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Vote | Year of the Nurse & Midwife Award

Still Aware is excited to open voting for the 2020 Year of the Nurse and Midwife Award. 

By community vote, Still Aware will be awarding one “Midwife of the Year" and one “Nurse of the Year”. With overwhelming support from their friends, colleagues and community, the following nurses and midwives have been nominated for this year's award. You can vote for as many nominees as you like, however you can only vote once for each person. Voting closes September 30, 2020, and the winner will be announced at the Still Aware Gala Garden Dinner on October 16, 2020. 

  • Midwife

    South Australia

    Ellissa Westdorp

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    Ellissa Westdorp

    Midwife — South Australia

    I am a Midwife in little old Crystal Brook SA (population of 1500). I work in the Crystal Brook and Port Pirie Team of the Yorke and Northern Midwifery group. I have been a Midwife for 7 years, 6 of those have been here in Crystal Brook. I became a Midwife after experiencing continuity of care with an Independent Midwife for my second pregnancy and first homebirth. I realised after this what I was missing the first time.. The relationship!

    I am a huge advocate of continuity of care! I believe every woman should have a known Midwife to support them through pregnancy and their early parenting journey regardless of "risk".

    I REALLY love what I get to do and be a part of, I rarely feel like I go to "work"! One of my most favourite parts of being a Midwife working in MGP is supporting women with their subsequent pregnancies! I recently was able to support a woman for the 4th time!

    I studied the Bachelor of Midwifery at UniSA, I regularly say that the BMID degree is one of the hardest degrees to do. You not only have course work, placement, and workshops; you also are on call for the women you get to follow through their pregnancies. Although this taught me how to work in the demands of MGP and how to juggle home life too. I was lucky to have been mentored by some amazing group practice Midwives.

    I would always say my biggest supporters are my family! Ben my husband who is my best friend and partner in everything! and my three children who I hope to instil that if you love what you do and are passionate about it it never becomes tiresome or 'work'.

    In my down time I love to paint and draw, I have recently been learning how to do embroidery. I love any excuse to by stationery (that's a hobby right?? ;) )

    My future plans include traveling Australia and working my way around, learning how other Midwives, Midwife. I love learning from other people, I love sharing my knowledge.

    Midwifery is such an amazing career, supporting women, families and the community. Birth may be one day in a woman's life but forever in her heart and soul as the start of her transformation into a mother.

  • Midwife

    South Australia

    Hannah Bell

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    Hannah Bell

    Midwife — South Australia

    I’ve been a midwife for the past 10 years and my passion for midwifery came from wanting to help women as into their transition to motherhood.
    I studied a Bachelor of Midwifery at Flinders University and have worked in the public and private settings - and thoroughly enjoyed them both.
    I have 2 beautiful boys of my own who continue to teach me new things every day and remind me how lucky I am to be their mother.
    The team I work with at North Adelaide Obstetrics and Gynaecology are truely amazing. Everyone has an inspiring passion for their job and I have never loved being a midwife more than I do right now.
    My favourite part of the job is empowering women and their families to make their own decisions about what is best for them and their baby and their experience as a whole. Having a baby is one of the most memorable times in your life. I want to make it a truely wonderful experience for all involved, and I pride myself on that.
    It’s a privilege to be a midwife. You are with women at the most vulnerable times in their lives and you must always honour and respect that. I honestly feel like I have the best job in the world!

  • Midwife

    South Australia

    Emma Barratt

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    Emma Barratt

    Midwife — South Australia

    My name is Emma and I am a midwife who is a proud employee of the Crystal Brook and Port Pirie Midwifery Group Practice Team. I completed my Registered Nurse training in 2013 and commenced my post grad in Midwifery in 2014 through Flinders University; graduating as an RM in 2016. I’ve always known I wanted to be a midwife but could never have envisaged how deep my passion would grow. Midwifery is a vocation and I love seeing this calling come to fruition amongst myself and my amazing colleagues.

    Meeting women and their families and being a part of their journey is an utter privilege. What I love most about MGP is the phenomenal ability to provide care across the whole midwifery continuum of antenatal, labour/birth and postnatal. There is something so special and sacred watching not only the birth of a baby but the birth of the mother within the woman; as she transitions into motherhood and recognises her shear strength and vulnerability. My burning passion is breastfeeding and helping women reach their breastfeeding goals as well as promoting breastfeeding and normalising it with in the community. I thoroughly enjoy antenatal education and am thrilled to run our local child birth and early parenting classes.

