity (WHO Collaborating Centre on Women’s Health)
Professor Deb Loxton
Co-Director (ALSWH)
Women’s Health Research, Translation and Impact Network
Ms Carolyn Frohmader
Executive Director
Women with Disabilities Australia
Professor Zoe Wainer
Honorary Enterprise Professor
University of Melbourne



National Women’s Health Advisory Council Special Advisers

Name Organisation
Ms Bronwyn Morris-Donovan
Allied Health Professions Australia
Ms Helen White
Australian College of Midwives
Ms Padma Raman PSM
Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS)
Associate Professor Aliza Werner Seidler Black Dog Institute
Ms Katherine Isbister
Council of Remote Area Nurses of Australia (CRANA)
Ms Nyadol Nyuon OAM
Harmony Alliance
Professor Cath Chamberlain
Indigenous Health Equity Unit, University of Melbourne
Ms Nicky Bath
LGBTI Health Australia
Ms Shannon Calvert
Consumer Co-Chair
National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum
Professor Susan Davis
Monash University Women’s Health Research Program
Professor Angela Dawson
Associate Dean Research, University of Technology Sydney
Public Health Association of Australia
Ms Nadia Levin
Research Australia
Dr Nicole Higgins
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Professor Danielle Mazza
SPHERE NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health in Primary Care

Read the original media release here: