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A better start for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies and children

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THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP Minister for Indigenous Health

29 May 2012

A Better Start for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Babies and Children

A report released today by the Australian National Audit office (ANAO) has confirmed that the New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services program is being effectively administered to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and their children.

The Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, welcomed the report which found that overall the Department of Health and Ageing had been effective in the administration of the program.

“The New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services will help up to 11,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies and their mothers to receive the best possible care for a healthy birth,” Mr Snowdon said.

“New Directions has funded more than 80 programs to increase comprehensive mothers and babies services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers.”

“These organisations have expertise in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and work to improve the access that mothers have to antenatal and postnatal care. They also provide support and advice to mothers on other important child health issues such as immunisation, breastfeeding and nutrition.

“Health care is being provided to young families throughout the child’s first years of life. This includes health checks and referrals for treatment before they start school, if necessary, to ensure their ability to learn is not impeded by health concerns.”

Mr Snowdon said work is also underway to address the audit’s single recommendation that the Department of Health and Ageing strengthen measures to monitor the delivery of these services and determine whether use of services is improving in-line with the program’s objectives.

New Directions is an important part of the Council of Australian Government’s commitment to halve the gap in mortality rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children within a decade.

“The investment in the health of the nation’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children is an investment in the future of Australia,” Mr Snowdon said.

For a copy of the ANAO report, please see: ANAO Report

A list of all New Directions Mothers and Babies Services funded through this initiative is attached.

For more information, contact Mr Snowdon’s Office on 02 6277 7820

Organisations approved for funding under New Directions Mothers and Babies Services*

Organisation Name

Australian Capital Territory

Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service

New South Wales

Aboriginal Medical Service Western Sydney Cooperative

Awabakal Newcastle Aboriginal Cooperative

Biripi Aboriginal Corporation Medical Centre

Bullinah Aboriginal Health Service Aboriginal Corporation

Durri Aboriginal Corporation Medical Service

Griffith Aboriginal Community Medical Service Incorporated

Hunter New England Local Health Network

Northern Rivers General Practice Network (NSW) Limited

North West Slopes (NSW) Division of General Practice

Orange Aboriginal Health Service

Riverina Medical & Dental Aboriginal Corporation

South Eastern Sydney Local Health Network - Royal Hospital for Women

South Coast Women’s Health & Welfare Aboriginal Corporation (Waminda)

Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health Network - Southern Hospitals Network

South Western Sydney Local Health Network

Sydney Local Health Network

Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation

Yerin Aboriginal Health Service

Northern Territory

Organisation Name

Ampilatwatja Health Centre Aboriginal Corporation

Central Australian Aboriginal Congress

Danila Dilba Health Services

Katherine West Health Board Aboriginal Corporation

Laynhapuy Homelands Assoc Inc

Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation

Northern Territory Department of Health

Pintubi Homelands Health Service

Sunrise Health Service Aboriginal Corporation

Western Arrente Health Aboriginal Corporation

Willowra Yuendumu Nyirripi (WYN)

Wurli Wurlinjang Health Service


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service Brisbane

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service Mackay

Apunipima Cape York Health Council Aboriginal Corporation

Cunnamulla Aboriginal Corporation for Health

Darling Downs Shared Care (T/A Carbal Medical Centre)

Gurriny Yealamucka Health Services Aboriginal Corporation

Inala Indigenous Health Service

Institute for Urban Indigenous Health

Kambu Medical Centre (initial funding to Ipswich West Moreton Division of General Practice)

Mamu Health Service

Mookai Rosie Bi Bayan

Mount Isa Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service

Mulungu Aboriginal Corporation Medical Centre

Organisation Name

North and West Queensland Primary Health Care Assn (including RFDS)

Queensland Health - Torres Strait

Townsville General Practice Network

Wuchopperen Health Services Ltd

South Australia

Country Health SA (Port Augusta) Country Health SA (Ceduna)

Port Lincoln Aboriginal Health Service

Tullawon Health Service


Circular Head Aboriginal Corporation

Department of Health and Human Services

Flinders Island Aboriginal Association

North West Tasmania Division of General Practice Incorporated

Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre


Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative

Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative

Mercy Public Hospital

Mildura Aboriginal Corporation

Mungabareena Aboriginal Corporation

Murray Valley Aboriginal Cooperative

Western Australia

Bega Garnbirringu Health Service

Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Service

Marwarnkarra Health Service Aboriginal Corporation

Organisation Name

Ngaanyatjarra Health Service

Ngunytju Tjitji Aboriginal Corporation

Ord Valley Aboriginal Health Service

Paupiyala Tjarutja Aboriginal Corporation

Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service

Western Australian Country Health Service

Wirraka Maya Health Service

Yura Yungi Medical Service