Professor Sue Kildea

Professor of Midwifery

School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences

Professor of Midwifery

Mater Research Institute-UQ
Faculty of Medicine

Affiliate Professor Level E

UQ Poche Centre for Indigenous Health
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences

Overview

Professor Sue Kildea is the Director of the Midwifery Research Unit (MRU) and a joint appointment with the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work at the University of Queensland, Mater Research and Mater Health. The MRU has a strong focus on translational research, health services research, redesigning health services for vulnerable families and promoting normal birth and breastfeeding, within the Mothers, Babies and Women’s Health research theme. The MRU comprise of six post-Doctoral researchers and a team of higher degree research students and research assistants. Sue is a registered nurse and midwife with a strong clinical background, particularly in rural and remote Australia. She is a strong believer in returning birthing services to rural and remote areas, the primary care setting and Aboriginal control of Health Services. She is recognised internationally for her pioneering work in rural and remote health, Indigenous health and midwifery receiving a Human Rights Reconciliation award in 2004 and the Aurora Award for Outstanding Contribution to Remote Area Health in 2012. Sue is currently conducting collaborative projects across Australia, Canada, Sweden and the UK with multidisciplinary teams. She receives funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council and other organisations, such as the Canadian Institute of Health Research and the National Institute of Health in America. She is leading large multisite randomised control trials (one international) and two longitudinal cohort studies: one examining stress in pregnancy the Queensland Floods in 2011 and the second following a cohort or Urban Indigenous women and their infants who are accessing new models of care aiming to close the gap in maternal and infant health outcomes. She has been a technical advisor for the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and other organisations in Indonesia, Mongolia, Geneva, Jordan, Viet Nam, Canada and Japan and is regularly invited to conduct plenary addresses, to contribute to national policy development. Sue has been invited to lead several projects towards the development of Birthing on Country Service Models on behalf of the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council. “I landed in the research arena by mistake and couldn’t be happier. One of my career objectives has been to increase the capacity of health services and the health workforce to maximise their effectiveness to make a difference to the lives of marginalised and vulnerable families, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families or those in remote areas. Research is a powerful tool that can assist to redirect the power into the hands of those who are directly impacted by health services. It can be used to work in partnership with families, clinicians and communities to strive for a socially just world. The midwifery philosophy that promotes normal pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding underlies much of my work".

Photo: by Anjanette Webb

Research Interests

  • Maternity care
  • Indigenous Health
  • Midwifery

Qualifications

  • Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, University of Technology Sydney
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Technology Sydney
  • Bachelor of Health Science in Nursing, Southern Cross University

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • The Indigenous Birthing in an Urban Setting (IBUS) study aims to evaluate models of maternity care for woman having Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies in South East Queensland. It is a partnership project developed by three Brisbane-based organisations: The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH), the Mater Health Service (MHS), and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS) Brisbane Ltd, in collaborative with the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Ngarrama Indigenous Service. This is a 5-year NHMRC funded study, with the research team based at Midwifery Research Unit (a joint collaboration between MRI-UQ and the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work–UQ), led by Prof Sue Kildea. To date, we have recruited over 200 women and babies. There is potential for RHD students (MPhil and/or PhD) to work on the many sub-studies such as:

    • Tell My Story
    • Women’s social and emotional wellbeing
    • Birthing on Country in an Urban Setting
    • Infant Growth and Development
    • Stop Smoking in its Tracks

    We are seeking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to join our team.

    For further information, please contact Dr Sophie Hickey sophie.hickey@mater.uq.edu.au or phone (07) 3163 1901

    • Tell My Story: An Ethnography Sub-study within the IBUS Study

    Women having Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies (approx. n=50) will be invited to share their story through a longitudinal ethnographic approach. Researchers will interview women and observe family practices including lifestyle, stressors, social support, cultural practices and childrearing every 8 weeks from recruitment (in pregnancy) until the infant is 6 months old. We will explore Indigenous perspectives of culturally safe care (acceptability) and what constitutes social, cultural and clinical risk and wellbeing throughout the study period. Information will be sought about relationships in care and how this impacts on health choices and outcomes (e.g. breastfeeding, smoking cessation). We will record interviews (audio or video) and write field notes of observations, thus enriching the quantitative data.

