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Monday, 26 November 2018
Page: 11500

Mr DICK (Oxley) (16:40): I rise to give my support to the Australian Breastfeeding Association. Recently, I met with ABA adviser Kay Whitby, who told me about the support for mothers, babies and families in my electorate of Oxley. ABA provides qualified, volunteer breastfeeding peer support via the Commonwealth-funded National Breastfeeding Helpline and its new LiveChat service and face-to-face counselling by a network of local support groups. ABA provides health professional education and development, and has a well-established Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace Program. ABA also provides specialist breastfeeding support for services for Aboriginals, Torres Strait Islanders and other priority groups. Through the telephone interpreter service, a community mentor program and translated literature, ABA is providing breastfeeding support to women in the Vietnamese and African communities in my electorate. I was delighted to hear that the ABA is starting up a Vietnamese-speaking breastfeeding group in the Inala-Darra area.

The science tells us breastfeeding reduces infant mortality and protects children against childhood illnesses. Breastfeeding contributes to better health for mothers. It protects them against breast cancer and depression and is likely to protect against ovarian cancer and diabetes. Breastfeeding contributes substantial savings in health costs by reducing disease burden, and breastfeeding is a smart and cost-effective investment in society because it enhances human capital. But women and babies need support. I call on the government to make sure they continue to support the association in its important work. I would like to acknowledge the Australian Breastfeeding Association, Alison Boughey and breastfeeding counsellor Kay Whitby for all their hard work.