South Coast Women's Health and Welfare Aboriginal Corporation Waminda have raised over $50,000 for a Birthing on Country program, but more is needed.
The program requires $800,000 to be raised in order to be facilitated, which will help Indigenous women experience their pregnancy in a culturally safe environment.
"It's about providing clinical maternity care and embedding culture as part of that," said Aboriginal midwife at Waminda, Melanie Briggs.
"It will also provide social and emotional support and ensure Indigenous women have access to services that they need to.
"The program also invests in Indigenous women for workforce including increasing the number of Aboriginal midwives in the country."
The money would go towards purchasing a property, modes of transport, employing Aboriginal midwives and health practitioners and more.
The national stillbirth death toll is six in 1000 births. Among Aboriginal women, the death toll is more than double, at 13 babies in every 1000.
Briggs said a Birthing on Country model of care would combat these rates while enabling Indigenous women to make informed decisions during their pregnancy.
The fundraiser was established after failing to receive government funding after years of lobbying.
"We've been lobbying to government for quite some time now to fund a Birthing on Country model of care," she said.
"We get pockets of funding from here and there but that's to fund different aspects of service delivery within Waminda.
"So that's why we thought of starting up a GoFundMe, that money is given by the community to provide services that go back into the community."
The fundraiser was started a year ago and Briggs is thrilled to see $50,000 raised.
"When I think about what we can actually do to give back to the community, that money is providing quality services and care directly to our women," she said.
To donate to the Birthing on Country fundraiser, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/birthing-on-country
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