All managers and clinicians of member maternity & newborn services are welcome to participate in one or more of WHA's Special Interest Groups (SIGs).  The SIGs are formed in response to interest from members and focus on particular projects or themes of common interest.  Most are multidisciplinary, focusing on a common theme like safety & quality in maternity care or care of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander mothers and babies.  Some are for individuals in defined roles, such as CEOs, medical or nursing executives, or unit managers.  

The SIGs make it easy for peers across the women's health sector to connect with one another, ask questions of each other, provide advice and share resrouces.   Participants drive the agenda for each meeting, give presentations or briefings about their own service or issue and discuss common challenges & strategies for overcoming them.  Inspiring innovations are regularly shared too.

SIG meetings generally occur via web conferences, and are supplemented by on-line discussion and annual face-to-face meetings. All SIGs are supported by the WHA team.  To register your interest in participating in one or more of WHA's SIGs contact our Networking Coordinator.  



Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Women's and Children's Care

This group is open to managers, clinicians and Aboriginal Health Workers from WHA member hospitals interested in networking about how best to provide culturally safe & equitable care.  Topics discussed include:  

  • Culturally Safe Perinatal Mental Health – Screening tool “Baby Coming – You Ready?”  

  • Improving access to “gold standard” maternity care, resulting in better health outcomes for mothers and babies 

  • Quality of experiences during the First 1000 days – meeting the child’s needs and those of their families to improve health and wellbeing 

Please see below a 1 minute glimpse into one of the presentations given at an Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Women's and Children's Care Web Conference.

Login to the members community or create a new account to access the full presentation. 


Allied Health

A multidisciplinary group of Allied Health professionals/leaders focusing on many aspects of maternal and child focused care. Topics discussed include:    

  • Service wide implementation of Experience Based Co-Design Program - consumers and health workers together in an authentic and equal partnership to co-design care to deliver an improved experience 

  • Insight into Telehealth – saving precious time, clinical care delivered using technology   

  • Data: does it matter? – linking DRG demographics and interventions to assess the efficacy of allied health services  

  • NDIS - assisting staff to differentiate between health issues and disability   

  • Early Childhood intervention delays & strategies to improve the timeliness of care  

  • COVID-19 discussions 

Please see below a 1 minute glimpse into one of the presentations given at an Allied Health Web Conference.

Login to the members community or create a new account to access the full presentation. 


Clinical Educators

This SIG creates the opportunity to help midwifery educators share the challenges & strategies for embedding new policies and research into practice. Recent areas of discussion include:   

  • Strategies for improving staff morale and patient care – Learning from Excellence (LEX)  

  • Building upon the WHA 3rd & 4th Degree Perineal Tears Collaborative – effective education sessions and capacity building for continuous improvement 

  • Project Primip - improving birthing outcomes while recognizing the impact of language and reconsidering the need for interventions in the labours of healthy primiparous women 

  • WHA Benchmarking Data examining the decline in rates of Unassisted Vaginal Births and VBACs and the increase of Inductions of Labour, instrumental births and Caesarean Sections 


Directors of Nursing and Midwifery

This SIG provides an opportunity for Directors to discuss leadership challenges and initiatives within their services. Topics discussed include:  

  • iCOPE Perinatal Mental Health Digital Screening – benefits and funding opportunities  

  • Postnatal Benchmarking – understanding staffing for postnatal care & options to enhance care and outcomes for admitted postnatal women  

  • Standard 2 partnering with consumers - how maternity services can best engage with, and respond to, consumer’s views in the design & delivery of their services and Establishment of the WHA Consumer Representative SIG 

  • Criteria & processes for the diagnosis of gestational diabetes – evaluation by the Women’s Hospital of workload, cost and clinical outcomes associated with the GTT  

  • Service improvement, changing characteristics of women and our labour & birth care 

  • Pilot on engaging women in design of service: Family Violence and Mental Health  

  • MGP – WHA Morale Survey, Growing and sustaining MGP services 

Please see below a 1 minute glimpse into one of the presentations given at a Multidisciplinary Web Conference on iCOPE, an Interactive digital screen platform.

Login to the members community or create a new account to access the full presentation. 


