Queensland looks to Close the Gap with $1.4m wellbeing program for First Nations children

Queensland looks to Close the Gap with $1.4m wellbeing program for First Nations children

by Freya Lucas

March 22, 2022

Queensland is ‘closing the gap’ on early childhood development with a $1.4m wellbeing program for Australia’s biggest and fastest growing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in the state’s south-east corner.


Announced last week on National Close the Gap Day, the funding will be directed to funding for the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH)— one of Queensland’s largest Indigenous-controlled health organisations — to establish a local Early Childhood Wellbeing Program.


IUIH has been funded $1.4 million over three years to connect mothers, fathers, infants and children with culturally appropriate care in the Moreton Bay region.


“Queensland’s Closing the Gap commitment includes targets focusing on life expectancy, healthy birthweight, early childhood education attendance and early development,’’ said Queensland Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Mr Craig Crawford.


IUIH Chief Executive Officer Adrian Carson said the funding will support families in South East Queensland, and will build on the proven Birthing in Our Community (BiOC) model of care to continue supporting families through the early years.


“We know that strong families require us to support our people right across the life course and that journey starts with supporting Mum and Dad during pregnancy. We are now able to continue to support the family through the early years and into early childhood education,’’ Mr Carson said.


The Early Childhood Wellbeing Program will support positive health, social and wellbeing initiatives for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and children up to three years of age, including through comprehensive primary health care, early learning activities, playgroups and intensive support for families in priority need.