We would like to extend a warm welcome to Professor Sue Kildea, who joins the CDU team as Co-director of the Molly Wardaguga Research Centre along with Associate Professor Yvette Roe.
For Prof Kildea, the new Research Centre is the realisation of a long-held dream. Her mentor, Molly Wardaguga (1938–2009) was a Burarra Elder, Aboriginal Midwife and Senior Aboriginal Health Worker from Maningrida, Arnhem Land, who made an important contribution to the Australian discourse on Birthing on Country during her lifetime.
“We are here [at the launch] because of this marvellous woman who has inspired us over many years,” said Prof Kildea. “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.”
Prof Kildea is a force to be reckoned with. She is an enormous resource for the College, staff and PhD students, providing leadership, research opportunities and leadership, and helping to raise the profile of Indigenous midwifery practice.
“I am so excited to be returning to CDU,” said Prof Kildea. “I feel that the emphasis on Indigenous health, rural and remote health, and our social justice agenda is the natural fit for our team and our vision.”
Prof Kildea ranked 13th most active researcher worldwide in Maternity and Midwifery, 2012-17. She is a Chief Investigator on five NHMRC Grants (three as CIA) and has received 54 grants with direct responsibility for $9.1M of the $23.2M awarded, plus $6M for service delivery. She has supervised 20 HDR students and currently mentors a team of Early Career Researchers.
Prof Kildea is currently leading large multisite randomised control trials (one international) and three longitudinal cohort studies:
- Examining stress in pregnancy during the Queensland Floods in 2011;
- Following a cohort of urban Indigenous women and their infants accessing new models of care aiming to close the gap in maternal and infant health outcomes;
- Working with urban and regional Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations to establish and evaluate Aboriginal Birthing Centres.
She has authored over 180 publications and 46 keynote addresses. Her international experience includes providing technical support for midwifery education in Sulawesi, Indonesia (2003-4), a review of midwifery in Mongolia for World Health Organisation (2006), and a country-wide Review of Skilled Birth Attendants in Vietnam (2007), and producing the first national Midwifery Report for Vietnam (2016-17).
Welcome aboard Prof Kildea!
Pictured: Prof Sue Kildea with Molly's daughters Virginia Barnyarla (L) and Lucy Winmunga (R)