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Current FASD projects

Research into the Experiences of Mothers with Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Are you the mother of a child with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum-Disorder?  Murdoch University (Perth) is interviewing Western Australian birth mothers to try to understand how the advice from health professionals and friends and family influenced patterns of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

These interviews will take about 90 minutes each and will be recorded if you agree.

You can choose not to answer a question if you don’t want to and you can end the interview at any time.  What ever you say will be anonymous and won’t be linked to you.

Please contact Naomi Ward ( or 0407 402 701) with any questions you may have.

A summary of findings will be made available 6 months after the study on request.

(This study has been approved by the Murdoch University Human Research Ethics Committee (Approval 2015/060).  If you have any reservation or complaint about the ethical conduct of this research, and wish to talk with an independent person, you may contact Murdoch University’s Research Ethics Office (Tel. 08 9360 6677 or e-mail Any issues you raise will be treated in confidence and investigated fully, and you will be informed of the outcome. )

Development of a Diagnostic Instrument for FASD in Australia

This project began in August 2010 and is funded by the federal Department of Health and Ageing, led by Winthrop Research Professor Carol Bower from the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research and Professor Elizabeth Elliott AM from the University of Sydney. An Australian FASD Collaboration was formed to conduct the project, including health professionals, researchers, consumer and community members. NOFASD Australia is represented on the Collaboration by Ms Sue Miers. Funding under the recently announced Commonwealth FASD Action Plan will enable testing of the diagnostic tool and the development of clinical guidelines for its use.


Marulu – The Lililwan Project

Community leaders in the Fitzroy Valley initiated a partnership between Nindilingarri Cultural Health Services, Marninwarntikura Woman’s Resource Centre, The George Institute for Global Health and the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health at The University of Sydney Medical School to conduct Australia’s first ever prevalence study of FASD.

Lililwan means ‘all the little ones’. The project will do more than just estimate the number of children affected by FASD. Each child will be given a personalized FASD management plan involving their families, doctors and teachers.  The project will also educate the communities about the risks of drinking alcohol during pregnancy and about the challenges faced by children with FASD and their families.

Watch a short film about the Marulu Strategy

Anyinginyi Health Aboriginal Corporation – Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Project

This project got underway in September 2011 and is mandated to raise awareness, educate, prevent and support.  The initial focus has been twofold:

  • To identify and partner/network with existing services and programmes; and
  • To develop a library of resources which can continue to be used by the community beyond the lifetime of the Project.


The second phase of the FASD Project is planned to consolidate and build on community knowledge and ownership of FASD issues, as well as support of individuals, families and services dealing with FASD.


Strong Spirits Strong Futures – Promoting Health Women and Pregnancy Project

This project is run by the WA Drug and Alcohol Office and commenced in July 2010, funded under the Council of Australian Governments’ Closing the Gap funding until 30 June 2014. The project, designed for Aboriginal people and communities, aims to raise awareness of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) 2009 guidelines  about alcohol use when planning a pregnancy, during pregnancy and when breastfeeding.  This prevention based project includes the following strategies: development of culturally secure resources community awareness media campaign training and education for health professionals and other workers.


Ord Valley Health Service – Social Support Unit – FASD Prevention Program

Over the past 3 years the FASD team have become leaders, in Kununurra and surrounding areas, in health promotion activities and education.  They have sustained an all of community approach, to education about FASD, using innovative and imaginative ways to increase community knowledge. The program was originally funded through MG OES but is now COAG funded.

The FASD team prioritises the education and support of antenatal clients and their family; providing sessions throughout their pregnancy on FASD, AOD and contraception. The team have developed cultural, gender and age appropriate program plans and resources which are used when working with individuals, groups, and at community events. These resources are also displayed at places frequented by the community such as other aboriginal corporations, OVAHS clinic, hospital, local hotels, schools, the picture theatre and supermarkets.

To this the FASD team network with other service providers, such as other medical services, work ready programs, rehabilitation, Aboriginal corporations, education department, child care centres and DCP targeting workers and clients to develop opportunities to provide information about FASD prevention to the whole community.

They provide regular education sessions, including sexual health, to students, both at town and community schools and out of school at camps and youth programs.


Wurli-Wurlinjang Health Service Child and Maternal Health Program

The Program has a strong focus on the preventative aspects of health, including childhood immunisations, growth assessments, and child health checks. Health promotion and education emphasise the dangers associated with substance misuse during pregnancy, and the importance of the role of nutrition in early childhood development.

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