• National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
  • Healthy Living NT
  • Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute
  • Northern Territory Department of Health
  • QLD Government
  • Apunipima
  • Mulungu
  • MAMU
  • Gurriny Yealamucka
  • Wuchopperen
  • To co-design a community-based implementation trial to improve pre-conception health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.
  • To co-design with Aboriginal communities a culturally appropriate and community-based intervention to improve pre-conception youth health.
  • To pilot the approach in two Northern Territory communities.
  • To follow up with participants at 6 and 12 months to assess effectiveness. 

Our research has shown that healthy pregnancies are important for both the mother and the baby. This is crucial for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as communities are experiencing an epidemic of intergenerational diabetes – which is associated with in-utero exposure to maternal diabetes.

Implications for policy and practice:

This project will pilot a community-based, co-design approach that aims to improve pre-conception health for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Lessons from this project will contribute to strengthening Aboriginal community-based approaches and has policy and service delivery implications.

Chief investigator:
Project manager:
Contact information:

For more information about the project, or to be involved in the project, email or phone (08) 8946 8634 the project team.

Project dates:

The project commenced in 2020.

  1. Maple-Brown, L.J. & Hampton, D. (2020). Indigenous cultures with similar colonisation history share the challenge of intergenerational diabetes. Lancet Global Health (Invited Commentary), 8(5), e619-e620. doi:10.1016/S2214-109X(20)20072-3
  2. Longmore, D., Barr, E.L.M., Barzi, F., Lee, I-L., Kirkwood, M., Connors, C., Boyle, J., O’Dea, K., Zimmet, P., Oats, J., Catalano, P., McIntyre, H.D., Brown, A.D.H., Shaw, J.E., Maple-Brown, L.J., on behalf of the PANDORA study research team. (2020). Social and economic factors, maternal behaviours in pregnancy and neonatal adiposity in the PANDORA cohort. Diabetes Research & Clinical Practice, 161, 108028. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2020.108028
  3. Wood, A., Mackay, D., Fitzsimmons, D., Derkenne, R., Kirkham, R., Boyle, J., Connors, C., Whitbread, C., Welsh, A., Brown, A., Shaw, J., Maple-Brown, L. (2020). Primary health care for Aboriginal women in remote communities after a pregnancy with hyperglycemia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(3), 720. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17030720
  4. Lee, I., Barr, E.L.M., Longmore, D., Barzi, F., Brown, A., Connors, C., Boyle, J., Hampton, V., Lynch, M., Lu, Z.X., O’Dea, K., Oats, J., McIntyre, H.D., Zimmet, P., Shaw, J.E., Maple-Brown, L. (2020). Cord blood metabolic markers are strong mediators of the effect of maternal adiposity on fetal growth in pregnancies across the glucose tolerance spectrum: the PANDORA study. Diabetologia, 63, 497-507. doi: 10.1007/s00125-019-05079-2
  5. Kirkham, R., Trap-Jensen, N., Boyle, J.A., Barzi, F., Barr, E.L.M., Whitbread, C., Van Dokkum. P., Kirkwood, M., Connors, C., Moore, E., Zimmet, P., Corpus, S., Hanley, A.J., O’Dea, K., Oats, J., McIntyre, H.D., Brown, A., Shaw, J.E., Maple-Brown, L. (2019). NT Diabetes in Pregnancy Partnership. Diabetes care in remote Australia: the antenatal, postpartum and inter-pregnancy period. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 19(1), 389. doi: 10.1186/s12884-019-2562-6
  6. Cheng, E., Longmore, D., Barzi, F., Barr, E., Lee, I., Whitbread, C., Boyle, J., Oats, J., Connors, C., McIntyre, H.D., Kirkwood, M., Dempsey, K., Zhang, X., Thomas, S., Williams, D., Zimmet, P., Brown, A.D.H., Shaw, J.E., Maple-Brown, L. (2019). Birth Outcomes in women with gestational diabetes managed by lifestyle modification alone: The PANDORA study. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 157, 107876. doi:10.1016/j.diabres.2019.107876.
  7. McLean, A., Kirkham, R., Campbell, S., Whitbread, C., Barrett, J., Connors, C., Boyle, J.A., Brown, A., Mein, J., Wenitong, M., McIntyre, H.D., Barzi, F., Oats, J., Sinha, A., Maple-Brown, L. (2019). Improving models of care for diabetes in pregnancy: Experience of current practice in Far North Queensland, Australia. Frontiers in Public Health, 7, 192. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2019.00192.
  8. Hjort, L., Novakovic, B., Grunnet, L.J., Maple-Brown, L., Damm, P., Desoye, G., Saffery, R. (2091). Diabetes in pregnancy and epigenetic mechanisms-how the first 9 months from conception might affect the child’s epigenome and later risk of disease. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinology, 7(10), 796-806 . doi:10.1016/S2213-5254.
  9. Maple-Brown, L., Lee, I., Longmore, D., Barzi, F., Connors, C., Boyle, J.A., Moore, E., Whitbread, C., Kirkwood, M., Graham, S., Hampton, V., Simmonds, A., Van Dokkum, P., Kelaart, J., Thomas, S., Chitturi, S., Eades, S., Corpus, S., Lynch, M., Lu, Z.X., O’Dea, K., Zimmet, P., Oats, J., McIntyre, H.D., Brown, A.D.H., Shaw, J.E.  (2019). Pregnancy and Neonatal Diabetes Outcomes in Remote Australia: The PANDORA Study, an observational birth cohort. International Journal of Epidemiology, 48(1), 307-318. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyy245
  10. Longmore, D., Barr, E., Lee, I., Barzi, F., Kirkwood, M., Whitbread, C., Hampton, V., Graham, S., Van Dokkum, P., Connors, C., Boyle, J., Catalano, P., Brown, A., O’Dea, K., Oats, J., McIntyre, D., Shaw, J., Maple‐Brown, L. (2019). Maternal body mass index, excess gestational weight gain, and diabetes are positively associated with neonatal adiposity in the Pregnancy and Neonatal Diabetes Outcomes in Remote Australia (PANDORA) study. Paediatric Obesity, 14(4), e12490. doi: 10.1111/ijpo.12490.
For further publications, visit the Diabetes across the Lifecourse - Northern Australia Partnership website