Fantastic news! After many years of hard work and lobbying, Waminda has received infrastructure funding from our new Government to build the Birthing on Country Birth Centre!
On the 21st of February, 2022, Waminda hosted the Hon Linda Burney MP, Minister for Indigenous Australians, and the Hon Fiona Phillips MP, Federal Member for Gilmore, where they pledged on behalf of the Labor Government $22 Million towards the Birthing Centre and the Birthing On Country program.
Melanie Briggs, Senior Endorsed Midwife at Waminda, says that this funding is a huge step forward for Aboriginal women on the South Coast and NSW.
“We’ve been raising money for our birth centre for a number of years, because the [previous] Government weren’t committing to our goals…to improve the outcomes for mum’s and bub’s.”
With the funding now promised to the Community, Waminda and the Minga Gudjaga program (Waminda’s Maternity & Childcare program) is already making plans to begin construction before 2023.
“…We hope to secure land soon, and we will be building a purpose built facility, so that our mum’s can birth their babies in this place. The next steps are…Birth Centre Criteria, Risk Assessments, we’re developing a cultural and clinical governance committee to ensure high quality safety [for clients]. We’re also increasing our partnership with our local health district by providing services in the hospital for our women.
“…We’re designing our birth centre. It’s designed by the cultural committee and the women in the community. We’re actually going back out into Community to do more consultations around what the [Birth Centre] needs to be, and what Community want it to be.”
Waminda would like to congratulate the Hon. Linda Burney MP and the Hon. Fiona Phillips MP on their election wins and thank them for their commitment to this important project, as well as everyone who donated to our BOC fundraiser. These contributions have helped provide the best start to life and have been fundamental in ending the Indigenous infant mortality gap. The construction of this Birthing Centre will also be a testament to years of dedication from strong women in the South Coast Community.
“[Birthing On Country] a model that was designed by us, for our Community…”said Melanie Briggs.
“It’s about reclaiming the birth space for our mums and our bubs, our aunties and our elders, who have fought so hard for us to birth in a place and we know is safe and we know our families can be a part of. Waminda is a big driver in the BOC space, especially when it comes to self-determination and our governance for our people.”
While we have secured funding for the Birthing Centre, we still need your help providing culturally safe maternity care for Aboriginal women across the South Coast. Follow the link to our GoFundMe, and see how you can make a difference in the Community!
Watch this space for more news and updates!
For more information please contact:
Melanie Briggs, Senior Endorsed Midwife – Melanie@waminda.org.au
Cleone Wellington, Cultural Manager – CleoneWellington@waminda.org.au