Maternity Services and Early Years

VACCHO supports Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) and health services to deliver the state-wide Koori Maternity Service program, deliver tailored professional network meetings and workshops and engage in projects and research to build knowledge and evidence.

Koori Maternity Service Program

The Koori Maternity Service (KMS) program provides access to holistic, culturally appropriate care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their families during pregnancy.

This state-wide program is delivered by Midwives, Aboriginal Health Workers and Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officers who work in a complementary team of two or more health professionals. Each KMS program tailor their model of care to the local community.

The KMS program was first established in 2000 at 8 sites across Victoria and today the program has grown to 14 sites. Eleven KMS programs are located in Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) and three have been established in public hospitals.

KMS program objectives and aims

The objective of the KMS program is to improve pregnancy journeys through:
• Increasing access to, and participation in, antenatal services and postnatal support.
• Facilitating relationships between women and birthing hospitals.

The KMS program also strives to improve health outcomes and specifically aims to:
• Optimise the health and wellbeing of women and their babies.
• Identify and manage maternal and foetal risk factors, particularly early in pregnancy.
• Reduce perinatal morbidity and mortality, including incidence of preterm birth and low birth weight.

Find your local Koori Maternity Service


Pregnant woman's belly being examined by a doctor

North and West Metropolitan
• Victorian Aboriginal Health Service
• Western Health (Sunshine Hospital)
• Northern Health (Northern Hospital)

Southern Metropolitan
• Dandenong and District Aboriginal Co-operative Limited
• Peninsula Health (Frankston Hospital)

Barwon South West
• Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative
• Gunditjmara Aboriginal Co-operative Ltd


• Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative Ltd
• Mungabareena Aboriginal Co-operative

• Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Co-operative
• Central Gippsland Aboriginal Health Services

Loddon Mallee
• Mallee District Aboriginal Services – Mildura
• Mallee District Aboriginal Services – Swan Hill
• Njernda Aboriginal Corporation


VACCHO has compiled a list of useful resources relating to family planning, pregnancy and child development. These resources are easy to access and available publicly for members of Community and Member organisations to access.

Family Planning Victoria (FPV) – Focuses on reproductive and sexual health care, education and advocacy. Their purpose is to strengthen the primary care and community-based service system to deliver reproductive and sexual health services and support people to make decisions about their reproductive and sexual health and wellbeing that are right for them.


Red Nose: Advice Hub – Red Nose has a range of resources available for parents, carers, and health professions to help reduce the risk of sudden and unexpected death during pregnancy, infancy and childhood. Red Nose have a range of resources and advice on Safe Sleeping, Safer Pregnancy and more.


Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) – ABA is Australia’s peak breastfeeding information and support service. Breastfeeding is a practical, learned skill and ABA helps more than 80,000 mothers each year. ABA also provides up-to-date information and continuing education for thousands of health professionals working with mothers and babies.


Raising Children – First 1000 days: Resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Parents – The first 1000 days of life are key to life and are key to lifelong health and wellbeing. This resource provides information and advice about child development, nutrition, breastfeeding, relationships and kinship and much more.


Koori Maternity Services Research Projects

Aboriginal Early Years Health VACCHO Scoping Project

This Project reviewed government policies and strategies relevant to Aboriginal early years (zero-eight years of age) health as well as organisational and workforce development needs to meet Aboriginal early years targets.

The project report is available for download.

Improving Aboriginal families’ engagement in Maternal and Child Health services

This project was conducted in two phases.

Phase one led by VACCHO – Analysing the current scope of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) service provision and, from a service provider perspective, potential factors that affect Aboriginal children and families’ access to MCH services.

Phase two led by ACIL Allen Consulting – Exploring Aboriginal families’ perceptions and experiences of MCH services.

Project findings are available for download.


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