Focus on sexual health

Quarry Health Centre manager Debbie Hindley. Picture: Dominique Menegaldo d401656
Quarry Health Centre manager Debbie Hindley. Picture: Dominique Menegaldo d401656

Quarry Health Centre, a Family Planning WA program, which has been running Fremantle for the past 29 years, recently moved to Aberdeen Street.

Manager Debbie Hindley said the move was prompted by the need to connect with more people living east and north of the river.

The service offers people aged 12 to 25 non-judgmental, confidential and affordable sexual health services, include STI tests, counselling and referrals.

But she said connecting with more young people meant the rates of STI detection and teenage pregnancy could go up.

‘Our effectiveness is really difficult to measure, it is generally judged on lowering the rates of teen pregnancy and STIs,’ Ms Hindley said.

‘But the more people who connect with our service, the more data we are going to record.’

Ms Hindley said current figures suggested the STI rate was increasing in WA, but she said that could be a positive result of education.

‘I think that rate is increasing because more young people are getting tested,’ she said.

‘But there has also been a change in the last 10 years around the use of condoms. We find more young people are willing to carry them now.’

Ms Hindley said a broad range of young people used the service, including those in crisis and others who just wanted information.

‘In a perfect world we would want more Aboriginal young people in our programs, but we need to put more initiatives out there to connect with young people,’ she said.