    I am so grateful for my colleagues who have helped mould me into the midwife I am today. I love learning from them and growing professionally and personally from all our experiences. A huge part of my growth was the birth on my son Oscar in July 2017. He is my biggest teacher. Teaching me empathy, patience, kindness and joy in the little thing- all attributes I can bring to my job!

    I am very humbled by this nomination and thank every family I have walked with for getting me to where I am now

  • Nurse

    South Australia

    Matthew Tyler

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    Matthew Tyler

    Nurse — South Australia

    I’ve been working as a Registered Nurse for nearly 10 years now. Nursing runs in the family – both my Mum & Dad are Registered Nurses (Dad’s now retired), my sister is a Registered Nurse working in Adelaide & my wife is a Registered Nurse AND a midwife (which she loves reminding me – she’s got two degrees to my one).
    I’ve worked in various areas but I tend to be most comfortable in the Emergency setting. I’ve been based in the Port Pirie Regional Health Service’s Emergency Department for the majority of my career and had some amazing experiences working alongside some incredible colleagues. I’ve tried to pick up as many skills and little ways of doing things from the people that I’ve worked with to help develop my approach to Nursing which seems to be working out so far! Some of the people I’ve worked with that have all taught me something incredibly important are of course, my incredible wife Tara Tyler, my ‘Discharge Planning Queen’ mother Barb, my long-suffering boss Andrew Taylor, the most capable, resilient Nurse I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with (and that is understating things a WHOLE bunch) Kim Porcelli, the Resus magnets Mel Fudge and Christie Sargent, Nikki Arbon and her husband Nathan Marwick, Mike Boylan, Emily Rucioch, Erin Milller, Guy Forgan, Kerri Bull, Trudy Hanlon, Demi Freer, Kaitlyn Jebb and a billion more – I’m really sorry if I missed anybody.
    One of my favourite moments in Nursing was receiving a thank you card from a lady that I’d looked after who found herself in a particularly dicey state relatively quickly & who ended up being urgently transferred to another hospital for further care. She very kindly wrote how despite being a little bit worse for wear after recovering, she credited me with remaining alive based on what her husband had told her. She’d been a little… unconscious at the time to remember a great deal.
    I love making people feel as though the health care setting isn’t a sombre and serious experience, even though we have a serious job to do. If people are more relaxed and informed about their whereabouts and their treatment, they’re more inclined to be more involved, retain more about their experience and hopefully leaves them with a positive experience overall.
    Nobody likes coming to hospital, it’s one of the only places I can think of where you can honestly say ‘I don’t want to see you again in here’ and it’s a COMPLIMENT. However, if you can take what might be a tense, scary experience – say for a child or someone in a life or death situation – and turn it into a positive experience (maybe even have them leaving with a smile on their face!) then it makes the job so incredibly rewarding.
    In the future I’d love to work towards slotting into a role where I can help improve student placements in the hospital setting. I think we can do a lot to improve our current processes with Nursing students so we can develop better ways to teach and be taught by them in return!

  • Midwife

    South Australia

    Fiona Dillon

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    Fiona Dillon

    Midwife — South Australia

    I became a midwife in 2004 after studying at Flinders University. In 2013 I had my first baby Olive and then 2014 we had our son Owen he was stillborn at 32 weeks. It quickly became apparent that grief for my son was not the only grief I would face. I grieved too for my beloved midwifery career. I didn’t know that I’d ever be able to return to it or if there would even be a place for me, now forever changed.

    Despite the anxiety I wanted to try so in 2016 I nervously returned to work to the hospital Owen was born in. My first shift I was allocated to care for a woman in the same room he was born in ... Once in that room with my midwife hat on the significance of returning arrived and with it came an enormous wave of grief and then gratitude for Owen. Without a doubt I am changed irrevocably, nothing will change the death of Owen or our grief but the gifts that have come from his existence continue. Acceptance that I am a different partner, friend, daughter, sister, mother, and midwife has been a part of this grief journey.

    Every day I honour Owen through my work as a midwife : education and advocacy about fetal movements are so important to me, educating the next generation of midwives about fetal movements and sensitive care and persistently seeking to improve the care we provide bereaved families within our hospital system is something I will not give up on.

