Special Sessions - VIRTUAL

Using film to cross the cultural divide for infants and their families.

Session 2 – 90 minute Symposium with presenters & panel discussion – Wednesday 23rd June, 18.00-19.30 Brisbane time

This Multicultural Film Symposium aims to explore the use of film to promote infant mental health and the importance of early parenting to families from culturally and linqistically diverse populations. These films have been produced from a culturally safe and sensitive space to assist in educating communities worldwide in the language of infant mental health and parent-infant relationships. Furthermore, they have a role in assisting with training professionals within the field to better support community in relation to infant mental health from a place of cultural humility, cultural curiosity and cultural sensitivity.

Panel Chair

Child Psychiatrist

Julie Stone is an infant, child and family psychiatrist with decades of experience working with and for infants and families in distress. Through her work in Australia and internationally Julie has a particular interest in helping colleagues develop ways to think about and work more effectively with families, so they can help parents and caregivers reflect on, and attend to, the complex needs of their infants and toddlers. Julie values the power of film to open new worlds and experiences to families and colleagues, with its power to bridge divisions of geography, culture and language. Film illuminates the universality that all infants and young children near nurturing care, where-ever they live. She has been closely involved with the production of two short films – one about the importance of children’s play filmed in Kwa-Zulu Natal in South African, and the other of Juliet Hopkins reading her paper The Need to Put Things Right, filmed in London. This film is the first in a series of short films introducing IMH pioneers and elders.


Zakiyyah Muhammad

Director and Principal Psychotherapist - Accredited Mental Health Social Worker
Family Haven South Australia

My Baby’s Mind (documentary film)

The My Baby’s Mind is a resource that was developed from funding received from AAIMH South Australia. The aim and objective were to consult with five New Arrival communities to ascertain their views on Infant Mental Health within the first 1000 days of life. The cultural groups who participated included parents, both men and women from the Syrian Arabic, Nepali speaking, Spanish speaking, Burmese, and Pashtun communities.

A “live” video resource was produced to assist with training professionals within the field to better support community in relation to infant mental health from a place of cultural humility, cultural curiosity, and cultural sensitivity. Six short video clips in language were also developed to support New Arrival Communities in Australia and across the world regarding infant mental health. These video clips will be distributed on a variety of online platforms alongside a 7-page mandala colouring book to promote mindfulness around the topic utilising key words and phrases that were shared within the consultation. Presenting My Baby’s Mind showcases this resource on a global scale, educating communities worldwide from a culturally safe and sensitive space.

Rose Palmer (Producer)
Film Maker, Photographer & Freelance Producer, Whalebone Films

Chloe White (Director)
Creative Director, Whalebone Films

Zikethiwe Ngcobo (Producer)
CEO, Fuzebox Entertainment

Nicki Dawson
Parent-Infant Programme Manager, Ububele Educational & Psychotherapy Trust.

1001 Days: A Feature Documentary, Film Trailer

1001 Days is a feature documentary following a team of home visitors who are determined to help new mothers during the first 1001 days of their babies' lives - the most critical time in any human’s life. The home visitors are all mothers from Alexandra and work for Ububele, a charity focused on supporting infant mental health and development, particularly amongst disadvantaged groups. Each week they go from home to home through the chaotic streets of Alexandra offering emotional support to pregnant women and new mothers, who often have no one else to turn to.

Their aim is to support the relationship between new mothers and their infants. Decades of research show that during the first 1001 days the foundations of a baby’s mind are being put in place and early events and relationships during this period affect the brain in ways that have lifelong consequences. Too many babies, especially those living in poorer countries, do not get the start in life they need. Focusing on food, water and security just isn’t enough–it’s been proven over and over again that supporting new mothers can help children achieve their potential. The stories of the women in our film will bring these ideas and evidence to life. We see them there, right at the beginning, supporting new mothers who are dealing with abuse, addiction and poverty. Over three years the film captures intimate conversations between the home visitors, Zanele, Thandiwe and Khosi, and the mothers they visit, and their reflections on these visits in supervisions. Moments of hope and small victories give way to larger ones when Zanele and Thandiwe are invited to speak at the World Association of Infant Mental Health conference. This means leaving South Africa for the first time, flying halfway around the globe to Rome, and presenting their work in front of an audience of world-leading academics.

Counselling Psychologist, Johannesburg

Nicole Canin is a counselling psychologist with over 14 years of clinical experience. She has a special interest in maternal mental health as well as supporting infants, young children and their families. She has developed courses, trained, and supervised in this area. She is currently completing her PhD which focuses on the developing relationship between premature infants and their mothers in the neonatal ICU. She was the chairperson of the Gauteng Association for Infant Mental Health.

‘You Are the Reason’ - Using the power of music to advocate for maternal and infant mental health (Music Video)

The music video #youarethereason was produced by Nicole Canin and the Gauteng Association for Infant Mental Health (GAIMH-SA). The music video is taken from the original Callum Scott song and performed with powerful and heartfelt vocals by Chantal Stanfield, Ziyanda Yako and Nicole Canin. Attending a conference in 2019, an idea was sparked in Nicole Canin’s mind when Dr Astrid Berg mentioned an anecdote by Professor Daniel Stern, who remarked that “a rock concert would have a greater impact than additional research, to convince parents of how important mental health is for caregivers and their infants in the first 1000 days after birth.” The words of Callum Scott’s song were written as a love song, but Nicole saw it through the lens of the mother and baby who might be struggling in their relationship. Nicole will discuss how the music video was conceived and produced and how it might provide a vibrant and poignant resource for linking stressed parents with timely supports.

Co-Founder and Service Coordinator, Mother-Baby Nurture Playgroup, Western Australia

Sharon is qualified in Midwifery, Child & Community Health and holds a Master of Perinatal and Infant Mental Health. She is captivated by the relational dance between the parent and infant, and the way past patterns of relating within family are passed forward, yet rarely recognised or talked about. Sharon’s preferred place of work is beside the parent-infant dyad as they begin to notice, and gradually find their rhythm.

Parent-Infant Psychotherapist and Co-founder Mother-Baby Nurture

Sue Coleson is a Psychotherapist experienced in individual Psychodynamic Psychotherapy with specialised training in Parent-Infant Psychotherapy, working with dyads and groups. Recognising a gap in services for new mothers and their infants, Sue piloted the first MBN group in 2009 and has been facilitating groups and training others since then.

‘The Mother-Baby-Nurture Story’ 1000 Bright Futures Project: Celebrating 10 years of Mother-Baby Nurture (Documentary film)

‘The Mother-Baby Nurture Story’ is a 24-minute documentary celebrating the 10-year anniversary of a unique relationship-focussed service. Eight women share their story of becoming a mother and the role Mother-Baby Nurture (MBN) played in restoring relationship with their baby. Mother-Baby Nurture is a reflective group intervention delivered in seven communities across Western Australia, for vulnerable infants and their mothers within the first six-months postpartum. Western Australia is a state rich in mineral resources, dependent on a mobile workforce drawn from overseas and across Australia. Thirty percent of participants are of ethnic origin other than Australian, and many more are separated from their extended family due to employment in the resource industry. In a safe facilitated circle, six women and their infants come together for two hours over ten weeks to make sense of their experience; finding themselves, their babies and forging a community that cares for them into the future. Mother-Baby Nurture offers a safe holding space to reflect on the new relationships that are in formation, with the baby as an active participant of the group. Each week there is quiet space dedicated to observation followed by reflection, where the mother is supported to wonder about her baby’s behaviour and experiences, considering the mind of her infant, as distinct from her own. The focus and essence of MBN is about being with rather than doing to the babies, an approach that transcends language and culture.