In February 2017, NBO training was held in Hobart, Tasmania (photo above). In 2016, six NBO training workshops were held across Australia, and the first NBO training workshop was held in Christchurch New Zealand. In total, 193 participants from an array of professions took part in 7 NBO workshops run by NBO Australia in 2016 (Note: this does not include training in Japan and Hong Kong). The training workshops continue to be enjoyable and highly rewarding for the faculty at NBO Australia. Susan Nicolson and Campbell Paul were particularly delighted to co-run workshops with Beulah Warren and Danielle Atkins for the first time in 2016. Feedback highlights include that 94% of participants were either satisfied or very satisfied with the NBO training they received, that 79% of participants believed the NBO would be somewhat easy (57%), or very easy (22%) to implement in their practice, and that generally participants found the training prepared them very well to work with infants and their families, in particular the NBO focus on newborn visual and auditory capacities (72%), and the newborn’s response to stress (69%).

In 2016 Campbell Paul travelled to Hong Kong and Japan to co-run NBO training workshops with Kevin Nugent. In 2017, he and Susan Nicolson will travel to South Africa to run the second training at Ububele in Johannesburg and a possible training in Capetown. It was announced at the WAIMH Congress in Prague in June 2016 that Campbell is President Elect of WAIMH and he has been invited to give a Plenary at the 2017 ASCACAP conference in Jogyakarta, Indonesia, with the feasibility of a conference-linked NBO training to be explored in the coming weeks.

In 2017, two research projects on the NBO will get underway in Melbourne, and our collaboration with the Mallee District Aboriginal Health Service to see the NBO embedded in their Early Years Program will continue. The ‘UNA’ (Understanding your Newborn and Adapting to parenthood) research project will examine the impact of the NBO among mothers with a history of depression in pregnancy will begin recruitment in 2017. The ‘NINA’ research project is a feasibility study aiming to get a better understanding of the NBO’s place in NICU. Recruitment is in progress.

NBO Training group at Shepparton, Central Victoria

An update on NBAS and NBO training in Sydney, New South Wales

by Beulah Warren, NBAS Trainer

As I informed you last year, the structure of the NSW Institute of Psychiatry has changed and the content of the Master of Perinatal Health has changed. As there is no longer an introduction to the NBAS in the course, the NSW branch of the Australian Association of Infant Mental Health has asked me to provide training under the umbrella of the Association. This has been organised and in 2016, we have had two training weekends with four trainees participating.

Danielle Atkins from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, has participated in the four training days as part of her training to be a trainer on the NBAS. In the October training, Danielle shared the responsibility of the training and calibrated reliability on the NBAS. It was appropriate Danielle be recommended as a trainer. During 2015, I was very conscious that there has been no NBO training in Sydney. I approached the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Robert Mills, of Tresillian Family Care Centres, NSW, to see if training could take place at one of the residential sites. Robert discussed it with the education team of his organisation. At the same time, I encouraged Associate Professor Campbell Paul and Dr Susan Nicolson, NBO trainers based in Melbourne, to make contact with Robert directly. It was opportune that Robert met up with Campbell and Suzanne in Prague during the year and a date set for the first NBO training in Sydney was arranged.

(Photo above features NBO training at the Tresillian Family Care Centre, Sydney, Nov 2016, with Trainers, Campbell Paul, Susan Nicolson and Beulah Warren).

In November 2016, the one and half day NBO training took place with over twenty participants. Campbell & Suzanne invited me to participate in the training, providing the historical perspective of the NBO, including the development of the NBAS. I was delighted to participate. Also, Danielle Atkins, who is working toward becoming a NBO trainer as well as NBAS trainer, participated. Danielle made a considerable contribution, focussing on her experience with the NBAS and the NBO in the NICU. It is exciting to see how interest in both the NBAS & NBO is growing.

Mildura Mallee District Aboriginal services in Victoria and the NBO

by Cathy Crouch, Lead Practitioner

Mallee District Aboriginal Services (MDAS) in regional Victoria Australia is committed to extending the use of NBO across the Early Years Services. Throughout 2016 MDAS completed 3 NBOs with Aboriginal families and has put 3 staff through NBO training. Whilst this is a very small step to expanding the inclusion of NBO within the service, it is the platform for shaping team dynamics and service change into 2017 and beyond.

The strategic direction for NBO rollout is as follows:

  • Refresher training across the entire case work team in NBO completion (100% of case workers training in and offering NBOs by end of 2017)
  • Embed the NBO provision in service delivery and Key Performance Indicator reporting
  • Increase antenatal mentalisation for baby and conversations with higher risk mothers, which are precursors to the NBO so that antenatal care rolls into NBO and increased monitoring and bonding support for high-risk
  • Create 6 monthly reviews of antenatal and NBO engagement within Early Years Services
  • Build antenatal scaffolding and NBO provision into operational manual for the service
  • Include NBO awareness and reviews in the MDAS in-house training calendar as a regular feature

MDAS presented some preliminary research from Community regarding antenatal yarning and its potential healing capacities for local families in the WAIMH congress in 2016 and supported Dr. Susan Nicolson with Indigenous research for NBO application in various populations. The two focal areas, antenatal yarning and NBO provision are well suited as a wrap around support for indigenous families and this consideration will continue to be a focal area for MDAS Early Years in 2017. If you would like updates on these strategies, or the work being done in the antenatal yarning space, please do not hesitate to contact the MDAS Early Years Lead Practitioner Kathy Crouch.