    2020 has seen me commence studies in health research, I aspire to contribute to clinical practice through research that improves care for women and babies. I also work part time clinically and part time teaching Midwifery at Flinders university. Together with my husband Tim we have 4 delightful children at home who we give thanks for every day.

  • Midwife

    Victoria

    Amy Beruldsen

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    Amy Beruldsen

    Midwife — Victoria

    I have been a midwife and nurse since 2011, and I am currently on maternity leave after giving birth to my 2nd child last December. I am an Associate Midwife Unit Manager in birth suite at The Angliss Hospital, and work with an incredible team of midwives and nurses. We all share such a passion for our work and strive to give families the best possible care, whilst always supporting each other in the process.

    Being a midwife is a privilege. To be present with women during a life-changing time, seeing what they're capable of achieving and helping them find strength they didn't know they had is so rewarding.
    It's not just about witnessing the joy of pregnancy and birth, but the sorrows too. Being able to provide comfort, support and a safe space for families experiencing the loss of a baby is equally as significant.
    Going to work I never know what I will face each shift. That's all part of being a midwife, and why I love what I do.

  • Midwife

    Victoria

    Debbie Adams

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    Debbie Adams

    Midwife — Victoria

    I have been a Registered Nurse/Midwife for over 25yrs. I have been fortunate to have many wonderful, sometimes difficult, yet very rewarding years in my profession. In my early years of Nursing I worked in London, Dublin and Rotterdam (The Netherlands), and then returned to Brisbane to study Midwifery at QUT. I have been employed with Barwon Health Geelong in the Maternity Unit for the past 12yrs, where I have developed professionally and formed a strong relationship with my incredible, devoted team. I believe, I have shown that I am committed and extremely passionate about providing our women and babies with a high quality of care.

    In the past 2yrs I have had the opportunity to be the Associate Nurse Unit Manager of the Pregnancy Care Clinics Geelong Hospital. I have been coordinating and leading a team of Obstetricians, Midwives, Junior Medical Drs and Administration staff through some extremely challenging times, but have managed to remain high spirited and enthusiastic through it all. Despite many of our women feeling anxious and frightened during COVID-19, I have done my utmost best to ensure our women feel supported and safe.

    I have developed a sound knowledge of antenatal care in my current role and feel my experience is extremely valuable to my ongoing interest in this area of maternity. My wish would be, to continue in this role and provide ongoing positive changes to improve our Pregnancy Care Services.

    In 2015, I had the opportunity to deliver a health program to over 100 Vietnamese Women in their small remote village in Vietnam. How grateful I am to have shared my knowledge with these women. It was an experience I will never forget.

    I have also spent the last 16yrs raising 4 extremely vibrant children, in which I am very proud of.

    To be honest, I was extremely surprised and humbled by my nomination. However, it is wonderful to know that all my hard work has been recognised and appreciated from the people around me, MY TEAM!

    Thank you.

  • Midwife

    Queensland

    Paula Dillon

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    Paula Dillon

    Midwife — Queensland

    Paula Dillon has been a midwife for 18 years, and currently works at a private obstetric practice in Brisbane.
    She is a volunteer Parent Supporter for the SANDS/Red Nose 24/7 phone support line, and is a current member of the Perinatal Society of Australia & New Zealand Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Alliance (PSANZ-SANDA). She is also an Executive Volunteer, Qld Representative and member of the Consumer Advisory Board for Still Aware.
    Previously, Paula was a Sessional Academic at ACU and USC, presenting lectures to student midwives and student paramedics about stillbirth and pregnancy loss and what health professionals can do to help. She has also facilitated perinatal grief and loss workshops for health professionals for CAPERS Bookstore.

    Paula is a member of the Parent Advisory Committee and the Parent Representative on the ISA Scientific Committee for the International Conference for ISA/ISPID, Brisbane. Sadly, in light of the COVID 19 pandemic, this conference has been postponed until November 2021.

    Paula is also a facilitator for the Australian & New Zealand Stillbirth Alliance (ANZSA) IMproving Perinatal mortality Review and Outcomes Via Education (IMPROVE) Workshops, which provides education for health care professionals on how to use the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand's (PSANZ) Perinatal Mortality Guidelines. She is a facilitator of the Stations ‘Psychological and Social Aspects of Perinatal Bereavement’, and ‘Obtaining Consent for Perinatal Autopsy’.

