House debates

Thursday, 17 February 2022

Statements by Members

Indigenous Health, Waminda

1:30 pm

Photo of Fiona PhillipsFiona Phillips (Gilmore, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

As a mum of four, I understand that holistic health care and support is absolutely critical from pregnancy right through to the early days of welcoming a new, tiny person into your family. But there is a huge gap in Australia in the maternity services available. The mortality gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and babies is double that of non-Indigenous women. There has not been a true commitment to closing the gap for pregnant Aboriginal women in this country. Ensuring culturally and medically safe maternity services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women has been proven to improve premature birth outcomes and the health of women.

I share with the House the leadership in this space in Gilmore by Waminda, the South Coast Women's Health and Welfare Aboriginal Corporation. They are seeking federal funding towards a birthing on country centre of excellence, building on thousands of years of knowledge and practice—an Aboriginal women led maternity service providing care that embeds cultural integrity and safety during pregnancy, labour, birth and the post-natal period; making women feel strong in themselves; and providing a beautiful, wraparound holistic service. That's why I'm supporting Waminda in their efforts to bring national attention to this issue.