Our Story

In June 2018, the Australian Preterm Birth Prevention Alliance (APTBPA) was established with a singular goal, to safely lower the rate of preterm birth across Australia.

Who we are

  • The Australian Preterm Birth Prevention Alliance is a sub-committee of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (PSANZ), and sits side-by-side with the other sub-committees.
  • There is an Executive Committee consisting of the three lead Chief Investigators of the NHMRC Partnership Grant awarded April 2018 (APP1151853) and three early career clinicians.
  • There is a Steering Committee consisting of the ten Chief Investigators of the NHMRC Partnership Grant (APP1151853); two members from each jurisdiction (of whom one or both may already be members through their role as one of the ten Chief Investigators); special members as required of Working Groups; a midwife; a consumer representative; a marketing and media person; and a person with fund-raising expertise.
  • The Steering and Executive Committees have a Chairperson and an Alliance Manager.

Our story

In June 2018, the Australian Preterm Birth Prevention Alliance (APBPA) was established with a singular goal, to safely lower the rate of preterm birth across Australia. The early success of The Whole Nine Months program through the Women & Infants Research Foundation, as reported nationally in November 2016, led to a successful NHMRC application to extend the WA initiative and roll out various versions of the program across our two most populous states – New South Wales and Victoria.

A decision was then made by key representatives from each state and territory to apply the partnership across the nation as a whole. The challenge was always to work out how to expand the effectiveness and translate the program into other health care environments.

This will be done by bringing together clinical leaders, health departments and communities to adapt, modify and tailor the existing WA initiative for introduction and implementation in each state and territory, joined together in a single alliance.

The alliance is playing a central role in identifying prevention strategies that are effective and feasible for our health care system, assisting with implementation for our various communities, evaluating the benefits of their introduction, identifying appropriate research priorities and mentoring the next generation of thought leaders.

As the world’s first such national program, the Alliance will also play an important role in facilitating the development of preterm birth prevention strategies overseas and partnering with the many potential agencies active in this important area of healthcare.

Every healthcare practitioner who works in the field of reproduction has a role to play in our goal to prevent early birth.

The alliance will provide a platform to lead and coordinate, but our collective success will require commitment from our entire workforce in partnership with the community we serve and across the many and varied health care environments in Australia. To date, the Alliance has held launch events in Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. The South Australian launch will be held in Adelaide in February 2020 with plans for a Queensland launch in mid-2020.

Members of the Australian Preterm Birth Prevention Alliance

WA: Lead and Alliance Chair John Newnham, and Scott White

NT: Kiarna Brown and Carina Cotar (Co-leads)

QLD: Christoph Lehner and David Watson (Lead David Ellwood)

NSW: Tanya Nippita (Lead and Alliance Deputy Chair Jonathan Morris)

ACT: Roberto Orefice (Lead Boon Lim)

VIC: Stefan Kane (Lead Euan Wallace)

TAS: Lindsay Edwards and Amanda Dennis (Co-leads)

SA: Monika Skubisz and Paula Medway

Catherine Arrese - Alliance Manager
Dorota Doherty - Biostatistician
Philippa Middleton - Epidemiologist
Jeremy Oats - Policy Development
Jeanie Cheong - Neonatologist
Natasha Donnolley - Consumer Adviser
Deborah Attard Portughes - Fundraising and Development
Richmond Hodgson - Marketing and Media
Alicia Bauskis - Economic Analysis Working Group
Tanya Farrell - Policy Development
Michael Nicholl - Policy Development

The Team