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Funding to help Waminda make smoking history

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The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP

Minister for Aged Care Minister for Indigenous Health Member for Hasluck

Ann Sudmalis MP

Member for Gilmore


10 July 2018

Funding to Help Waminda Make Smoking History

An anti-smoking campaign targeting teenage women and pregnant smokers on the New South Wales South Coast will be able to build on its life-changing work, with a further $610,000 from the Turnbull Government.

The funding will go to the South Coast Women’s Health and Welfare Aboriginal Corporation (Waminda), to extend the Balaang Binjalaan-Aboriginal Women Tobacco Intervention Project for another year.

Minister Wyatt said the project - announced during NAIDOC Week - stretched between the Illawarra and Eden and would also extend to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, including smokers of child-bearing age.

“This health campaign reflects NAIDOC Week’s ‘Because of her, we can!’ theme,” said Minister Wyatt.

“Helping young women, mothers and their partners quit smoking is vital to ensure healthier futures for their children and themselves.

“Waminda has a strong track record of improving health and the additional funding will allow this dynamic organisation to help even more women and their families.

“Every local initiative like this plays an important part in the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program, a comprehensive national approach to reduce smoking among our First Nations people and the wider community.”

Member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis, said the Balaang Binjalaan project complemented Waminda’s successful Dead or Deadly women’s health program.

“Through Waminda’s holistic and culturally comfortable engagement with local women, indications are that quitting rates are increasing,” Ms Sudmalis said.

“This is important because research shows that smoking is responsible for one in five preventable deaths in Aboriginal people and also contributes to low birth weight babies and poorer infant health.

“This funding will help Waminda extend Balaang Binjalaan to more local communities and hopefully double the number of participants, to 120.”

The Turnbull Government recently announced the next phase of the highly successful campaign Don’t Make Smokes Your Story, along with record funding of $183.7 million over the next four years for Tackling Indigenous Smoking.

“The focus of this latest phase remains on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 18-40 years who smoke and those who have recently quit,” Minister Wyatt said.

“The campaign also concentrates on pregnant women and their partners with Quit for You, Quit for Two.

“Results from the first two phases of the campaign revealed they had successfully helped to reduce smoking rates.

“More than 50 per cent of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander evaluation participants who saw the campaign took some action as a result of seeing the campaign, including 8 per cent who actually quit.

“These results are encouraging, but we need to continue our concerted efforts to support those people who want to kick the smoking habit and the Waminda project ties in very well with the broader national campaign.”

The $610,000 Waminda funding will also support the University of Wollongong’s evaluation of the Balaang Binjilaang project.

Media contact: Minister Wyatt - Nick Way 0419 835 449 Ann Sudmalis - James Perrin 0411 179 325

Authorised by Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Member for Hasluck.