    Her MMid minor thesis looked at care of women with decreased fetal movements in the third trimester of pregnancy. Paula was a member of the working party to update the PSANZ/CRE Stillbirth Guideline for Respectful and Supportive Perinatal Bereavement Care, and is currently in the Stillbirth CRE project team helping develop a parent version of the PSANZ/Stillbirth CRE Clinical Practice Guideline for Respectful and Supportive Perinatal Bereavement Care.

    In 2018, Paula was a member of the witness panel of the Select Committee on Stillbirth Research & Education inquiry in Brisbane, and she was very excited about the $7.2 million Liberal National Government Commitment to stillbirth research and education programs in Australia.

    Paula is passionate about perinatal loss education, helping break taboos around stillbirth and miscarriage, and using evidence to guide best practice. Her passion for perinatal loss support and education was promoted originally by her own experience. Her second daughter, Annabelle, was stillborn at 41 weeks in 2005 as a result of a silent massive feto-maternal haemorrhage. Another daughter, Bethany, was stillborn at 17 weeks in 2007, cause unknown.

  • Midwife

    Queensland

    Karen Hollindale

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    Karen Hollindale

    Midwife — Queensland

    Karen Hollindale always wanted to be a midwife but had to wait until she had completed her Bachelor of Nursing before she could start her Graduate Diploma in Midwifery.

    After having 3 of her own children, 2 hospital births and 1 home birth, she finished her midwifery and has continued to work to support women and families as they progress through pregnancy, birth and the new family time of growth.

    Although loving her work as a midwife in public health, she was convinced there ‘must be something more’ for women's options of care - and explored the concept of what it was to be a Private Practicing Midwife, and all that entailed. She then journeyed through the growth of an idea to the fruition and development of a private practice, and in 2012 took the leap into Private Practice.

    She became a Director of My Midwives in Brisbane in 2015 and has flourished in the opportunity for her to provide continuity of care to women and their family and the relationships that develop in this journey. She walks with women and families through their pregnancy, labour & birth and their transition into new parenthood. She relishes the support she can provide, the information she shares, the laughs and tears and the wonderment of becoming new parents. Her passion for empowerment and support of women's choices radiates in her everyday practice. Her kindness and love of her work shines from her in her gentle touch and softly spoken encouragement which she shares with families, colleagues and student midwives to believe midwives can make a difference to every woman and family - one birth at a time!

    Private Practice has bought immense joy and fulfilment into her life and she loves the relationships she develops and the difference she makes in families lives on a daily basis, and knows that Private Practice, and continuity of care is what the ‘something more’ that was always meant to be!

    She loves spending her downtime with her family, in their family boat or quietly reading a book in their little caravan, and enjoying a glass of wine with lots of laughs and love with her 3 adult children and her husband.

  • Midwife

    South Australia

    Jenny Gardner

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    Jenny Gardner

    Midwife — South Australia

    As a registered nurse and midwife I have worked in the public health system for over 35 years.
    I consider myself very fortunate to have had such a fulfilling occupation for so long. To be able to help people and be there when people are at their most vulnerable in a practical way is a privilege that I find humbling, daunting and constantly challenging. I hope that I have been able to make even a small difference and helped to ease the anxiety through life’s biggest challenges.
    I am very privileged to work with so many other health professionals who have inspired me to keep learning and rising to the challenge of putting evidence into practice and making the most of every opportunity. My current role as a nurse/midwife educator involves supporting newly graduated midwives to transition into professional practice and this has given me the opportunity to support others to practice and develop into nurses and midwives who give the very best of care.
    I have been involved with the 2h project since 2013 – an Adelaide based charity that seeks to make maternal care excellent for every woman no matter where she lives. Travelling to remote provinces in Cambodia and working with the local government, the 2h project has trained over 4,000 birth attendants and has continued to provide on line learning throughout COVID 19. My role has been to help develop learning resources with a small team of dedicated midwives and travel with teams to support,encourage and deliver quality education to midwives working in remote areas of Cambodia.
    As a member of the Australian College of Midwives and chair of the Professional Development Committee for the SA Branch I have been able to highlight the need for ongoing education for all midwives. This small team have been a wonderful support professionally and a champion for the Still Aware Charity.
    Being on the Clinical Advisory Board of the Still Aware organisation has highlighted to me the importance of working alongside midwives to ensure that education on all of the available research and new evidence occurs regularly for midwives working on the front line.
    Having raised 3 daughters who are now independent, I am looking forward to being able to travel more with my husband, who is also an integral part of the 2h project and very supportive of my work and study in clinical education. I am currently enrolled in the Master of Clinical education at Flinders University, completing my graduate certificate in 2017. I look forward to continuing to support, encourage and develop students and newly graduated nurses and midwives; the future is bright!

