Our response to 2022/23 Victorian state budget: A welcome boost to equity and wellbeing for migrant and refugee women  

Media release: 3 May 2022

Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health (MCWH) is delighted that migrant and refugee women will receive a funding boost of $1.57m over two years from today’s Victorian 2022/23 budget, for much needed women’s health programs specifically targeting migrant and refugee women across the state.

MCWH is Victoria’s only migrant and refugee women-run Women’s Health Service, providing critical in-language health education and gender equity programs to migrant women in their language.

“Migrant and refugee women in Victoria have lower levels of access to preventative and early intervention health services and as a result, have poorer health outcomes than the general Victorian population,” said Adele Murdolo, Executive Director of MCWH. “This boost to MCWH’s funding will enable us to reach more migrant women where they live, work and gather with vital in-language health information, while working to address systemic gender and race discrimination within the health system, workplaces and other settings.”

What this means for the average Victorian migrant or refugee woman is that she can expect better and more timely access to the health services they need. She can also look forward to a stronger representative voice that will advocate for her rights, health and freedom from gendered violence.

Other positive initiatives in the budget that will benefit migrant and refugee women include additional funding for all Women’s Health Services across the state and for Women with Disabilities Victoria. MCWH was pleased that $30m has been invested into community-based mental health programs to promote social inclusion and create healthier communities. A component of this investment should be tailored for migrant and refugee women so that they are actively and equitably included in mental health reforms. The ground-breaking $246m Sick Pay Guarantee pilot scheme, will benefit the many migrant women who are casually employed in Victoria and who currently do not have access to sick leave, and $6.8m over the next three years allocated for the implementation of the Gender Equality Strategy is a welcome investment.

We look forward to working with the Victorian Government on the state’s health-led recovery from COVID-19, doing our part to ensure that all women have the opportunity to equitable health and wellbeing outcomes.

For all media inquiries:

Dr Adele Murdolo, Executive Director, Multicultural Centre For Women’s Health
adele@mcwh.com.au, 0438 823 299

Read the Victorian Government’s 2022/23 state budget papers in full here: https://www.budget.vic.gov.au/budget-papers