    • Stop Smoking in it's Tracks: A Smoking Cessation Sub-study within the IBUS Study

    As part of the Birthing in Our Community program, we will be implementing a novel smoking cessation program investigating the impact of intensive follow up and support for women from early pregnancy through to 6 months following birth, along with reward payments to encourage sustained smoking cessation. Stop Smoking in its Tracks will also offer support, including Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) to family members who smoke. This study will assess the effectiveness, acceptability and feasibility of providing "Stop Smoking in its Tracks."

    • Growth and development of infants: A sub-study within the IBUS Study

    The importance of optimal infant growth and development is well known. To date, it is not known to what extent commonly used infant developmental assessment tools are culturally appropriate for use with Indigenous infants raised in an urban setting. This sub-study will include culturally validating infant child assessments tools such as the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development and the Ages and Stages Questionnaire with an urban Indigenous population. Experience in conducting infant assessments is desirable. If not already a qualified assessor, the successful candidate will be supported to undertake training to become accredited.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Featured Publications

Book

  • Dawes, Alison, Mustapha, Alison, Donnelly, Allan, Sanburg, Amanda, Bisits, Andrew, Lee, Andrew, McCallum, Andrew, White, Andrew, Sneddon, Anne, Brown, Anthony, Silver, Bronwyn, Simmons, Bruce, Steiner, Caitlin, Boardman, Claire, Ellwood, David, Boldiston, Donald, Chung, Donna, Reed, Duncan, Gleeson, Glenda, Maguire, Graeme, McHugh, Greg, Dahlen, Hannah, Mumme, Heather, Land, Helen, Taylor, Hugh, Warnock, Jason, Alison, Jenny, May, Jenny, Ball, Jonathon, Gardiner, Judith, Stewart, Julie, Currie, Kathy, Sullivan, Katie, Edwards, Keith, de Decker, Koen, Bowell, Libby, Little, Lucy, Arkapaw, Lukas, Byers, Lyn, Young, Lyndall, O'Brien, Margaret, Nicholl, Michael, Williams, Nick, Wood, Pamela, Markey, Peter, May, Peter, Morris, Peter, Carroll, Raelene, Narasimhan, Rishi, Knight, Sabina, Larkins, Sarah, Johnson, Sharon, Soloman, Shaun, Crowther, Shelley, Alexander, Sheryl, Sandford, Shona, Kane, Simon, Margolis, Steve, Milanese, Steve, Doherty, Steven, Gordon, Susan, Kildea, Sue, Orsmond, Sue, Howell, Susan, Henderson, Timothy, Bowyer, Wendy and Li, Zi Clinical procedures manual for remote and rural practice: supporting clinical practice in the bush 3rd ed. Edited by Sabina Knight, Andrew White, Caitlin Steiner, Chris Del Mar, Christine Connors, Frances Vaughan, Janet Struber, Jo Wright, Kerrie Gell, Nick Williams, George Tripe, Peter McCormack and Rosemary Schmidt Alice Spring, NT, Australia: Centre for Remote Health, 2014.

