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Sea of Bellies
20 Jun 2012
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The Mubali project connects pregnant Aboriginal young women with midwives and elders. It was started by community arts organisation BE in Moree in 2004 and has since been implemented in Bowraville, Armidale and the Illawarra (NSW), Logan (QLD) and Derby and Fitzroy Crossing (WA). Mubali means pregnant in the Gamilaroi language of north-west NSW.

In the past the young women would only see the midwives when they came to hospital to give birth. Now they get together each week during their pregnancies and make plaster casts of the young women’s bellies. During the process the young women receive ante-natal care from the midwives. Elders then paint the bellies, connecting the younger and older Aboriginal women.

In 2012 Mubali received the NSW Aboriginal Health Partnership Award for Closing the Gap through Community Engagement and Partnerships; in 2010 the Arts and Health in Rural and Regional Australia Award for Excellence; and in 2005 the Baxter Consumer Participation Award from the NSW Department of Health.

Mubali has morphed into a Sea of Bellies ... this website celebrating the art of pregnancy, birth and the lives of young mothers and fathers and their children everywhere.

digital media visual arts hospitals artist community health worker rural Health Indigenous Visual Arts Knowledge Base midwives
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