Elders welcome babies to community

Elders, families and friends gathered today to welcome some of the newest members of the West Moreton community.

Welcome Baby to CommunityNineteen babies were celebrated as part of the West Moreton Health Welcome Baby to Community ceremony at Workshops Rail Museum, Ipswich.

The ceremony, to welcome Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies, was organised by West Moreton Health’s Jaghu Maternal and Infant Program.

Jaghu Social Worker Madeline Mitchell said that, due to the global pandemic, it was the first time in three years that the ceremony was able to be held.

Ms Mitchell said the ceremony was a chance to create connections between Elders and the community’s littlest members.

“Welcoming our babies gives families a chance to yarn with our Elders and to feel that connection to community. We recognise the leadership role our Elders play in the community and the wisdom and guidance they can provide our smallest members and their families.”

Families also had the opportunity to connect with West Moreton Health services and obtain health advice.

“Thank you to our Elders for their wonderful welcome and acknowledgement of our newest community members.”

West Moreton Health Chief Executive Hannah Bloch said she was privileged to be part of such a special event.

“This ceremony is part of our commitment to First Nations people and their health. Thank you to our Jaghu and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Unit teams for delivering such a wonderful welcome,” Ms Bloch said.

The Jaghu Maternal and Infant Program provides woman-centred, family-orientated health services in a culturally safe and responsive way. The program, which has supported more than 200 babies and their families in the past year, has grown to offer child health clinics, antenatal care, midwifery services and home visits. Included in the Jaghu program is the Family Support Service, which supports families from the start of pregnancy to the baby's second birthday. This is staffed by a Senior Social Worker and a Senior Social, Emotional and Wellbeing Officer, who also runs a program supporting dads.

The Jaghu clinic is at Bremer Medical Centre, Building F, 11 Salisbury Rd, Ipswich, and is open from 8.30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.