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    Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
    The Honourable Di Farmer

    Wednesday, January 24, 2018

    Extra support for Townsville parents of babies and toddlers

    Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
    The Honourable Di Farmer

    Wednesday, January 24, 2018

    Extra support for Townsville parents of babies and toddlers

    A partnership with the Townsville Aboriginal and Islander Health Service (TAIHS) will help local parents better access services and support they need during the crucial first two years of their child’s life.

    Minister for Child Safety Di Farmer today visited the Townsville Aboriginal and Islander Health Service in Garbutt to see first-hand how the First 1000 Days Australia initiative – which is being trialled in Townsville and Moreton Bay – will help local families.

    “This initiative, which is led by the University of Melbourne, is about working with the strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families so they can address their children’s needs from pre-conception to two years of age,” she said.

    “We want to give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children the best possible start in life and this program seeks to build the skills, resilience and cultural connections of families during those often challenging first couple of years.

    “Indigenous families have positive aspirations for their children and this initiative will bring together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community leaders, service providers and businesses to develop local strategies that can support them to achieve these aspirations.

    “Importantly, the activities developed locally will be guided by the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents, whose views will be sought by locally-based peer researchers.”

    The Queensland Government committed $1.5 million to the University of Melbourne to deliver the First 1000 Days Australia Initiative over three years to 2020. 

    The partnership also includes Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.

    Ms Farmer, who visited the site with Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke and Member for Townsville Scott Stewart, said a new Regional Implementation Manager would be located at TAIHS and would begin work in early February to coordinate local engagement, planning and implementation.

    “I commend the University of Melbourne and TAIHS for working with us on this wonderful initiative which will make a real difference to the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families,” she said.

    “We know that living at home with family is the best place for children and young people – and it helps develop and protect culture and identity in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

    “That’s why we need local stakeholders to work together to help families to be as resilient and engaged in their culture as possible.”

    Ms Farmer also saw a Pepi-Pod in action during the visit, with one of the safe sleeping boxes on display and local mums and their babies in attendance.

    “New mothers across Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have already started received sleeping pods for their babies and access to a safe sleeping education program,” she said.

    “This is a great step forward in our bid to cut infant deaths.

    “The Queensland Government is providing $100,000 to continue the roll-out of this safe sleeping program in Indigenous communities, which includes 600 Pepi-Pods for families.”

    Ends

    Media Contact:                                   Ron Goodman             0427 781 920