Maternity Services

This Special Interest Group (SIG) enables MUMs to network and share challenges and improvements. Recent discussion areas include:   

  • iCOPE Perinatal Mental Health Digital Screening – benefits and opportunities to improve care & outcomes for women with mental health care needs during the perinatal period 

  • Culturally Safe Maternity Care – how is it being provided, what tools are being used to measure this, strategies to increase workforce competency 

  • Induction of labour – who, when to induce, variation and compliance with evidence-based guidelines, design of booking processes to support evidence based decision-making

Please see below a 1 minute glimpse into one of the presentations given at a Multidisciplinary Web Conference on Induction of Labour Booking Processes. 

Login to the members community or create a new account to access the full presentation. 


Midwifery Group Practice

This SIG provides an opportunity for midwives, obstetricians and managers working in, or with Midwifery Group Practices to network about sustaining and expanding MGP services. Recent discussion topics include:  

  • Celebrating Success – strengths, opportunities for improvement and benchmarking clinical outcomes 

  • Challenges of establishing a rural MGP – engaging support from GP Obstetricians  

  • Variation in care of women who become high risk in a low risk continuity of care model 

  • Sustainability, recruitment, retention and expansion – the when and how of having new graduates working in MGPs 



NICU and Special Care Nurseries

This is a multidisciplinary group of Neonatologists, Nurses and Midwives focused on enhancing care of newborns and their families in both NICU & SCN. Recent areas of interest include:   

  • Successful projects to reduce & sustain lower rates of infection in neonates 

  • Central Line Insertion innovations    

  • Implications of new criteria for the diagnosis of gestational diabetes: a health outcome and cost of care analysis   

  • Establishment of a reliable non-emergency neonatal transfer 

  • Red Cross Milk Bank supply donated milk to neonatal intensive care units in SA & NSW   

  • Humidification during resuscitation for preterm babies in the context of COVID-19 



Perinatal Mental Health

This relatively new SIG provides a multi-disciplinary network to learn and share information regarding the challenges of providing services that address Perinatal Mental Health needs. Topics being discussed include:  

  • e-PIMH supporting rural and regional workforce to build capacity and support perinatal & infant mental health needs   

  • iCOPE Perinatal Mental Health Digital Screening – benefits and data opportunities 

  • Perinatal Mental Health Support via Telehealth – opportunities, barriers and challenges   

  • QLD Perinatal & Infant Mental Health strategies and the first 1000 days – linking through technology  

  • Challenges of Perinatal Mental Health Practitioner in Rural and Remote Australia 



Rural & Regional Maternity Services

This SIG continues to support managers and clinical leaders from rural and regional maternity services to share challenges, resources, and innovations. It aims to assist small and/or rural health services to develop their service delivery options for women & children. Areas of interest have included:  

  • iCOPE Perinatal Mental Health Digital Screening – benefits and funding opportunities  

  • The history of rural midwifery - our current Models of Care and the implication on Rural midwifery and future directions.   

  • Quality of experiences for women and families - the First 1000 days – meeting child’s needs and optimizing child attachment and development 

  • WHA National Collaborative - 3rd & 4th Degree Tears insights and significant improvements:  the agility of rural services to adopt & reliably deliver high quality care through quality improvement projects  


Safety and Quality in Maternity Care

This is a multidisciplinary group of obstetricians, midwives and quality & safety experts who come together to discuss clinical benchmarking data, research insights and clinical practice issues with a view to improving the safety and quality of care provided to women and newborns. Discussions have focused on: 

  • Induction of Labour – rising rates, variation in practice & processes to enhance the reliability of evidence based decision making when recommending & booking induction for women 

  • The prevention and management of PPH including iron infusions, pharmacology and surgical management  

  • The impact on women of severe PPH and the important role of debriefs in preventing or minimising the experience of trauma at the time and for subsequent pregnancies    

  • Introduction of changes in criteria for the testing and diagnosis of gestational diabetes  

  • Variation in rates of early planned caesarean section without medical or obstetric indication 



Women's Hospitals Performance & Efficiency

The WHA Performance & Efficiency Special interest Group has been established at the request of the CEOs of the large services, to enable financial, information and system managers from the large tertiary women's & newborns services to network with one another to enhance performance & resource utilisation.  The group has recently been discussing: 

  • Annual Inpatient Activity & Costing Benchmarking results related to maternal, newborn and women's health services
  • Policy issues related to the deisgn and classification of maternity & newborn patients, e.g. the designof a bundled maternity price, or changing classifications for inpatient care
  • Ongoing discussion about uniformity & reliability of Neonate Costing Methodology that impacts on all services caring for high cost, very small neonates
  • Opportunities to achieve efficiencies or enhance revenue to support the provision of high quality services to women & families