Malnutrition is the underlying cause of 3.5 million child deaths and 11% of the total global burden of disease.

There is now global recognition that the 1000 days between conception and two years of age is a critical window of action, when good nutrition can have a profound effect on the health and development of individuals for the rest of their lives. Good nutrition during this period improves pregnancy and birth outcomes, and can reduce the burden of intergenerational stunting and adult chronic disease.

Malnutrition is compounded by poverty, limited service delivery, a lack of capacity and persists in developing countries and remote Indigenous communities in Australia.

Our research focus:
  • To launch health programs and tools that will help ministries of health and their partner organisations to improve the nutrition and health of women and children.
  • To design and deliver courses to teach local people the importance of good nutrition for women and children in their communities.
Our research impact:
  • Developing a Nutrition Critical Appraisal Tool (NCAT).This online guide will help to improve nutrition by aiding stakeholders to prioritise, plan and scale-up locally-appropriate approaches to improve the health of women and children. Users are guided through a process which links them to relevant global protocols, resources and case studies. The NCAT makes operational the elements of the widely endorsed Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Framework for Action.
  • Launched the Nutrition and Food Security –approaches to improving the health of women and children (NFS) short course, which supports the NCAT. The NFS aims to strengthen the knowledge and skills of nutrition stakeholders in countries in the Asia-Pacific region to prioritise and implement evidence-based nutrition interventions. The four modules are:
    • Nutrition programming and planning
    • Nutrition for infants and young children
    • Nutrition for adolescent girls and women throughout the lifecycle
    • Food security for families and communities.

The course can be easily adapted using relevant data from participants’ contexts and case studies from the NCAT. Participants develop Action Plans to address one or more nutrition issues and receive support to implement these plans locally.

  • The pilot of the NFS course during 2011/2012 improved the knowledge, skills and confidence of Timor-Leste nutritionists and Indigenous health and nutrition workers from remote communities in Australia.
  • We are adapting the NFS course for use in Timor-Leste to improve the knowledge and skills of local health and food security workers and reduce the high burden of child and maternal malnutrition.
Key staff:
  • Kim Mulholland
  • Anna Roesler
  • Aimon Riyana
  • Jodi Phillips
  • Jennifer Busch-Hallen.
  • International Health Services, Albion Street Centre
  • Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory
  • Australian Volunteers International
  • Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development
  • Food and Agriculture Organisation
  • World Food Program
  • World Health Organisation
  • The Fred Hollows Foundation
  • Queensland Department of Health
  • Australian Red Cross
  • NT Department of Health and Families
  • Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education
  • Community and International Nutrition Division, Mahidol University, Thailand
  • Ministry of Health, Timor-Leste
  • John Snow International Health Improvement Program (HADIAK)
  • Boab Health Service
  • Charles Darwin University
  • Deakin University
  • South Asian Infant Feeding Research Network
  • Sydney University.
  1. East Timorese nutritionists head to Central Australia for training

    East Timorese nutritionists head to Central Australia for training


    Alice Springs will this week become a training ground for a team of Timor Leste nutritionists.

  2. Health and Nutrition: from Timor to the Territory

    Health and Nutrition: from Timor to the Territory


    A unique health and nutrition program has brought six senior nutritionists from Timor Leste to spend this week at Royal Darwin Hospital to receive practical training in nutrition from the hospital’s dietitians.