In the early 1990s the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group was under increasing pressure to provide support to an increasing number of review authors. Consequently, the Australasian Co-ordinating Network for the Cochrane Review Group was established in 1993 by Professor David Henderson-Smart to support and share the workload associated with producing Cochrane Neonatal systematic reviews.
Since 1993 the the Australasian Co-ordinating Network for the Cochrane Review Group has provided training of reviewers and users of Cochrane neonatal or perinatal systematic reviews and has supported reviewers in identifying a titles, and developing their protocols and reviews.
Continuous grants have been awarded by the Federal government’s Department of Health and Ageing since 2001. In 2008, Emeritus Professor David Henderson-Smart passed on the reins to Associate Professor David Osborn, a Senior Neonatologist and Director, Royal Prince Alfred NICU.
In 2009 the Australasian Satellite of the Cochrane Review Group, led by Associate Professor David Osborn was successful in receiving funding for a further 3 years from the Department of Health and Ageing. Associate applicants are: Emeritus Professor David Henderson-Smart, Professor Peter Davis, Dr. Jann Foster and Associate Professor Vicki Flenady.
Australian authors play an extremely important role and contribute substantially to the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group.
In 2009, 157 Australian authors contributed approximately 53% (135/254) of all neonatal reviews, and 49% (34/70) of all neonatal protocols. As at September 2011, 200 Australian authors contribute to approximately 56% (156/277) of all neonatal reviews, and 65% (49/76) of all neonatal protocols. Australian neonatal review authors currently represent approximately 30% of the total number of neonatal authors world-wide.
The Australasian Satellite of the CNRG is supported by a Research Officer, Lisa Jones (following on from Dr Jann Foster). Lisa works between the ASCNRG home base in the neonatal unit at the Royal Prince Alfred Mothers and Babies, Sydney and Neonatal ICU/HMRI John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle.