Funding from the Investing in Women Funding Program assists local team to build an app for improved health outcomes for Aboriginal women

Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh with Associate Professor Gillian Gould (second from right) and team members at today’s announcement. Photo: David Tune.


ON Monday afternoon member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh congratulated Associate Professor Gillian Gould and her all-women team comprising Aboriginal researchers, non-Indigenous researchers and experts on securing a $50,000 grant to support development of the MAMA-EMPOWER App.

The app provides tailored support for women to tackle risk factors affecting their health.

The funding from the NSW Government’s Investing in Women funding program allows for further development of the system designed to address the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal women during preconception or pregnancy.

Associate Professor Gould is based in Coffs Harbour, where she has established a University of Newcastle-affiliated research hub.

Team member and University of Newcastle based Research Manager for the project, Dr Nicole Ryan said, “This funding will help in incorporating feedback from local women to not only make it culturally appropriate but to include evidence-based guidance for the individual person.”

The app provides tailored support to women to tackle four risk factors impacting their health – smoking, alcohol, physical activity, and low fruit and vegetable intake.

It will incorporate behavioural change techniques such as goal setting and reminders and has an interface that is easy to connect with.

Associate Professor Gould said, “The aim of the app is to provide an interactive experience that will replace some traditional support methods such as providing information pamphlets that were often not highly effective.

“We are hoping to launch the final app around June this year, depending on the speed of the development.”

Since 2013, the Investing in Women Funding Program has provided more than $2.3 million to projects that support women. For more information, visit


By David TUNE

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