Long Story Short

Reshaping the narrative of women's sexual and reproductive health.

The Long Story Short project aims to elevate the voices and perspectives of women and gender diverse people living in the Goulburn North East and Loddon Mallee areas of regional Victoria to inform advocacy and resource development to improve their sexual and reproductive health. 

About the project

Long Story Short: Reshaping the narrative of women’s sexual and reproductive health (formerly Storylines), is a multiyear project informed by quantitative research, lived-experience perspectives, and expert advice from health professionals, with the aim of building solutions-based advocacy and resources that improve access to sexual and reproductive healthcare and information for women* in the Loddon Mallee and Goulburn North East regions.

Lived-experience perspectives form the heart of the Long Story Short project. Women’s Health Loddon Mallee and Women’s Health Goulburn North East have gathered perspectives from across our regions through the development of a Community Advisory Group to steer the early stages of the project, consultation with health professionals, a series of focus groups, and an online survey.

We have also collated the perspectives and experiences of women shared over two iterations of this project to develop a series of five videos which highlight, in narrative form, the challenges and solutions which can be drawn from women’s lived experience.

Collecting Lived Experience Perspectives

Community Advisory Group

Qualitative data collection began with the formation of a Community Advisory Group (CAG), populated by 20 women from around the Goulburn North East and Loddon Mallee region with an interest in sexual and reproductive health.

The CAG discussed the challenges around seeking sexual and reproductive health in regional and rural Victoria. They identified five overarching themes which encapsulate the collective experiences among the group and the region, and as areas which can guide solutions to improving SRH. They are:

  • Access
  • Education
  • Stigma
  • Privacy and confidentiality
  • Innovation and networking

Health Professionals Consultation

Following the CAG sessions, we held an online workshop and opened a survey for health professionals working in the SRH space to share their perspectives on how to improve access and experiences.

Both the session and the survey used the themes developed with the CAG to guide the conversation. The health professionals were able to provide valuable context from the other side of the clinic, bringing light to some of the challenges and potential solutions to providing sexual and reproductive healthcare in rural and regional Victoria.

Focus Groups and Online Questionnaire

We travelled around our region to hear from women and gender diverse people on sexual and reproductive health, as well as engaging online through a focus group and questionnaire.

Participants generously shared their experiences and then reimagined what would have made those experiences better in order to identify solutions.

After hearing an array of experience-based perspectives from a diverse cohort of women and gender diverse people, we are collating our data and developing a final report, scheduled for release in late June 2024.

The findings will inform resource development and advocacy, as well as contribute to submissions, planning and future projects in the SRH space. Sign up here to receive the report when it is available.

Sexual + Reproductive Health Resources

As part of the Long Story Short project, we’ve heard that easy to find and understand information is vital to improving access to timely and relevant sexual and reproductive health information. So, we’ve compiled this list of links to help guide women and gender diverse people in finding the services and information they need:

Long Story Short Video Series

Women in rural and regional areas struggle to make their voices heard when it comes to their health. Women and employers need to understand ‘taboo’ subjects in women’s health that may impact their ability to work, such as menopause. Education surrounding women’s health is vital to make sure women in regional areas are heard, understood and helped.

Our Long Story Short project is a collaboration with Women’s Health Goulburn North East that collects real stories to show why women’s health should be a top priority for decision makers. These videos are inspired by real experiences and told by actors. 

Long Story Short

Jane’s Story

Long Story Short

Catherine’s Story

Long Story Short

Ellen’s Story

Long Story Short

Lucinda’s Story

Long Story Short

Brigid’s Story