Giving South West Children a Better Start to Life

A highly successful mothers and babies health program is now available in Western Australia’s South West, as part of the national expansion of the service to help build stronger, healthier and more resilient Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.

Page last updated: 01 February 2018

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Joint Media Release


The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP
Minister for Aged Care
Minister for Indigenous Health
Member for Hasluck

Nola Marino MP
Member for Forrest


1 February 2018

A highly successful mothers and babies health program is now available in Western Australia’s South West, as part of the national expansion of the service to help build stronger, healthier and more resilient Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.

Officially launching the New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services program in Australind, Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt AM and Member for Forrest Nola Marino congratulated the South West Aboriginal Medical Service (SWAMS) for partnering in the service.

“The Noongar name for the new service is Moodij Boodjari Moort, meaning Strong Pregnant Families,” said Minister Wyatt.

“Research shows that healthy choices from conception to three years of age have a big impact. Working with local, community based organisations like SWAMS, we understand how a strong start supports children to go to school, enables adults to lead productive and long lives, and helps maintain community strength.”

The New Directions program targets five priority areas, including:
    • Care before and immediately after birth
    • Detailed information about baby care
    • Practical advice and assistance with breast-feeding, nutrition and parenting
    • Monitoring development, immunisations and infections
    • Health checks and referrals to treatment for children before they start school
Mrs Marino said she was proud of the Turnbull Government support for the landmark new service.

“We are providing just under $440,000 to SWAMS for the program this year, and we were have invested more than $116,000 to refurbish this centre in Australind for the program,” she said.

“The benefits will be widespread, with local women comfortable to come here to see nurses and doctors, and many others visited by health workers through outreach services.”

An Australian Institute of Health and Welfare study found that families participating in the New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services showed improvement in seven out of the eight national Key Performance Indicators on maternal and child health.

Minister Wyatt said New Directions was part of the $94 million Better Start to Life initiative.

“The Turnbull Government has recently finalised the next phase of the Better Start to Life expansion, funding 14 new sites to implement the New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services program and five new sites to deliver the Australian Nurse Family Partnership Program,” said Minister Wyatt.

Twelve more New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services program sites will be announced this year.

Media contacts:
Minister Wyatt - Nick Way, Media Adviser 0419 835 449
Nola Marino MP - Ryan Hadjimihalakis: 0432 551 560

National expansion sites:
State
Australian Nurse Family Partnership Program Organisations
IARE
VICRumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative Ltd Campaspe – Shepparton - Moira
NSWDurri Aboriginal Corporation Medical Service Kempsey
Greater Western Aboriginal Health Service Blacktown
NTWurli Wurlinjang Aboriginal Corporation Katherine Town
ACTWinnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service (ACT) Inc Canberra North
Canberra South
State
New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services Organisations
IARE
NSWWellington Aboriginal Corporation Health ServiceWellington
Coonamble Aboriginal Health ServiceCoonamble
Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service LtdWalgett
QLDMulungu Aboriginal Corporation Primary Health Care ServiceAtherton
Kuranda - Croydon
Gurriny Yealamucka (Good Healing) Health Services Aboriginal CorporationYarrabah
Apunipima Cape York Health Council Aurukun
Kowanyama
NPA Family and Community Services Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander CorpNorthern Peninsula Area
WADerby Aboriginal Health Service Council Aboriginal CorporationDerby Mowanjum
Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical ServiceBroome - Surrounds
South-West Aboriginal Medical Service Aboriginal CorporationBunbury
SAPika Wiya Health Service Aboriginal CorporationPort Augusta
Pangula Mannamurna Aboriginal CorporationSouth East
Ceduna Koonibba Aboriginal Health Service (Aboriginal Corporation)Ceduna
Nunyara Aboriginal Health Service IncWhyalla
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