Further investigation into the Gudaga I study after receiving NHMRC funding.

Project Short Title

Gudaga II

Project Number


Project Status

Completed Projects

Chief Investigators

Elizabeth Comino, Elizabeth Harris, Mark F Harris, Lisa Jackson Pulver, Kelvin Kong, Lynn Kemp, Peter Smith

Associate Investigators

Other Team Members

Jane Anderson


Very little information is available on the health and development of Aboriginal infants in disadvantaged urban communities. This study addresses the current gap by monitoring, over a three year period, the health status of 200 Aboriginal babies born at Campbelltown hospital. It is the first time a study of this nature has been conducted.

After receiving the NHMRC funding for the original Gudaga study in 2003, the project team commenced recruitment in October 2005. In November 2007, the team were successful in obtaining further NHMRC funding to continue the project until the children reached the age of 5 years.


1. To describe Indigenous infants’ and children’s growth and development until five years and to identify associated risk and protective factors;
2. To describe the patterns of illness and injury for Indigenous infants and children and to identify associated risk and protective factors;
3. To describe patterns of use of, and satisfaction with, health and children’s services by Indigenous children and their mothers, and the barriers and facilitators to effective access to services; and
4. To identify the aspirations that mothers have for their Indigenous children and the factors they feel will facilitate or impede the realisation of these aspirations

Design and Method

This is a longitudinal cohort study. All mothers delivering a baby at Campbelltown hospital between Oct 2005 and April 2007 are surveyed. Babies with an Aboriginal mother or father are identified and the mothers of these babies invited to be part of the study. Each baby is visited at home when they are 2-3 weeks, six months and 12 months. At each visit babies are weighed and measured and the mother is asked a series of questions related to use of health services for both herself and her baby as well as other related issues such as feeding, SIDS, and immunisation. At 12 months each baby has a full paediatric assessment conducted by an independent paediatrician at no cost to the baby's family.

Key Publications

You may download Gudaga resources by clicking on the following links:

Gudaga A4 poster

Gudaga flyer

Gudaga book chapter

Occasional Paper 1: What the chicken money bought: Researching with our local Aboriginal community

Journal articles

  1. Knight JA, Comino EJ, Harris E, Jackson Pulver L. Indigenous research: a commitment to walking the talk: The Gudaga Study: an Australian case study. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 2009;6(4):467-76.
  2. Sainsbury H. Personal reflections of a project officer: working with Gudaga. Aboriginal & Islander Health Worker Journal 2009;33(2):4-5.
  3. Bennett B, McDonald J, Knight J, Comino E, Henry R. Assessing development of urban Aboriginal infants. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 2010;46(7-8):384-91.
  4. Comino E, Craig P, Harris E, McDermott D, Harris M, Henry R, Jackson Pulver L, Kemp L, Knight J. The Gudaga Study: establishing an Aboriginal birth cohort in an urban community. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 2010;34(S1):S9-S17.
  5. Comino E, Jackson Pulver L, Knight J. Response to: The health of urban Aboriginal people: insufficient data to close the gap [letter]. Medical Journal of Australia 2011;194(5):270.
  6. Craig P, Knight J, Comino E, Webster V, Jackson Pulver L, Harris E. Initiation and duration of breastfeeding in an Australian Aboriginal community in south western Sydney. Journal of Human Lactation 2011;27(3):250-61.
  7. Robinson P, Comino E, Forbes A, Webster V, Knight J. Timeliness of antenatal care for mothers of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal infants in an urban setting. Australian Journal of Primary Health 2012;18(1):56-61.
  8. Widdup J, Comino E, Webster V, Knight J. Universal for whom? Evaluating an urban Aboriginal population’s access to a mainstream universal health home visiting program. Australian Health Review. 2012;36(1):27-33.
  9. Comino E, Knight J, Webster V, Jackson Pulver L, Jalaludin B, Harris E, Harris M, Craig P, McDermott D, Henry R, Gudaga Research Team. Risk and protective factors for pregnancy outcomes for urban Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal mothers and infants: The Gudaga cohort. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 2012;16(3):569-578.
  10. McDonald J, Comino E, Knight J, Webster V. Developmental progress in urban Aboriginal infants: a cohort study. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 2012;48(2):114-21.
  11. Knight, J., Webster, V., Kemp, L., & Comino, E. (2013). Sudden infant death syndrome in an urban Aboriginal community. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 49(12), 1025-1031. doi:10.1111/jpc.12306
  12. Miller., Webster, V. K., Knight, J., & Comino, E. J. (2013). The use of a standardised language assessment tool to measure the language development of urban Aboriginal preschoolers. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.
  13. Webster, V. K., Denney-wilson, E., Knight, J., & Comino, E. J. (2013). Describing the growth and Rapid Weight Gain of urban Australian Aboriginal infants. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 49(4), 303-308. doi:10.1111/jpc.12151
  14. Harris, M. F., Webster, V. K., Jackson Pulver, L., Jalaludin, B. B., & Comino, E. J. (2013). Immunisation rates among a birth cohort of Aboriginal infants in an urban community.. Paediatrics and Child Health. doi:10.1111/jpc.12482
  15. McDonald, J., Webster, V., Knight, J., & Comino, E. (2014). The Gudaga study: Development in 3-year-old urban Aboriginal children. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 50(2), 100-106. doi:10.1111/jpc.12476

Books and Reports

  1. Knight J, Comino E, Harris E, Jackson Pulver L, Anderson C, Craig P. The Gudaga project: researching with our local Aboriginal community. In: Williamson A, DeSouza R, eds. Researching with Communities: Grounded Perspectives on Engaging Communities in Research. Auckland: Muddycreek Press, 2007:181-96.
  2. Knight J, Comino E, Harris E, Jackson Pulver L, Anderson C, Craig P, Gudaga Research Team. What the Chicken Money Bought: Researching with our Local Aboriginal Community. Sydney: Centre for Health Equity Training Research and Evaluation, UNSW Research Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity, 2008.
  3. Centre for Health Equity Training Research and Evaluation. The Gudaga Study: The story so far. Sydney:  Centre for Health Equity Training Research and Evaluation, part of the UNSW Research Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity, 2011.


Email: chetre@unsw.edu.au

Key Partners

Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation; SSWAHS (western zone); University of NSW including the Muru Marri Indigenous Health Unit.



Project lead centre
Project stream
Action for Equity
Project start date
Project end date