About

My background is midwifery and primary health care. I have had twenty five years experience as a private midwife providing continuity of care to women and their families.  With my colleague Maralyn Foureur, I obtained admitting rights to the Mater (1984) and later the John Hunter Hospital and started the first midwife run public antenatal clinic (1987) in Australia at Western Suburbs Hospital in Newcastle.

In 1991, I was appointed as the Senior Midwifery Educator in the Hunter and advanced midwifery education by incorporating consumers into the education process and conducting workshops for midwifery students on issues of grief and loss, complementary therapies and interpersonal relationships. I oversaw the transition of midwifery education from the hospital certificate course to the Graduate Diploma of Midwifery offered by the University of Newcastle.

The next next ten years were spent traipsing around different parts of the world and Australia, exploring midwifery practice and life from the excesses of a private London maternity hospital to desolate remote communities in the Himalaya 'foothills' in Tajikistan. My exploration took in remote communities in Australia and Saudi Arabia, interspersed with teaching and working in various Australian maternity services and universities. I returned to the Hunter and midwifery education full time in 2002.  

In 2005 I was appointed as the foundation manager for the Belmont Birthing Service, a stand alone midwifery-led maternity service which is part of Hunter New England Health. Home births became part of the services provided at the end of 2007.

The first baby born at home attended by midwives (one of whom was me) from this service was on Christmas Day 2007.

I joined the University of Newcastle in May 2009 where my main responsibilities were: midwifery education, developing midwifery as primary health care and promoting relationship-based midwifery work (continuity of care). Together with Kathleen Fahy, the Professor of Midwifery at the time, wrote the highly acclaimed Bachelor of Midwifery Program which commenced in 2011.

Recent research projects include: doctors and midwives interaction in the care of birthing women and their impact on health outcomes; a cohort study examining the safety of holistic physiological 3rd stage of labour care to identify the relative predictive strengths of risk factors of post partum haemorrhage and how midwives work with women to help them optimise their reproductive psychophysiology.

Maralyn, Kathleen and I co-wrote and edited a midwifery textbook "Birth Territory and Midwifery Guardianship" which I'm delighted to say is increasingly being used as a required text for University midwifery programs.

In  January 2011 I freelanced. I worked as a midwife in a private hospital and taught at Canberra and Southern Cross Universities. In August, I joined a team to strengthen midwifery in Papua New Guinea.  On January 10th, 2012, I joined the wonderful team of midwives at Southern Cross University and am teaching into the Bachelor of Midwifery program.  

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