GOING STRONG: Lorna McGrath and Robyn Liddell celebrate the 21st birthday of the Gladstone Women’s Health Centre.
GOING STRONG: Lorna McGrath and Robyn Liddell celebrate the 21st birthday of the Gladstone Women’s Health Centre. Kirsten Cunningham

Women's health centre turns lives around

WHEN Lorna McGrath's marriage broke-up in 1996, she needed help.

So when the opportunity to do a Women Growing Stronger program at the Gladstone Women's Health Centre came along she signed up straight away.

"It totally changed my life," she said. "I felt so empowered.

"It made me realise the bad things that I thought were normal in my marriage weren't."

"I did the course, and then another, and then started volunteering, I loved it so much."

That was 15 years ago and now Ms McGrath is chairwoman of the centre that turned her life around.

"This organisation means the world to me," she said.

"I found the confidence I needed to deal with the break-up, to learn how to drive, and to study social work at CQ University."

"I am who I am today because of the centre, and I can't tell you how grateful I am."

Ms McGrath is one of hundreds of people the centre has supported, and one of many volunteers who can give something back.

"The fact that we turned 21 this week is so special, and shows us that we are still going strong," she said.

Gladstone Women's Health Centre celebrated its 21st in style with more than 70 people attending the gala event at Central Queensland University on Wednesday.

It was a show of support for the organisation that started with two nurses and a commitment in 1993 to provide more support for women in Gladstone.

For the past two decades, the centre has offered general counselling, violence and sexual assault counselling, personal growth and support groups, and access to women's health nurses.

Acting manager Robyn Liddell said the celebration was important to acknowledge how important the centre had been to many women in Gladstone.

"We have seven part-time staff, 12 volunteers and 60 members," she said.

"We're here to stay and are always looking to engage the wider community.

"Show your support and become a member for $20. We'd love to meet you."



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