Director of Gynaecology Professor Beverley Vollenhoven AM has been appointed as a member of the newly formed Victorian Women’s Health Advisory Council.
The council, which sits under the Victorian government, will give independent advice on delivering the state’s women’s health package, including how to improve women’s health outcomes, reduce gender health disparities, enhance research and strengthen the safety and quality of care.
Prof Vollenhoven, also the Carl Wood Professor and Head of Monash University’s Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department and a clinician at Monash IVF, was appointed to a 4-year term along with 10 others.
Established in July 2023, the council will guide and support the implementation of the Victorian government’s women’s health commitments. It will also advise on strategies to consider sex and gender in formulating public health policy, practice and research; design and implement women’s health initiatives; incorporate consultation and co-design activities that acknowledge the self-determination of Aboriginal women, lived experience and inclusivity; and promote translational research and evidence-based interventions aimed at addressing unwarranted sex and gender variations and improving equity of outcomes.
In addition, the council will advise on strategies to conduct an inquiry into women’s pain management and establish a new Women’s Health Research Institute.
Prof Vollenhoven, who has overseen the growth of Victoria’s largest and busiest gynaecology service, says she hopes to bring equality to women regarding their healthcare.
“I am extremely honoured to have been selected and I feel privileged to be in a position to help shape the future care of women in Victoria.
“This means improvement to access including contraception and termination of pregnancy service, better representation in research trials and giving women a voice in their own care,” she says.
Amongst many achievements in her career, Professor Vollenhoven was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to medical education and research, endocrinology, and women’s health in 2021.
She was also inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2019 for her instrumental work ensuring access to Victoria’s critical reproductive and women’s health services.
In celebration of Women’s Health Week from 05-11 September 2023, we will be celebrating stories such as this to highlight researchers whose work is making significant strides in improving women’s health and well-being.