On 27 March 2018 the Senate established the Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education to inquire into and report on the future of stillbirth research and education in Australia, with particular reference to:

(a) consistency and timeliness of data available to researchers across states, territories and federal jurisdictions;

(b) coordination between Australian and international researchers;

(c) partnerships with the corporate sector, including use of innovative new technology;

(d) sustainability and propriety of current research funding into stillbirth, and future funding options, including government, philanthropic and corporate support;

(e) research and education priorities and coordination, including the role that innovation and the private sector can play in stillbirth research and education;

(f) communication of stillbirth research for Australian families, including culturally and linguistically appropriate advice for Indigenous and multicultural families, before and during a pregnancy;

(g) quantifying the impact of stillbirths on the Australian economy; and

(h) any related matters.

This report comprises eight chapters:

  • Chapter 1 outlines the conduct of the inquiry, and the definitions for stillbirth across jurisdictions;
  • Chapter 2 outlines the numbers, rates, causes, and risk factors of stillbirth in Australia in comparison to other high-income countries;
  • Chapter 3 discusses the economic and social impacts of stillbirth;
  • Chapter 4 discusses stillbirth reporting and data collection;
  • Chapter 5 discusses stillbirth research, innovative technology and corporate sector partnerships;
  • Chapter 6 discusses quality of care in relation to stillbirth;
  • Chapter 7 discusses stillbirth education and public awareness campaigns; and
  • Chapter 8 considers stillbirth research and education in the context of international and policy frameworks, and strategies to reduce the rate of stillbirth in Australia.
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