Leaders in First Nations maternal, newborn and child health
The Molly Wardaguga Research Centre was a strategic investment by Charles Darwin University in 2019. Established in honour of Burarra Elder and midwife who worked extensively to improve health outcomes, with a vision of returning birthing services to Indigenous communities and Indigenous control. Centre co-directors, Professors Kildea and Roe, are leaders in health services research in midwifery, culturally responsive models of care and Indigenous health.
The vision of the Centre is to support women’s cultural and birthing aspirations, especially in remote locations through research and use this to dismantle the barriers imposed by westernised approaches to birthing and maternal healthcare.
To respond to our First Nations industry partners aspirations, we have assembled a multidisciplinary team of experts across Australia to address inequities in the first 2,000 days (pregnancy to age five), including Indigenous methodology and knowledge holders, midwifery, nursing, inter-cultural communication, participatory action research, community development and investment, digital media, public health, health economist, biostatistician, sociology, anthropology, biostatistics, epidemiology, neonatology, implementation science, medicine, health services and translational research.
Working side-by-side with communities, we undertake joint funding applications, lobbying and membership on research, steering and participatory action research committees. Local employment, training and education are all key goals for program implementation and conducting research.
CDU’s Molly Wardaguga Research Centre is part of a global movement for ‘Birthing on Country. and we see this as a call to action for ‘Black Lives Matter’. Our intention for urgent and immediate change to address systemic racism and catalyse generational change for the First Nations people.
- Co-directors, Professor Sue Kildea and Associate Professor Yvette Roe
About the Centre
The Molly Wardaguga Research Centre was established in April 2019 and is dedicated to the late Molly Wardaguga, Burarra Elder, Aboriginal Midwife, Senior Aboriginal Health Worker and founding member of the Malabam (now Malal’a) Health Board in Maningrida, Arnhem Land.
Molly was an important contributor to the Australian discourse regarding the importance of Birthing on Country. Her work and mentoring in Aboriginal health and research; and maternal and infant health, in particular, has galvanised many advocates to improve maternity services for Indigenous Australians. Read Molly’s story.
Molly's vision to support women’s cultural and birthing aspirations, especially those living in remote locations, will endure through the Molly Wardaguga Research Centre which is an initiative of Charles Darwin University.
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Molly Wardaguga Research Centre announces National Birthing on Country ConferenceRead more
The Molly Wardaguga Research Centre at Charles Darwin University (CDU) is co-hosting the second National Birthing on Country Conference in Alice Springs on October 10-12, a decade after the inaugural event.
Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Families to Stay Together from the Start (SAFeST Start): Urgent call to action to address crisis in infant removalsRead more
This article outlines systemic failures to address the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents during pregnancy and following birth, causing cumulative harm and trauma to families, communities and cultures.
Molly Wardaguga Research Centre secures $5 million to support First Nations maternal healthRead more
Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) Molly Wardaguga Research Centre has welcomed $5 million in this year’s budget for the Birthing On Country project to support First Nations mothers and their babies in remote communities for the next five years.