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If you'd like to get in touch with the project team, please contact:

Michelle Gray

(08) 6319 1673

This project aims to develop, implement and evaluate an evidence-based prevention intervention to assist in reducing the rates of drinking amongst pregnant women in the Pilbara.


Download PDF Project Summary


In 2019 a community Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices survey was adapted based on previous survey tools utilised in the Pilbara, and in consultation with the Port Hedland Aboriginal Community Reference Group and local Aboriginal Community Researchers, content experts such as Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa and Alcohol and drug Counsellors and Chief and Associate Investigators. A total of 235 surveys have been collected in the three sites of Porth Hedland, Roebourne and Newman. Surveys were also conducted in the surrounding communities of Warralong, Yandeyarra, Punmu and Mingullatharndo.

Early results from the analysis indicate widespread agreement that alcohol is a major cause of issues and concerns in the communities. Results of the data analysis will be available in 2020.

Community Care Workers

Memorandums of Understanding and Partnership Agreements were formalised  with the  three Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in the Pilbara to fund and embed Community Care Workers within the Aboriginal Medical Services for twelve months. As part of the Project intervention Community Care Workers (CCW) were appointed to work with the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services to support women and their partners during pregnancy and in the post-natal period. The  CCW role is to provide a bridge between existing health service providers and the local community to reduce the barriers that presently exist that prevent women from having timely access to antenatal care and receiving the maternal health education, parenting support and care they need to have healthy babies and children. 

Who is conducting the research?


Principal Investigators

Dr James Fitzpatrick1
Associate Professor Roz Walker1
Professor Rhonda Marriott2
Mr Glenn Pearson1
Professor Sven Silburn1,3
Professor Mike Daube4

Associate Investigators

Mr Gary Kirby5
Dr Martyn Symons1
Ms Nancy Poole6
Ms Heather D'Antoine3
Ms Margaret Abernethy7

Telethon Kids Institute, The University of Western Australia, Perth Western Australia
2Murdoch University, Perth Western Australia
3Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin Australia
4McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth, Curtin University, Perth Australia
5Government of Western Australia Drug&Alcohol Office, Mental Health Commission
6British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women's Health, Canada
7WA Country Health Service, Western Australia

Project staff

Michelle Gray (Prevention Project Manager)
Mr David Tucker (Research Officer, Prevention)

Guiding our research

Steering Committee

Our Steering Committee is comprised of the Chief Investigators, the Project Manager and representatives from our project partners.

The Committee oversees issues relating to research and integrity, activities, reporting and achievement of objectives.

The Committee seeks support in community engagement and the CPAR process from the Pilbara Aboriginal Health Planning Forum.

Consumer and Community Involvement

Extensive stakeholder and community engagement and consultation has been conducted in three sites. Support and advice has been sought from existing stakeholder groups, the Hedland FASD Network and Community Reference Groups, and elders in communities. They play a critical role in engaging with community members inthe three sites and surrounding (remote) communities in designing, implementing and evaluating the local interventions.


Project partners

  • Mawarnkarra Health Service Aboriginal Corporation
  • Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service
  • Wirraka Maya Health Services Aboriginal Corporation
  • WA Country Health Service
  • Mental Health Commission (Drug and Alcohol Office)

Key Stakeholder:

  • Pilbara Aboriginal Health Planning Forum