  • Midwife

    Victoria

    Debbie Graham

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    Debbie Graham

    Midwife — Victoria

    I am a Registered Nurse and Midwife, and I have been working as a Midwife at St John of God Hospital, Geelong, Victoria, for the past 25 years.
    Forty years ago I commenced my training to be a Nurse, and years later I still love that every day is different, constantly filled with meeting different people, facing new challenges, days filled with laughter and happiness and at times tears, treasured friendships and wonderful memories.
    My highlight in my current career is the the amazing, supportive team I work with every day at St John of God. I am excited that I was nominated by one of our Obstetricians for this award, as it displays an appreciation for our wonderful team of midwives, and that our dedication and care to patients and colleagues is noted.
    I love every aspect of Midwifery and embrace I have been given the opportunity to be involved in so many areas in our unit. In Maternity Admissions, is a opportunity to welcome our new mothers, offer advice and support for the coming months. In my role as Childbirth Educator it is so rewarding, seeing couples arrive apprehensive and leave positive, excited and reassured. It is a privilege to care for a couple in Birthing Suite and witnessing the joy as they meet their precious baby. On the Postnatal ward, the joys and challenges of helping them rest, recover and prepare for going home with a new baby.
    As a Administrator on our SJOG Antenatal Connection Facebook, the aim is to help overcome isolation of Covid19, giving a personal community feel to SJOG expecting mothers so they can exchange posts, ask questions and receive updates.
    Covid19 has made nurses this year step out of their boundaries and reach forward. Due to restricted visitors I am a strong advocate to remind everyone to capture our new families daily special moments on camera so parents can relive the highlights with their family once home and bridge the gap.
    My portfolio at SJOG is Stillbirth, providing parents faced with the devastating loss their baby and the caregivers the support, comfort, knowledge and guidance to make informed decisions. I am focused on the importance of presentation when preserving precious memories and treasured mementos which are so cherished and in may cases is the only reality their beautiful baby existed.
    I am a member of the working party for Decreased Fetal Movement Guidelines at SJOG, to increase every mother's awareness of their baby’s movements and to recognise and act if the pattern changes. I love that my variety of roles allows me to keep educating and supporting our mothers for positive outcomes.
    Working as a midwife and being part of an amazing team every day is my dream job!

  • Midwife

    Australian Capital Territory

    Alison Clarke

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    Alison Clarke

    Midwife — Australian Capital Territory

    I’m currently working as a specialist midwife in the multidisciplinary team at Fetal Medicine Unit, Centenary Hospital for Women and Children Canberra. I have been a Registered Nurse for 30 years and a Midwife for 25 years. In 2007 I established the Perinatal Loss Coordinator position which provides collaborative care and ongoing support for couples who have experienced a perinatal loss in the ACT and southern NSW area either in their current pregnancy or in a previous pregnancy.

    During the past 13 years I have had the privilege of caring for and assisting countless couples and their families through the devastation of finding their much loved and wanted baby has died. I provide practical, clinical and psychological support and also provide the necessary information to assist them in making important and difficult decisions especially in those first few days after learning their baby has died. In extension of this I also provided on going phone support in the first few weeks after discharge from hospital and coordinate with other support services on behalf of the family. Coordinating the perinatal loss clinic and providing emotional support to couples when returning for their appointment acknowledging how stressful and confronting that first appointment can be.

    My main passion and love is working with couples in pregnancy after loss. Supporting and teaching them skills to help manage their grief and anxiety in subsequent pregnancies. I have had an amazing career working with couples in their next pregnancies and have shared their joy in welcoming a sibling for their Angel baby. Much of my wisdom and knowledge I credit to the amazing mothers and fathers who have shared their journeys with me and I can then share with other families who are struggling at the time. Talking to couples about what other parents found helpful during their rocky path.
    The beautiful emails with photos and pop in visits at the hospital from families with their babies always brings a great smile to my face and makes my day.

    I’m regularly involved in the education both within the hospital and at National Sonographer conferences for medical, midwifery and sonographers providing tools to assist health care professionals when working with families experiencing perinatal loss. I’m so lucky to be part of an amazing supportive team in the Fetal Medicine Unit. We all strive to provide exceptional holistic care for our families and get great fulfilment in care we provide for some of our families through multiple pregnancies and unfortunately for some also with multiple losses. We are always humbled when these families return for our care and tell us that even though they had an Angel baby it was a very positive experience for them.

