To mark International Women’s Day 2023, the VCCC Alliance, The Royal Women’s Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre are partnering to host a special event to highlight how women are under-served by the systems that should keep them happy, healthy and informed about their bodies - and how we can address the underlying issues.

Special guest speaker

The Hon Ged Kearney MP, Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Chair of the National Women’s Health Advisory Council


Gabrielle Jackson, associate news editor at Guardian Australia, journalist and author of Pain and Prejudice

The reality is that ‘women's pain is not taken as seriously as men's. Women are more likely to be disbelieved and denied treatment than men, even though women are far more likely to be suffering from chronic pain (2).

Women wait longer for cancer diagnoses (2) and research published last year showed that a woman in Australia presenting to an emergency department with a serious heart attack is half as likely to get the care she needs as a man and twice as likely to be dead in 12 months (3).

It’s time for an open discussion about this insidious issue.

Following a powerful speech about the impact of 'medical misogyny' and the announcement of the establishment of a new National Women’s Health Advisory Council (4) in December last year, Ms Ged Kearney, Assistant Minister for Health in the Australian Government, will join us to set the scene and speak about priorities and pathways forward.

Gabrielle Jackson, author of Pain and Prejudice - How the Medical System Ignores Women and What We Can Do About It (2) - will share what she has learned researching and writing about how women’s pain is treated in modern healthcare systems for the past eight years.

The speakers will join a panel of experts to discuss how this issue plays out in practice and what can be done to change the system, plus considerations for healthcare workers, researchers, policy makers and female patients themselves.

Confirmed panellists

Professor Sue Matthews, CEO, Royal Women’s Hospital

Dr David Speakman, Chief Medical Officer, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Professor Zoe Wainer, Deputy Secretary for Public Health, Victorian Department of Health

Host and facilitator

Emeritus Professor Linda Kristjanson AO, Chair, VCCC Alliance

The presenting partners encourage everyone to join us in person or online for this highly topical discussion relevant to all health care professionals.

Where:  Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre - Level 7, Lecture Theatre B, 305 Grattan Street, Melbourne.

When: 3 March 2023 - Lecture and panel discussion hybrid event - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Free tickets can be booked at Sex and gender bias: Towards gender equity in Australian healthcare | VCCC Alliance.

  1. Assistant Minister Kearney - speech at the Health and Medical Research Awards in Melbourne on the establishment of a National Women’s Health Advisory Council, Dec 2022.
  2. Pain and Prejudice, Gabrielle Jackson (2019)
  3. Meet the speakers: Dr Zoe Wainer on sex differences in healthcare
  4. Labor launches national women’s health advisory council to tackle medical misogyny