It's time to flourish: Co-designed perinatal and early years care, self-determined by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
Project Status: Commencing
Project administered by: University of South Australia

The ICARE Program is intended to empower Indigenous women and families by providing a platform for their needs to be met and their voice to be heard about system and service change for pregnancy, birthing, and early years care.

The program aims to reduce the risk of preterm birth and other adverse maternal and infant health outcomes, by addressing five key areas of research:

  • Stream 1 - Decolonising Maternal & Child Health, and the early years services ~ evaluate the current service and implement changes to create a culturally safe space for women and children to access healthcare and early years services.
  • Stream 2 - 'Baby coming, you ready' ~ A digital platform that is a validated, trauma informed, wellbeing and healing assessment process for parents to be, and young families.
  • Stream 3 - Coolamon Wraparound care model ~ providing single point of care that encompasses all areas of family life - including a service navigation liaison to assist in reducing stress and burden on parents to be, and young families. Services may include counselling, legal aid, drug and alcohol counselling, transport to and from appointments and housing help.
  • Stream 4 - Create maternal and infant wellbeing indicators. Using data linkage in WA and SA, as well as current evidence we will Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander data sovereignty principles to create national wellbeing indicators for mothers and babies.
  • Stream 5 - Create a maternal and early years health network to promote learnings and knowledge translation.

This study will provide critical data to inform national and state based maternal and child health strategies and inform international recommendations for Indigenous populations.

We expect that ICARE study will reduce the percentage of preterm birth for women having Indigenous babies in WA and SA. We anticipate that ICARE will improve knowledge and build evidence, empower mothers to navigate through a culturally responsive and accessible maternal healthcare system. We hope that ICARE creates knowledge and power that allows Indigenous women, babies, and families to flourish.


Flinders University, University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, Murdoch University

This project is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council