  • Drogeuller, Adeline, Latif, Ahmed, Bisits, Andrew, Sneddon, Anne, Preston-Thomas, Annie, Steiner, Caitlin, Homer, Caroline, Chapple, Cathy, Costello, Craig, Ellwood, David, Gleeson, Glenda, Paterson-Walley, Glenda, Dahlen, Hannah, Hanock, Heather, Knox, Janet, Delima, Jennifer, Lakshmi, Jhansi, David, Josh, Gardiner, Judith, Sullivan, Katie, Scott, Lesley, Marshall, Lewis, Dennis, Louise, Little, Lucy, Young, Lyndall, O'Brien, Margaret, Haliday, Megan, Nicholl, Michael, Luey, Michele, Boddington, Michelle, Ryder, Nathan, Lee, Nigel, Lawton, Paul, May, Peter, Carroll, Raelene, Lewandowski, Raymond, Apelt, Rita, Batey, Robert, Fahy, Rose, Edmonds, Sally, Jackson, Sarah, Alexander, Sheryl, Kane, Simon, Chitturi, Sridhar,, Kildea, Sue, Kruske, Sue, Roth, Sue, Yip, Teem-Wing, Hourigan, Tina, Page, Vanessa and Walsh, Warren Minymaku Kutja Tjukurpa: Women's Business Manual: Literal translation: 'Women Only Story' 5th Edition ed. Alice Spring, NT, Australia: Centre for Remote Health, 2014.

  • Kildea, Sue, Magick, Dennis F. and Stapleton, Helen (2012) Birthing on country: workshop report Brisbane, Australia: Maternity Services Inter-Jurisdictional Committee

  • Kildea, Sue and Van Wagner, Vicki (2012) ‘Birthing on Country’ maternity service delivery models: a rapid review Haymarket, NSW Australia: Sax Institute

  • Lamb, T., Stapleton, H., Low, N. and Kildea, S. (2012) Mater Mothers' Hospital Murri Antenatal Clinic: planning future services at the World Café Workshop Brisbane, QLD, Australia: Midwifery Research Unit, Mater Mothers’ Hospitals and Australian Catholic University

  • Stapleton, H., Murphy, R. and Kildea, S. (2011) Evaluation of the Mater Mothers’ Hospital's Murri Antenatal Clinic Not available:

  • Stapleton, H., Murphy, R. and Kildea, S. (2011) The CHAMP antenatal service: report on the qualitative component to a quality assurance project Not available:

  • Kruske, Sue, Kildea, Sue and Sherwood, Juanita (2010) Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women: providing maternity care Not available: Not available

  • Wild, Kayli, Rumbold, Alice, Maypilama, Lawurrpa, Boyle, Jacqui, Kildea, Sue and Barclay, Leslie Checking for problems with the baby in early pregnancy: it's your choice to test for Down Syndrome and neural tube defects. Darwin, NT, Australia: Menzies School of Health Research, 2010.

  • Stapleton, Helen, Murphy, Rebecca, Correa-Velez, Ignacio and Kildea, Sue (2010) Evaluation of the Mater Mothers' Hospital's Refugee Antenatal Clinic Not available:

  • Kildea, Sue Maternal deaths in Australia: 2000-2002. Edited by Elizabeth A. Sullivan and James F. King Randwick, NSW, Australia: National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2006.

Book Chapter

  • Kildea, Sue, Kruske, Sue and Sherwood, Juanita (2015). Midwives working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. In Sally Pairman, Sally Tracy, Carol Thorogood and Jan Pincombe (Ed.), Midwifery preparation for practice 3rd ed. (pp. 207-226) Sydney: Elsevier.

  • Kruske, S., Kildea, S. and Sherwood J. (2015). Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women: providing maternity care. In Maternity Safety Course Manual () Sydney, Australia: AMARE.

  • Kruske, S. , Kildea, S. and Sherwood, J. (2013). Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women: providing Maternity Care. In Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics Manual 3rd ed. () Sydney, Australia: AMARE.

  • Kruske, Sue, Lenthall, Sue, Kildea, Sue, Knight, Sabina, Mackay, Beverley and Hegney, Desley G. (2012). Rural and remote area nursing. In Diane Brown and Helen Edwards (Ed.), Lewis's Medical-Surgical Nursing: Assessment and Management of Clinical Problems 3rd ed. (pp. 208-219) Chatswood, NSW, Australia: Mosby.

