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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

Core of life's National Indigenous program



The Core of life (COL) program is a unique, 'hands on', health promotion/prevention/early intervention program created by midwives that identifies birth as being central to cultures and families. It was designed to empower male and female adolescents with information on pregnancy, birth and parenting a newborn. The program responds to local communities' needs for promoting awareness of the potential short and long term consequences of pregnancy and parenting. This in turn will help improve outcomes for young and future families while promoting connectedness within each community.

The education sessions also provide an opportunity for young people to develop skills and knowledge in: parenting, child development, community resources, and life skills to increase their self-esteem and positive decision making. The program supports the health and developmental benefits of breastfeeding, demonstrates the risks of exposure to harmful substances, and focuses on improving health status and building resilience with the resulting reduction in social and emotional problems.

The target group for COL is primarily youth aged 14-17 years, many of whom are at risk of early pregnancy or parenting. In an Indigenous setting this is often reduced to as low as 12 years of age.

Abstract adapted from Core of Life


Core of Life (COL)
Tracy Smith
Mobile: 0400 026 056
FAx: (03) 8625 0050


Last updated: 30 September 2013
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