HSRAANZ Webinar Recording Now Available – Reducing preterm birth for First Nations babies through implementation of a Birthing on Country service

A recording of this HSRAANZ webinar held on 23 March is now available to view.



Prof Sue Kildea - The Molly Wardaguga Research Centre, Charles Darwin University

Kristie Watego-Ivory - Institute for Urban Indigenous Health

(On behalf of the Indigenous Birthing in an Urban Setting Study team)

FLYER - please circulate to colleagues

Birthing on Country is a metaphor for the best start in life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait babies and their families. Birthing on Country Services are recommended in national policy and described as maternity and family health services that are philosophically aligned to an Aboriginal world view, co-designed with community, enable Indigenous governance, connection with land, country and traditional practice; and are provided by a culturally competent workforce. The essential characteristics of this complex intervention are evidence-based and include: Indigenous governance with regular monitoring and evaluation, continuity of midwifery carer through a midwifery group practice, an Indigenous workforce, partnerships across primary and tertiary services, a capacity building approach, a social model of health and wellbeing providing across the first 1,000 days and cultural strengthening programs. The presenters will discuss how a multiagency partnership between the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service Community Health Service and the Mater Hospital in Brisbane drove the redesign of services in line with Birthing on Country principles and their experiences translating policy into practice. This new model of care has seen profound improvements in health outcomes including a 50% reduction in the odds of women having a preterm birth, a rapid increase in the First Nations workforce and increased First Nations control over the funding and services.


Kristie and Sue being interviewed by Norman Swan for the Health Report


Kristie Watego-Ivory is the Birthing and Early Childhood Services Manager at the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health. She was previously the Manager of the Birthing in Our Community Service.






Prof Sue Kildea is internationally recognised as a midwifery leader and has strong links with First Nations researchers and Aboriginal Community-controlled Health Organisations across the country and internationally. This is built across a 35-year career in clinical, research, education and policy. She has recently won the Research Australia Health Services Research Award (2018) for her work in First Nations Health.