Birthing on Country

The best start in life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies and their families.

Birthing on Country is a metaphor for the best start in life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies and their families, an appropriate transition to motherhood and parenting for women and an integrated, holistic and culturally appropriate model of care for all.

History

​For more than 60,000 years Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have birthed their babies on traditional lands.

Birthing on Country has been described as an international movement with the overarching aim of returning birthing services to Indigenous communities and Indigenous control to enable a healthy start to life.

The Birthing on Country agenda relates to system-wide reform and is perceived as an important opportunity in ‘closing the gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous health and quality of life outcomes.

In 2012, the Australian Maternity Services Inter-jurisdictional Committee, in collaboration with the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, held the first national Birthing on Country Workshop to progress Australian Government commitment to Birthing on Country.

People gathered from across Australia, with a strong Indigenous presence, to discuss Birthing on Country and determine the next steps. Participants agreed that the Birthing on Country project, should move from being aspirational (policy) to actual (implementation). They recommended exemplar sites be set up in urban, rural, remote and very remote communities and funded for success and sustainability.

The Birthing on Country agenda relates to system-wide reform and is perceived as an important opportunity in ‘closing the gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous health and quality of life outcomes.
 

A short history of birthing in cities​
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The Grandmother's Law​
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Birthing on Country Workshop
-July 2012
 

News & Media