I am pleased to introduce the Women’s Wellbeing Academy (WWBA) end of year newsletter for 2021. The WWBA champions the UNSW mission to improve lives around the world and this newsletter is an inspiring showcase of the Academy’s achievements, especially given the unique global challenges that have characterised its first two years. Since WWBA was established in December 2019, the wellbeing of women has been impacted disproportionately by the pandemic, an outcome that highlights the crucial purpose of the Academy.
Through the deep multidisciplinary expertise and cross-Faculty collaboration that inspired its creation, WWBA and its members provide the thought leadership, translational research and policy advocacy to advance the wellbeing of women locally and globally. Our University and the Academy recognise that the wellbeing of women is holistic, encompassing physical, psychological, social and economic health, as well as equity and social justice. UNSW and WWBA’s joint commitment to UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG 5), ‘Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’, underpins the Academy’s work. We see advancing SDG 5 as an essential enabler for achieving the accompanying 16 goals. Wellbeing is critical to every woman’s dignity and identity, and a core element of a healthy, functioning society. The wellbeing of women is a responsibility we all share, and I am pleased that is reflected in the gender diversity among the people involved with the Academy.
Congratulations to the Steering Committee and to all who have contributed to the accomplishments featured in this newsletter. The seed funding provided by UNSW was important in establish the Academy and it was a privilege to assist in the initial set up. I look forward to following further progress as WWBA pursues its transformative vision.
Professor Ian Jacobs
President and Vice-Chancellor at UNSW
As co- and inaugural convenors of WWBA we’re enormously grateful to Professor Ian Jacobs for initiating and providing seed funding for the academy and supporting its development. We, with the Vice Chancellor, are excited by the superb work on women’s well-being that we see across UNSW. We are proud of the achievements of our students and staff in areas of work that are relevant to the Well-being of Women. Some examples are the prevention of gender based violence, support for women refugees, research into women’s health, treatment of Indigenous women within the criminal justice systems, working with women with disability and designing the built environment to benefit women and many more.
We thank members of the Steering Committee and our part-time project Managers, previously Lily Halliday and now Georgia-Rae Cobon, for outstanding creative and innovative work. This 2021 wrap up newsletter is packed full of the marvellous events and projects WWBA has supported and initiated. We draw your attention especially to the 3Cs program which has been so generously supported by a gift from Emeritus Professor Richard Henry. We also highlight the WWBA Vision and Strategy and our (still evolving) webpage and look forward to a collaborative and rewarding 2022.
2022 will feature the second WWBA Showcase inviting existing and new members to share their fantastic work with a view to strengthening partnerships and opportunities within WWBA networks. The WWBA hopes to invite members to join in person where possible and looks forward to strengthening and extending the WWBA members' rich and supportive networks and knowledge even further than before.
Professor Eileen Baldry & Professor William Ledger on behalf of the WWBA Steering Committee