Social and Community Projects

Running alongside the ADC is our goodwill arm, the Doula Heart Network (DHN) which supports and serves underprivileged, marginalized and or disadvantaged women, families and individuals. Since its inception in 2004, the DHN has provided goods, care, respect and support to over 500 women and children. The DHN was created after the College founder and director, Renee Adair had worked in a young women’s refuge, part of the Australian Red Cross, for over three years. “I loved working in this area and was exposed to so many marginalized and traumatized mothers or mothers to be, that I wanted to do something after I left the Red Cross. As a Doula and Childbirth and Parenting Educator already offering services the creation of the charity arm came naturally. I have always been drawn to helping people in general no matter what their circumstances. Its awesome to be able to provide all of our services free of charge along with lots of love and support through anyone of life’s many transitions.” Renee Adair.

The DHN believes that no-one should ever birth or die alone, and no-one should ever be judged or receive any less care because of their race, colour, religion, age or personal situation.

 Not only do we provide support, information and education during one of manys lifes transitions but we also offer a variety of other services, including but not limited too:

Transport

Attending appointments

Supplying practical goods like baby clothes, beddding, furnitre and kitchen ware

Extended family support during times of need

Food parcels

Community referrals

Brokerage for items like getting a birth certificate issued and needed medications

The DHN encourages the words of love and non-judgment for anyone seeking and needing support at the first or last breath and any transition inbetween.

In 2016 Emma Arran visited Australia as a part of her Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship, part of this was immersing herself in the work of the Doula Heart Network. Emma collaborated with Shealan Faere to create a short film on Peer-Based Support for Socially Marginalised Pregnant Women.

Galiwin’ku Djakamirr Project

Most people are unaware that Australia sends its First Nations pregnant women away from their homeland, to birth off Country. For them, this means being separated from loved ones, their culture, their language, their bush tucker, and all their usual comforts and supports.  These beautiful and venerable women are forced to travel to a foreign place to give birth.  Imagine that for yourself?

YOTHU Basket Project

Our First Nations birthing women and their babies need our support. 

Yothu is the Yolgnu word for baby. Yolngu (or Yolŋu) are Australian First Nations people who live in north-eastern Arnhem Land of Australia. Yolngu means “person” in the regions Yolŋu Matha languages. Yolngu culture is among the oldest living cultures on earth, stretching back more than 50,000 years.

In March 2019, the Australian Doula College (ADC) was approached by Dr Sarah Ireland and Associate Professor Elaine Lawurrpa Maypilama from Charles Darwin University to take Accredited Doula Training to Galiwin’ku, a remote Aboriginal community in East Arnhem Land as part of a pilot training under their Caring for Mum on Country research program. 

ADC Founder and Director, Renee Adair, excited to collaborate, presented the Accredited unit: Promote Positive Birth Outcomes, 13 women started the program and 11 successfully completed the program in Nov/Dec 2019. 

As women in remote First Nations communities are forced to birth off Country away from family, support, culture and language, the vision is that those trained, aptly named Djakamirrs’ (caretakers) will escort and support the pregnant women when birthing off Country. 

The time in Galiwin’ku deeply affected Renee.  “Many of us want to understand the journey of our first nations people but we have no idea. We treat our Indigenous brothers and sisters like second class citizens and I was shocked to witness firsthand how we as a nation have degraded and disempowered the traditional owners of the land on which we live. The ADC is committed to continuing to provide much needed training and products for Yolgnu women and babies, and hope to do so for all our First Nations communities across Australia”. Renee Adair 

The Yothu Basket Initiative will supply basic newborn baby and new mother care products to Yolgnu mothers who do not have access or cannot afford what most of us take for granted.  We are looking to supply 50 baskets a year to Galiwin’ku, as this is the average birth rate per year in that community. We then hope to replicate this project in all remote First Nations Communities across the Country. 

Please help us to gather these much-needed products. Please see attached for a list of items. Please reach out to the ADC/DHN if you would like to offer assistance for this life changing project.

We are seeking:

For Baby:

  • Wraps 
  • Baby blankets 
  • Onesies
  • Baby clothes, up to the age of 6 months 
  • Nappy’s
  • Wipes (bio degradable) 
  • Bath
  • Baby Towel
  • Nappy Rash Cream
  • Face cloths 
  • Baby wash 
  • Nail clippers 

For Mum:

  • Nipple Cream
  • Maternity Pads
  • Body wash 
  • Moisturiser (face and body)
  • Shampoo and conditioner  
  • Hair ties
  • Hair brush 
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Washing powder/laundry soap 

AusCam Freedom Project’s mission is to empower adolescent girls from impoverished communities to break the cycle of poverty and exploitation through education and holistic support leading to life changing opportunities.  
AusCam works with the local schools in Cambodia to improve educational outcomes and provide not only educational scholarships and resources, but also life skills and personal development workshops, cultural excursions and family support programs.

The ADC has proudly sponsored this much needed Charity for several years and continues to see the benefits for the young women we have assisted through this invaluable Project. 

PANDA – Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia

The ADC supports the great work that PANDA provides women and new families by providing Doula packages free of charge to their clients as requested. PANDA – Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia supports women, men and families across Australia affected by anxiety and depression during pregnancy and in the first year of parenthood. PANDA operates Australia’s only National Helpline for individuals and their families to recover from perinatal anxiety and depression, a serious illness that affects up to one in five expecting or new mums and one in ten expecting or new dads.

Birth for Humankind

Birth for Humankind is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to ensure all women, regardless of their socioeconomic situation, have access to the care, support and information they need to have the best pregnancy, birth and early parenting experience possible. 

The Victorian based organisation does this by mobilising and supervising a team of volunteer doulas who give their time to provide free one-to-one continuous care through the perinatal period for women facing socio-economic disadvantage and by running education programs that are relevant and accessible for women in need. children and their families at this important time.

The ADC proudly offers our Victorian Doulas to step in free of charge, when Birth for Humankind are not able to meet thelocal demand.