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ABORIGINAL SOLID FAMILIES PROJECT WESTERN AUSTRALIA AWARDED AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL RESEARCH FUNDING

Project leads for the Aboriginal FASD prevention project -Dr Robyn Williams (at left) and Dr Dorothy Badry (at right)

NOFASD Australia congratulates Dr Robyn Williams, Senior Research Fellow at Curtin University in Perth, and Dr Dorothy Badry, Child Welfare Lead at the Canada FASD Research Network (CanFASD) and Professor Sandra Eades, Professor Raewyn Mutch, A/Professor Anne Eades, Francine Eades and Chief Executive Officer Tracey Brand (Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service), for recently being awarded major Category 1 grant funding from the Medical Research Futures Fund (MRFF), through the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.

The MRFF is an important initiative which aims to transform health and medical research and innovation to improve lives, build the economy and contribute to health system sustainability. Dr Robyn Williams and her team at Curtin University, worked on the funding application for the MRFF grant in collaboration with Dr Dorothy Badry and the Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service, a leading Aboriginal Medical Service in Perth, Western Australia.

The funding, valued at $998,089 will be used for a prevention project which is Aboriginal-led and Aboriginal-focused, providing support to Aboriginal women who are pregnant, and has an overarching goal of reducing FASD in the community and addressing service gaps for Aboriginal families.

The aim of the project which will be called the “Solid Families Programme”, is to develop the first model of long-term family support within a holistic framework supporting Aboriginal mothers and children within an Aboriginal Medical Service. Supporting women with improved access to services is a key to the goal of reducing the number of alcohol/drug (AOD) exposed births.

This work is influenced by the ongoing lobbying and advocacy from the Noongar community in WA for improved culturally safe resources, supports and services for young Aboriginal families. In 2023, Dr Williams and Dr Badry were appointed by the Perth Children’s Court in WA to evaluate and develop a report on a mother with FASD, whose children were in care. This experience and their resulting report was the impetus to develop the application for the MRFF grant funding which will now underpin this major project.

Dr Williams is one of NOFASD’s Ambassadors and we are delighted to see her long-term commitment to FASD prevention, research and community initiatives supported by this major health and research funding.

Find out more about Dr Robyn Williams and Dr Dorothy Badry

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