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Investment for new families a game-changer for Melbourne's West

Nov 19, 2018

Tweddle and grassroots family healthcare advocacy campaign Generation West, have welcomed today’s announcement by the Victorian Labor Party that if re-elected they will increase funding support for new parents and invest in a new centre for parenting excellence at Tweddle. Generation West also welcomed the Labor Party’s pledge that older children will be able to access free dental care in public schools. 

Melbourne’s West is the fastest growing area in Victoria with over 40 babies born in the region every day. That rapid growth means health and social services are struggling to deliver vital support for families during the critical first 1000 days of life.

Together Generation West and Tweddle have been advocating for a comprehensive perinatal health plan and corresponding investment in the West ahead of Saturday’s election.

Tweddle board chair Dr Nicole Milburn said the announcement was vital for the future of Tweddle and for every struggling mum, dad, baby and toddler not only in Melbourne’s West but across the state.

“Vulnerable parents have relied on Tweddle since 1920 to provide urgent support and education,” said Dr Milburn.

“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to develop a world-class facility in Footscray that changes the trajectory of parent-infant relationships in the critical first 1000 days when the vital brain architecture is developed in babies that they rely upon for the rest of their lives,” said Dr Milburn.

“These announcements are game changers for thousands of new parents in Melbourne’s West,” said Generation West spokesperson, Councillor Samantha Byrne of the City of Moonee Valley.

“Right now struggling families are missing out and falling through the cracks of the healthcare system here in Melbourne’s West. This investment will help support these families to get help when and where they need it.

“Our population is booming, and a centre for parenting excellence and expanded facilities at Tweddle would help provide for the needs of the 250 babies born here in the West each week.

“Three additional visits by Maternal Health Nurses will help ease the pressure on struggling parents and give them the support they need to provide a calm and nurturing environment for their children.

“Labor’s $33.7 million new baby bundle to give first-time parents greater access to postnatal support groups is the first step in provided much needed perinatal healthcare services for our families.

“Melbourne’s West is a fantastic place to live and bring up a family, and strong investment in our health care system will make it even better.

“We’re glad to see that Labor representatives in our region have listened and are pledging to provide much needed investment for families and children in Melbourne’s West. We urge other parties to match these commitments,” said Cr Byrne.


Read more about the Generation West campaign:


MEDIA CONTACT: Rosina Rayns, 0401 991 792


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