Superheroes of SRH: Claire Butselaar

Health Promotion Officer, Women’s Health East

Claire Bustelaar

1. How are you working to improve sexual and reproductive health?

I work hard to keep sexual and reproductive health on the agenda.  Health services and local organisations can have so many competing priorities and it’s my job to remind them how important sexual and reproductive health is to the overall health of the population

2. What do you love most about your work?

Talking about topics that people are afraid to talk about.  There are so many myths and untruths that float around about sex and health, just because people are embarrassed to talk about it.  When I can talk to someone and show them that I’m not embarrassed, the walls start to come down.

3. Why is your work so important?

Sexual and reproductive health is so often not on people’s radars.  No one worries about that part of their life until something goes wrong and suddenly they don’t know where to go for support.  Most people don’t realise how much their sexual and reproductive health impacts on all areas of their lives – their physical and mental health, and their emotional and social wellbeing.  If we don’t keep fighting for women’s health and rights, we could lose so much of the progress that we’ve made.

4. What do you think are the biggest sexual and reproductive health issues facing Indigenous women that you work with?

Access to sexual and reproductive health services.  We have very few publicly funded services in the east and some areas with few transport options.  So many women don’t know where to go to find affordable, accessible and non-judgemental support.  That’s why I’m so excited that we are getting a SRH Hub in Ringwood, it is so needed!


Learn more about Women’s Health East’s work in Sexual and Reproductive Health