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The 1,000 Days Movement

The internationally recognised 1,000 Days movement was established to improve maternal and infant nutrition from a child’s conception through to their second birthday. With a focus on reducing malnutrition – now well recognised as causing irreversible damage to a child’s neurological, immune and physical development – as well as maternal anaemia during the first 1000 days, the movement combines evidence-based medical care and social support to address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Interventions emanating from this approach have now been implemented in the United States and throughout Asia (including Sri Lanka, India, Philipines), Europe, South America and Africa (such as in South Africa).

However, the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Australia, as well of other indigenous child populations, cannot be addressed without also taking a broader, holistic and cultural perspective. Recognising this, the University of Melbourne’s Indigenous Health Equity Unit (IHEU), in collaboration with key stakeholders including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, community health groups, other research institutions and government partners, has developed an Australian Model of the 1,000 Days movement – First 1000 Days Australia.