The Australian Reproductive Health Alliance is pleased to have completed two toolkits to help parliamentarians to advance the health and well-being of women and girls in the Asia-Pacific region.
The first toolkit encourages male parliamentarians to eliminate violence against women in their countries by identifying specific opportunities for action. Male parliamentarians are often role models within their own communities and can be powerful advocates for change at all levels of society. This toolkit assists them by providing information and resources which governments can adapt to their local contexts. Download your copy here.
The second toolkit is a practical guide to engaging the media about sexual and reproductive health. It combines insights into how the media works with practical tools to help parliamentarians to communicate about reproductive health for the most impact. Download your copy here.
ARHA gratefully acknowledges the funding support of the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians for Population and Development (AFPPD),
the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Australian Aid for helping to support these important projects.

An Extraordinary General Meeting of the members of the Australian Reproductive Health Alliance (ARHA) was held on Monday August 15th 2011.
The meeting was convened to consider the resolution that, in view of the continuing financial insecurity facing the Alliance and the decision of the Parliamentary Group on Population and Development to transfer its Secretariat to another organisation, the Australian Reproductive Health Alliance cease on September 30th 2011.
The motion was passed unanimously and ARHA will cease to exist in any form after that date.
The decision to close an organisation which has achieved so much over the past 15 years was taken in sadness. The Management Committee of ARHA would like to thank all those members and supporters who have sustained us in so many ways over that time.
For more information please do not hesitate to contact Susan Stratigos, ARHA President, on +61 (0)2 6278 6948 or 0402 957 259.

22 July 2011: Notice of upcoming Extraordinary General Meeting on Monday August 15
The Australian Reproductive Health Alliance (ARHA) will be holding an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Alliance’s members on Monday 15th August 2011, commencing at 4:00pm (AEST), at the offices of Macquarie Financial Services, Level 7, Canberra House, 40 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra City 2601.
The meeting is being convened to seek member approval of the resolution which, if passed, will close all operations of the Australian Reproductive Health Alliance on September 30th 2011.
The Board recommends that members support the resolution. For more information or to discuss the resolution please do not hesitate to contact Susan Stratigos, ARHA President, on +61 (0)2 6278 6948 or 0402 957 259.

15 June 2011: A new Project Officer joins the ARHA team
ARHA is pleased to announce that it has appointed a new Project Officer. Amelia Robertson joins ARHA from the Centre for Policy Development, a progressive public interest think tank, where she focussed on helping the Centre produce and promote a range of public policy research papers.
With more than 10 years’ experience as a corporate communications advisor, including most recently as a group account director at Red Agency, which helped WWF to launch Earth Hour, Amelia’s research and writing skills will be put to good use at ARHA. 
She holds a Master of Arts (Politics & International Relations) from UNSW, and is passionate about rights-based public policy in Australia and throughout the Asia Pacific. ARHA is delighted to welcome her on board.

May 2011: ARHA organized a Parliamentary Roundtable on Ending Gender Based Violence in the Asia Pacific Region.
The Roundtable, hosted by the Parliamentary Group on Population and Development, drew together Parliamentarians from Australia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, diplomats from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Thailand and Timor Leste, representatives of international organisations, civil society, academia, Australian government departments and members of the international development sector.
The purpose of the Roundtable was to highlight current trends, emerging issues, effective practices and community responses.  Presentations also highlighted the intersections of gender based violence with human rights and gender equality, policy and legislation, health and community and government responses. 
The lively and informed discussion provided the framework for the Parliamentary Group on Population and Development’s Communiqué which is available. The proceedings highlighted the complexities of gender based violence and the themes that emerged were the need for  multi-sectoral and cross-sectoral responses, capacity building, data collection and the need for sustained funding.
Gender based violence is a violation of human rights and is inhibiting progress toward reaching the Millennium Development Goals.  Without addressing violence, we will continue to see gender inequality, poor health outcomes and a high cost to local economies.
The major output of the day was a communiqué which was sent to the Foreign Minister, the hon. Ken Rudd with the suggestion that it serve as a platform for the policy dialogue the United States, Australia and the World Bank scheduled to take place in late 2011.
The report can be downloaded here.  

7 March 2011: ARHA hosts a tribute dinner for founder and patron Marie Coleman
ARHA’s Board had the pleasure of hosting a dinner in honour of ARHA’s Founder and Patron, Marie Coleman.  

The Hon. Jenny Macklin, MP, Minister of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, spoke at length about Marie’s contribution to the advancement of women’s rights in Australia, including as the first woman to head a statutory authority as Chair of the Whitlam government's Social Welfare Commission.

The evening’s celebrations were preceded by an expert panel hosted by the Parliamentary Group on Population and Development, which discussed and debated the Link between Gender Based Violence and Maternal Health. Thanks to all who joined us for both events.

13 February 2011: PGPD SPRINT study tour to the Thai-Burma border
Senator Claire Moore, Chair of the Australian Parliamentary Group on Population and Development (PGPD), along with other PGPD members The Hon Teresa Gambaro, The Hon Dr Sharman Stone and Mr Jude Perera, MLA from Victoria participated in a study tour to the Thailand-Burma border.

Organised by ARHA, the study tour investigated the sexual and reproductive health responses being implemented in crisis and post-crisis situations in East, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. 

The group met with a range of organisations in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Mae Sot and spent a day in the Umpien Mai Refugee Camp.  The PGPD also engaged in lively discussions on issues including migrant labour conditions, particularly for women and girls; aid and development; food distribution with refugees; registration of new arrivals, and; long-term solutions to this protracted crisis.

ARHA gratefully acknowledges the in-country support of the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) and of the Asia Pacific Alliance (APA).    

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