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Project title: Aboriginal women working to reduce risk of diabetes and cardiovascular complications in pregnancy

Being healthy is key to women in carrying out their many roles in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life, including as carers and nurturers. Experiencing diabetes and high blood pressure during and following pregnancy can have short and long-term health effects on mother and baby. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women experience high burden of these complications during pregnancy. There is limited awareness of the potential effect of these pregnancy complications on short and long-term health. This often results in care that does not meet the needs of women and their babies.

This project brings Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s knowledge of health and wellbeing and priorities to develop and evaluate a model of care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in South Australia (SA) with cardiometabolic (diabetes and heart) complications of pregnancy. The model will seek to develop a system that provides care, support and knowledge to Aboriginal women and those who provide health care to these women. Applying a strength-based approach to cardiometabolic health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women with personal and/or professional experience of cardiometabolic complications of pregnancy will design the model. Evaluation of resources will be undertaken by women and health professionals and existing partnerships will enable the model to be built into existing services and systems.

Dr Katharine McBride, Project Lead:

Our team are excited to work alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women across SA to build on their knowledge and experiences and develop a model of care that meets women’s needs. Using this strength-based approach, we seek to improve the care, support and information available to Aboriginal women and their babies and those who provide health care.”  

Kim Morey, Co-theme Leader SAHMRI Wardliparingga Aboriginal Health Equity theme and Executive, Aboriginal Chronic Disease Consortium:

This project will harness the strength of our Communities to reshape care for pregnancy-related health challenges that can lead to ongoing health challenges for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and families. By working together we’re forging a path to better care, ensuring our women receive the support they deserve, laying the foundation for stronger generations to come.”

Shane Mohor, CEO Aboriginal Health Council of SA:

Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in South Australia have prioritised the need for improved health promotion, prevention and support for healthy living around diabetes and heart disease. This project responds to this need and promotes the health and wellbeing of our mothers and their families.”

TTRA Project Round:  Three

Project Lead:  Dr Katharine McBride

States:  South Australia/Australian Central Territory

Project Partners:

  • Telethon Kids Institute
  • South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute
  • Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia
  • South Australian Aboriginal Chronic Disease Consortium
  • Aboriginal Communities and Families Health Research Alliance


  • TTRA: $998,685
  • Co-contribution: $384,340 in-kind

Duration:  September 2023 – August 2025

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