Charity and University Partner to Improve Indigenous Health Outcomes
7 August 2017 at 1:09 pm
One of Australia’s leading charities and a leading university have teamed up to deliver a unique international model designed to improve health and wellbeing in Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders.
The First 1000 Days model builds on international evidence of the life-long importance of the “first 1000 days” from conception through to a child’s second birthday.
In a world first, the Australian model will also consider the preconception environment and incorporate Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander knowledge and leadership.
In a joint statement Save the Children and the University of Melbourne said the program was an “evidence-driven approach to family and community strengthening, entrepreneurship and nations-building” and was a “coordinated, comprehensive strategy for systemic change”.
“The model integrates activities such as community sector worker training, regional planning and service cooperation, policy advocacy and household-level longitudinal research,” it said.
Save the Children CEO Paul Ronalds said the partnership was an innovative approach and an exciting development for the organisation.
“With Save the Children’s national scale and strong experience working with communities, and the University of Melbourne’s research expertise and existing work in this space, we can make a real difference,” Ronalds said.
“This unique approach to development in Australia will support the aspirations of families and communities to improve their own wellbeing and opportunities.”
First 1000 Days Australia Executive Director and University of Melbourne Professor Kerry Arabena said would aim to create generational health gains.
“We need an approach that strengthens culture starting with women of child bearing age, their partners, extended family, and communities, to ensure our children are given the best possible start to life.”