The year is 1979.
There are 41 doctors in Wagga and only one is female.
A woman books an appointment to be prescribed the pill but is refused by the doctor.
So another appointment is made with the same result.
After several appointments finally the prescription is made.
This happened 40 years ago but today there are reports of some Wagga doctors refusing to prescribe the pill, limiting the number of repeats (forcing more appointments and increasing the cost for women) or not giving women information about other types of birth control.
"When the pill was introduced in Australia it was a huge change in women having the right to their own body for the first time," crisis and support worker Julie Mecham said.
Women can and must be in control of their own lives. That is not saying anything against men its just saying women should have the same control over their lives as men.Crisis and support worker Julie Mecham
The struggle to access the pill 40 years ago was just one of many contributing factors which saw a group of eight women establish the Wagga Women's Health Centre.
Money was raised through weekly or fortnightly donations from like-minded women and men as there was no government funding for women's health.
Today the centre employs 11 staff who assist thousands of women each year.
Julie has been working at the centre for the past seven years and is thrilled to see the organisation hit the 40 year milestone.
"It's great for the centre to be recognised as integral to a healthy community," she said.
"We are needed by our community to offer a women's only service in an environment that supports them in their choices, whatever they are.
"We're always busy and it is sad we are still needed.
"If you had no one coming in and everyone was safe it would be a great day.
"When the founders first started they thought it would take about 10 years and everything would be equal but we're still fighting but you can't get caught up in what hasn't been done.
"Unless we have hope things are changing we couldn't do this job."
While there have been many positive changes thanks to the service there are also still many of the same things being fought for.
Changing perceptions in the community
Advocating and making public comment on a range of issues that challenge or impact women is one of the most important roles of the centre.
Violence against women is a perfect example.
For years women have been told to alter their behaviour to avoid being assaulted.
However, the aim is to put the spotlight on perpetrators as abusers.
"We constantly get the message that as women we are responsible for keeping ourselves safe in the public realm as if there is a "stranger danger monster" implying the person who will hurt you is someone unknown," Julie said.
"For women it's way more likely that you will be hurt in your own home by someone you know than by a stranger."
"Often the blame for attacks is put on women and not the perpetrator."
There is hope that this change is happening following Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius saying attacks on women in Melbourne were about "man's behaviour."
"What is it in our community that allows some men to think that it's still ok to attack women or take from women what they want for whatever reason?
"Violence against women is absolutely about men's behaviour it's not about women's behaviour and women in our community can and should expect that men get that and men recognise that it is their behaviour that causes violence by men against women."
This shift in language is very significant for the change of perception in the community.
"This is the first time we've heard that language rather than "don't walk alone" which is simply shifting the blame," Julie said.
"Where we put the blame for domestic violence is very important."
Fighting for equality
It's hard to believe that just 40 years ago women couldn't:
- Work after marriage
- Own property
- Have a loan in their name without a man as guarantor
- Struggled to access contraception
Today the battle is still on access to birth control but is more focused on access to abortion.
It's okay to challenge patriarchy, to knock down walls that are put up saying women can't make decisions that are right for them which includes access to termination.Crisis and support worker Julie Mecham
For women in Wagga or the Riverina the closest place to access a surgical abortion is Canberra - almost three hours away by car.
Previously they were available in Albury.
"There are no surgical options in Wagga," Julie said.
"It's a women's health issue, plain and simple.
"It falls squarely within health's corner and there is a hole in services available to women in this area."
Read more health story in the 2019 Essential Health Guide.