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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places

spacing1About this Portal

In 2015 the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet partnered with Curtin University, the Aboriginal Maternity Services Support Unit, King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women and Healthway to produce a new online portal. This portal development was for supporting the prevention and cessation of tobacco smoking among pregnant Aboriginal women in Western Australia (WA); the Preventing Aboriginal Maternal Smoking WA (PAMSWA) portal.

This was in response to studies showing tobacco smoking among Aboriginal pregnant women in WA was nearly four times higher than for non-Indigenous women [1] and was responsible for higher risks of health complications for women and their babies [2]. The health risks due to maternal smoking may include: miscarriage; ectopic pregnancy; preterm delivery; low birth weight; sudden infant death syndrome; or risk of deformity for the baby. The impact on Aboriginal women and their babies can have long reaching negative consequences for life [3].

The creation of an online portal provided improved access to resources, information, training, and a yarning place for maternal and child health workers and other health professionals working with Aboriginal mothers and babies anywhere across the state.

The success of PAMSWA project, which ran for 18 months, laid the pathway for new funding from the Australian Government Department of Health to extend and develop the original portal to its current form for national reach. The focus of the next phase of this project is a national workshop training program on how to use the wealth of information located on the new web resource.


  1. Hutchinson M (2015) Western Australia's mothers and babies, 2012: 30th annual report of the Western Australian Midwifes' Notification System. Perth: Department of Health, Western Australia
  2. Scollo MM, Winstanley MH (2012) Tobacco in Australia: facts and issues (4th ed.). Retrieved 2012 from
  3. Tobacco free family (2014) Quitline Aboriginal Liaison Team

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Last updated: 28 April 2017
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