Dr Philomena Horsley

Philomena Horsley is one of the co-founders of Women's Information Referral and Exchange (WIRE).

Honour Roll

She was part of the inaugural collective where she co-wrote the funding submission that established the centre. She was the first worker, 1983-85 and was involved in lobbying for the establishment of Healthsharing Women, the first state government funded women's health service in Victoria.

Philomena was also involved in Women in Industry and Community Health (WICH) - Board of Directors from 1989-91. WICH focuses on health education to working women from non English speaking backgrounds.

Philomena helped establish one of the first sexuality education and counselling services for people with HIV/AIDS in Australia. She advocated on issues such as sexual rights, the sexual abuse of people with HIV/AIDS, the right for women with HIV/AIDS to parent, forced sterilisation of women with HIV/AIDS, the need for greater legal protection of the rights of people with HIV/AIDS, including lobbying for the establishment of the Office of the Public Advocate.

She is co-author/producer of 'So you won't get AIDS' (1990), the first HIV/STD prevention resource for people with HIV/AIDS in the world, an education/prevention kit developed in conjunction with people with HIV/AIDS. Also, author of Sexuality Rights and Choices: Sexuality, Sexual Abuse and Appropriate Behaviour Education for people with intellectual disabilities (1991); and 'Babies - Our right to choose' (1993), book for women with HIV/AIDS.

From 1992-96 she was employed at Healthsharing Women Health Resource Service (now Women's Health Victoria), providing statewide education and community consultation sessions for women; advocacy and health care provider training on women's health and lesbian health issues. From 1996-99 she was Co-ordinator of Positive Women Victoria with responsibility for development and maintenance of support services to women with HIV/AIDS, lobbying and advocacy on behalf of HIV positive women nationally.

From 1999, to the present she is founder and convenor of the Victorian Lesbian Health Workers Network, to network, share information and support/advocate for action around lesbian health issues and a Board Member and Vice President of Victorian AIDS Council. In 2000, she became a Community representative on the Victorian Ministerial Advisory Committee on AIDS, Hepatitis C and Related Diseases.

Philomena is widely respected for her commitment to women's health including lesbian health and community health delivery.