1st fact


Preterm birth is the largest cause of death and disability in children under 5  in developed countries.

WIRF welcomes new Chief Operations Director

The Women and Infants Research Foundation have appointed its inaugural Chief Operations Director, Deb Attard Portughes.

Deb’s newly created role with WIRF will see her take responsibility for implementing the directions of the WIRF Board, providing leadership to staff and effectively managing the Foundation’s day-to-day operations in-line with WIRF’s strategic direction.

Deb joins WIRF after a highly successful tenure at the Australian Wildlife Conservancy where she has a demonstrated background in business development, marketing and fundraising and brings with her a wealth of experience in stakeholder management and leadership.

Her contributions have been instrumental to growing the national scope of AWC and the number of sanctuaries from just five to 25 in the duration of her employment.

Prior to coming to Australia, Deb worked in Malta where she taught Creative Thinking techniques with Professor Edward deBono. For seven years Deb served on the board of POWA institute for creative thinking, here in Australia, this institute is based on Edward deBono’s thinking methods.

Deb is currently spearheading the national promotion and philanthropic support for one of WIRF’s most successful initiatives, the Western Australian Preterm Birth Prevention Initiative.

The Preterm birth initiative has successfully lowered the rate of preterm birth across WA by 8 per cent in its first year of implementation. These results have global implications for safely and effectively lowering the rate of preterm birth, saving countless lives, preventing lifelong disability, and delivering significant savings to health systems.

WIRF's new Chief Operations Director, Deb Portughes