  • Kildea, Sue, Kruske, Sue and Sherwood, Juanita (2010). Midwives working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. In Sally Pairman, Jan Pincombe, Sally K. Tracy and Carol Thorogood (Ed.), Midwifery: Preparation for Practice 2nd ed. (pp. 162-176) Chatswood, NSW Australia: Churchill Livingstone.

  • Kildea, Sue and Wardaguga, M. (2009). Childbirth in Australia: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women. In Helaine Selin and Pamela K. Stone (Ed.), Childbirth across cultures: ideas and practices of pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum (pp. 275-286) New York, NY, United States: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-90-481-2599-9_26

  • Kruske, S., Lenthall, S., Kildea, S., Knight, S., Mackay, V. and Hegney, Desley G. (2008). Rural and remote area nursing. In Diane Brown, Helen Edwards, Diane Brown and Helen Edwards (Ed.), Lewis's Medical-Surgical Nursing Assessment and Management of Clinical Problems 2nd ed. (pp. 200-214) Australia: Academic Press (Elsevier Press).

  • Kruske, S., Lenthall, S., Kildea, S., Knight, S., Mackay, B. and Hegney, D. (2007). Rural and remote area nursing. In Lewis's medical-surgical nursing: Assessment and Management of clinical problems 2 ed. (pp. 200-215) Australia: Elsevier Australia.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • The Indigenous Birthing in an Urban Setting (IBUS) study aims to evaluate models of maternity care for woman having Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies in South East Queensland. It is a partnership project developed by three Brisbane-based organisations: The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH), the Mater Health Service (MHS), and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS) Brisbane Ltd, in collaborative with the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Ngarrama Indigenous Service. This is a 5-year NHMRC funded study, with the research team based at Midwifery Research Unit (a joint collaboration between MRI-UQ and the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work–UQ), led by Prof Sue Kildea. To date, we have recruited over 200 women and babies. There is potential for RHD students (MPhil and/or PhD) to work on the many sub-studies such as:

    • Tell My Story
    • Women’s social and emotional wellbeing
    • Birthing on Country in an Urban Setting
    • Infant Growth and Development
    • Stop Smoking in its Tracks

    We are seeking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to join our team.

    For further information, please contact Dr Sophie Hickey sophie.hickey@mater.uq.edu.au or phone (07) 3163 1901

    • Tell My Story: An Ethnography Sub-study within the IBUS Study

    Women having Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies (approx. n=50) will be invited to share their story through a longitudinal ethnographic approach. Researchers will interview women and observe family practices including lifestyle, stressors, social support, cultural practices and childrearing every 8 weeks from recruitment (in pregnancy) until the infant is 6 months old. We will explore Indigenous perspectives of culturally safe care (acceptability) and what constitutes social, cultural and clinical risk and wellbeing throughout the study period. Information will be sought about relationships in care and how this impacts on health choices and outcomes (e.g. breastfeeding, smoking cessation). We will record interviews (audio or video) and write field notes of observations, thus enriching the quantitative data.

    • Stop Smoking in it's Tracks: A Smoking Cessation Sub-study within the IBUS Study

    As part of the Birthing in Our Community program, we will be implementing a novel smoking cessation program investigating the impact of intensive follow up and support for women from early pregnancy through to 6 months following birth, along with reward payments to encourage sustained smoking cessation. Stop Smoking in its Tracks will also offer support, including Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) to family members who smoke. This study will assess the effectiveness, acceptability and feasibility of providing "Stop Smoking in its Tracks."

    • Growth and development of infants: A sub-study within the IBUS Study

    The importance of optimal infant growth and development is well known. To date, it is not known to what extent commonly used infant developmental assessment tools are culturally appropriate for use with Indigenous infants raised in an urban setting. This sub-study will include culturally validating infant child assessments tools such as the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development and the Ages and Stages Questionnaire with an urban Indigenous population. Experience in conducting infant assessments is desirable. If not already a qualified assessor, the successful candidate will be supported to undertake training to become accredited.