AITHM James Cook University

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It is said that it takes a village to raise a child – a positive ‘village’ environment means better outcomes for the child.

Positive and supportive action was the focus when a group of powerful women from across Australia met recently in Brisbane, Queensland to launch the ‘Women’s action for Mums and Bubs’ (WOMB) research project. A five-year pragmatic trial of participatory women’s groups, WOMB aims to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander maternal and child health and is funded by the National Health and Medical Project Council (1146013).

Associate Professor Catrina Felton-Busch, an Aboriginal researcher from Mornington Island and co-lead of the WOMB project at James Cook University explains, “Although there have been improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander maternal and child health, inequities remain.”

“This project will test the effectiveness of community women’s groups to improve the quality of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander maternal and child health”, says Associate Professor Felton-Busch.

Professor Sarah Larkins, co-lead from James Cook University said, “There is persuasive evidence internationally that shows participatory women’s groups can improve maternal and child outcomes through improved quality of care, women’s empowerment, and new learning.”

This approach will be trialled by ten Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Services from Queensland, New South Wales, Northern Territory and Western Australia, who will be supported by researchers during the five year study.

For more information, please contact the WOMB co-leads, Associate Professor Catrina Felton-Busch or Professor Sarah Larkins: womb@jcu.edu.au

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