Australian Early Development Index

Australian Early Development Index 


Indigenous Australian Early Development Index

On Sunday 20th February 2008, Deputy Prime Minister, The Hon Julia Gillard launched the I-AEDI project at Gurlongga Njininj Child Care Centre in Perth.
Key participants at the event were:

  • Hon Jenny Macklin, Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

  • Professor Fiona Stanley, Director of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research

  • Associate Professor Colleen Hayward, Manager of the Kulunga Research Network

  • Mr Russell Caplan, Chairman, Shell Australia 

The Indigenous Australian Early Development Index project is receiving vital funding from Shell Australia and the Federal Government's Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).


The I-AEDI project is adapting the highly successful Australian Early Development Index to ensure it takes into account cultural differences in child development.


The Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) Pilbara project is sponsored by BHP Billiton Iron Ore. It specifically targets the areas of Hedland and Newman and is part of BHP Billiton Iron Ore's three year commitment to health in the Pilbara region.


The project aims to:

  • engage families, schools, local government and other stakeholders in the Hedland and Newman communities and provide support and training to undertake the fi rst stage of the AEDI community planning process;

  • utilise the experience of implementing the AEDI in these communities to develop and evaluate training resources and an on-line community implementation guide/manual for other communities undertaking the AEDI process as part of the AEDI national project.

For more information on the AEDI click here



Chevron Australia Partnership (AEDI Implementation)

This project specifically provided for the implementation of the Australian Early
Development Index (AEDI) in Exmouth and the communication of the results of the AEDI to the communities of Exmouth, Karratha and Onslow, the latter two having implemented the AEDI under the terms of a different agreement.


The work of this project was sponsored by Chevron Australia. As such, it represents a new relationship for the Institute through Kulunga and provides an opportunity for a long term partnership.


Kulunga was already implementing the AEDI across the Pilbara region in partnershipwith a number of sponsors. However, Exmouth had not been included in the sites to be assessed.


To enable Chevron Australia to have a complete picture of the three sites of interest, namely Exmouth, Onslow and Karratha, Kulunga was engaged to extend the area of coverage. Of the three sites of interest, Karratha is by far the largest. Encouragingly, the results for the Karratha area were found to be within national averages across all domains.


While a small proportion of young children were found to be vulnerable, the vast majority of children were considered to be ready for the transition to school.


There were greater levels of vulnerability in Exmouth and Onslow, although children in both these areas were strong in the emotional maturity domain. Importantly, given the size of these communities, the total number of children who are developmentally vulnerable is still quite small, suggesting that solutions are achievable.

Work beyond the current partnership must take account of the differences and needs of the respective communities, and focus on encouraging the parents and communities to continue to be active in findings ways to improve outcomes for young children.