Daughters of the West program a howling success

BreastScreen Victoria's engagement with women in Melbourne's West as part of this year's Daughters of the West program was a great success.

Daughters of the West is a free 10-week health initiative promoted by the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation. It was developed to improve the mental health and physical wellbeing of women aged 18 and over who live, work and play in the West. Each week, female participants enjoy one hour of health education, followed by one hour of physical activity suitable for all fitness levels and abilities. 

BreastScreen Victoria presented across three days of the 2021 program, from 17–19 August, with the support of two consumer representatives. Topics included the importance of breast screening and early detection, Victorian breast cancer statistics, risk factors and being breast aware. The presentations were meant to be in person, but these sessions were conducted virtually due to state-wide pandemic lockdowns.

Speaking about the event, Western Bulldogs Health Promotion Coordinator Naomi Fitzgerald said, "The Western Bulldogs Community Foundation aims to empower our community to take control of their health and wellbeing, and through the partnership with BreastScreen Victoria, we are able to achieve that."

"The BreastScreen presentations during the Daughters of the West program reached nearly 200 female participants, students, volunteers and staff from across the West. We look forward to our continued partnership for years to come," she said. 

BreastScreen Victoria has been involved with Daughters of the West since the 2017 launch of its pilot program. 

"Daughters of the West is a wonderful opportunity to reach the community and build their knowledge of the importance of breast screening," says Jess Elsworth, BreastScreen Victoria's Community Engagement Coordinator. 

"We will continue to be involved in engaging with the community in Victoria's west," Jess added. "We're hopeful that, in 2022, we will be able to deliver our sessions in person."