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New menopause information for First Nations communities

Jean Hailes news 10 Jul 2024

Jean Hailes for Women’s Health has just launched a new suite of menopause resources designed especially for First Nations women and the health professionals who care for them. Their release coincides with 2024 NAIDOC Week, which celebrates the rich and diverse cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Over the past four years, we’ve been working with First Nations-led organisations to develop culturally appropriate health information. Menopause was identified as an information gap during this work.

Navigating ‘the change’

The booklet on menopause – or ‘the change’ as it’s known in some First Nations communities – includes helpful information on why the life stage happens, the common symptoms and changes that occur, and life after menopause.

The booklet is the culmination of insight, wisdom and knowledge that was generously provided from rural, remote and urban communities from Arnhem Land to Gadigal Land.

''Our own bodies are always changing''

It features unique artwork and illustrations by Coolamon Creative, an Aboriginal-owned and operated agency based in Mparntwe (Alice Springs). In explaining the concept behind her work, Samantha Campbell, a graphic designer and illustrator, says:

“This contemporary artwork represents being at peace amongst change. There are women talking together at the centre, with the yellow dots representing peace around them. It also shows the surrounding elements of environment, the empty waterholes, full waterholes, tracks, flowers, which represent the always changing land, just like our own bodies are always changing.“

This contemporary artwork represents being at peace amongst change. The blue represents water and connecting people to peace.”

- Samantha Campbell, Graphic Designer and Illustrator, Coolamon Creative

Information gap on menopause

The release of this new resource will help to fill the information gap on menopause in these communities.

Laura Hinds, a remote area nurse and midwife with the Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation explains:

“Working within the remote space, at times, there is not enough information about sensitive women's health issues … we talk about puberty and conception and what it is like to have a period, or what it’s like to have a baby, but resources that support women later in life are very few and far between.”

Working within the remote space, at times, there is not enough information about sensitive women's health issues.”

Laura Hinds, Remote Area Nurse and Midwife, Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation

She believes the booklet could be used at women’s health events and could be distributed at the women’s safe houses where many midlife women from the communities work.

Menopause toolkit for health professionals

Alongside the booklet, we have also produced a new educational toolkit, in digital or flip chart format, for health professionals. This resource can be used by health workers to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to stay healthy during and after menopause.

It was developed in consultation with several First Nations organisations, including Greater Western Aboriginal Health Service Penrith (NSW), Kalwun Development Corporation Ltd (Qld), Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services (WA), Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation (NT), Nepean Blue Mountains LHD (NSW), and Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation (VIC).

Explore the resources

All rea­son­able steps have been tak­en to ensure the infor­ma­tion cre­at­ed by Jean Hailes Foun­da­tion, and pub­lished on this web­site is accu­rate as at the time of its creation. 

Last updated: 
10 July 2024
Last reviewed: 
12 July 2024