Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme

The Australian Government Department of Health through the Indigenous Health Division (IHD) is committed to the delivery of high quality essential health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Page last updated: 14 November 2016

New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services
Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program
Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme

The Department is inviting applicants to apply for funding under the Indigenous Australians’ Health Program Guidelines. There are two targeted competitive processes with funding available to a small number of potential recipients based on the specific requirements of the activities.

New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services

Funding Round H1617G009

Policy Overview

Through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), the Australian Government has committed to seven targets to close the gap in disadvantage between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians across health, education and employment. Two of these targets relate directly to the Health Portfolio: to close the gap in life expectancy within a generation (by 2031); and to halve the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five within a decade (by 2018). This involves working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations, and in collaboration with State and Territory Governments.

On 1 July 2014, the Australian Government established the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP), consolidating four existing funding streams: primary health care funding, child and maternal health programs, Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory (Health) and programs covered by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Chronic Disease Fund.

In providing funding for child and maternal health care in particular, the Australian Government invested in the Better Start to Life approach. Through the IAHP, the Better Start to Life approach involves the phased expansion of two established maternal, child and family health activities: the Australian Nurse Family Partnership Program and New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services.

The Program is a child and maternal health care program that supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and early childhood development to ensure children are ready to learn when they start school through providing access to services in five priority areas:

  1. antenatal care and postnatal care;
  2. standard information about baby care;
  3. practical advice and assistance with breastfeeding, nutrition and parenting;
  4. monitoring of developmental milestones, immunisation status and infections; and
  5. health checks and referrals to treatment for Indigenous children before starting school.

The number of Program sites were expanded in 2015-16 as part of a planned roll-out and two more phases of site expansion will occur during 2016-17 and 2017-18. This Funding Round Summary relates to both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 phases of the NDMBS site expansion.

Purpose

New Directions Services deliver child and family health services in a primary health care setting to improve the health of Indigenous Australians by providing access to antenatal, postnatal and child health services for Indigenous children, their mothers and families.

Objective

The objective of the Program is to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families’ access to child and maternal and other health services. The Program seeks to give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and their babies access to high quality health care services in urban, rural and remote locations across Australia with the intended outcome of helping to close the gap in life expectancy within a generation (by 2031) and to halve the gap in mortality rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait children under five within a decade (by 2018).

Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program

Funding Round H1617G008

Policy Overview

The Australian Government is seeking applications for funding to continue the national expansion of the Program.

The Government agreed in the 2014 Federal Budget to invest in the Better Start to Life approach as a component of the IAHP. The Better Start to Life approach includes funding for the phased expansion of the Program from three sites to 13 sites from 2015-16 to 2017-18. Under the first year of the expansion, funding was awarded to two organisations to participate in the Program and establish two new sites. The remaining eight sites to be established under the phased expansion are to be identified through this funding round, with four sites to commence in 2016-17 and four sites to be established in 2017-18. Funding will be provided until June 2018.

Purpose

The Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program (ANFPP) is a specialised nurse-led home visiting program that supports women pregnant with an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander child/ren who may benefit from a more intensive level of support to improve their own health and the health of their baby. The program supports mothers from early pregnancy through to the child’s second birthday under a highly structured, evidence based program modelled on the international renowned Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP). The Program aims to improve pregnancy outcomes by helping women engage in good preventive health practices; support parents to improve their child’s health and development; and help parents develop a vision for their own future, including continuing education and finding work.

Objective

The objective of the Australian Nurse Family Partnership Program is to improve maternal and child health and wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families by:

  • assisting women to engage in good preventive health practices;
  • supporting parents to improve child health and development; and
  • assisting parents to develop a vision for their own futures, including continuing education and finding work.

Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme

The Indigenous Health Division is responsible for the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme, which commenced on 1 July 2014. This Programme consolidated four Indigenous health funding streams: primary health care base funding; child and maternal health activities; Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory (Health); and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Chronic Disease Fund.

The following themes comprise the Programme:

  • Primary Health Care Services;
  • Improving Access to Primary Health Care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People;
  • Targeted Health Activities;
  • Capital Works; and
  • Governance and System Effectiveness.

The Guidelines for the Programme provide an overview of the arrangements for the administration of, and activities that may be funded under, the Programme.

Word version: Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme Guideline (Word 711 KB)
PDF version: Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme Guideline (PDF 700 KB)