    Prior to working in Fetal Medicine Alison worked in Childbirth Education and 10 years in Birthing Suite at The Canberra Hospital and Hornsby Hospital. Prior to becoming a midwife I worked in a medical/ oncology paediatric ward which I also loved.

    In my spare time I’m a Mum to 2 grown up children, 1 dog and 2 cats. I love to read and once Covid 19 is over I’m looking forward to doing some travelling both here in Australia and overseas.

  • Midwife

    South Australia

    Molly Werchiwski

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    Molly Werchiwski

    Midwife — South Australia

    I completed my Bachelor of Midwifery at the University of South Australia in 2018. I was lucky enough to secure a graduate midwife position in Mount Gambier, venturing back to my home region, the Limestone Coast. I have been a midwife for 18 months, and what an amazing 18 months it has been! Since then, I have secured a permanent position as a Registered Midwife in Mount Gambier. As a midwife, I am extremely privileged to support and be an integral part of such an amazing, life changing, sometimes heartbreaking time in a woman and her family's life. I take pride in building admirable rapport and trusted relationships with the women I care for. I am passionate about women's rights and choices in birth and motherhood, and act as an advocate and support for women and their baby's. By far my favourite part of being a midwife is being able to share the pure joy and excitement of new parents as their baby enters this world. There is nothing more empowering than birth, and that eye contact telling the woman they are doing so well and are so close to meeting their baby, it gives me shivers thinking about it! I also have an interest in working with women and families who face fetal loss, and find comfort in supporting them through these trying times.

    I am extremely elated to receive a nomination for this award. It is heart-warming to be recognised and make a difference, although I feel that I am simply just doing my job. I was nominated for Early Career Midwife of the Year in 2019 and this is the proudest moment of my short career thus far.

    I would not be where I am today without the continual support of my family, my partner and my friends. Nor could I be the midwife that I am without the support and high fives from my colleagues. But my biggest shout out is to the women I have cared for, are caring for, and will care for, YOU are the reason I am doing what I do, and every day you continue to give me the drive and determination to be a better midwife.

    Women empower me every single day, and I could not be prouder to be a midwife than I am today. Here's hoping for a long, fulfilling career as a midwife!

  • Midwife

    South Australia

    Paula Medway

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    Paula Medway

    Midwife — South Australia

    I first qualified as a registered nurse in 1994 in South Australia and spent much of my nursing career working in post-anaesthetic care in South Australia, the Northern Territory and in the UK. I gained my midwifery qualification in Darwin in 2006, and the switch in career has been truly lifechanging in many different ways. The word midwife means ‘with woman.’ Pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting are profound and precious events in each woman’s life and I consider it a privilege to be a part of this. I am especially drawn to vulnerable women and have spent most of my career working with women who require extra support. I am committed to improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and babies and have worked in programs in both the Northern Territory and South Australia that are dedicated to this. A healthy start to life is a known social determinant of health so providing maternity care that is tailored to the individual needs of each woman and family is highly important. As a lactation consultant, I also believe that breastfeeding can truly save the world ;-)

    For me midwifery is so much more than a job or career, it is a way of life, and a very important part of who I am. My current role is as the Senior Midwifery Advisor in the South Australian Department for Health and Wellbeing where I enjoy being able to advocate for the profession at a statewide level. Outside of work I continue to promote the health and wellbeing of women and their families through my role as Chair of the South Australian Branch of the Australian College of Midwives, lobbying for improved maternity services both in South Australia and nationally. My role as national midwifery representative on the Australian Preterm Birth Prevention Alliance also allows me to do this. I have been privileged to work with the Stillbirth CRE as co-chair of the Smoking Cessation working group and assisted with writing both the Alliance’s and the Stillbirth CRE’s midwifery continuity of care statements, promoting the gold standard of maternity care to a wider audience in order to improve maternity care outcomes.

    I take inspiration from SA suffragette Mary Lee (1821-1909) whose stated aim was to ‘leave the world better for women than I found it.’ My aim in life is to leave the world better for women, mothers, babies and midwives than I found it – in whatever way that I can – and I will continue to search for ways to make this happen. I would like to 'shout out' here to my ACM colleagues, the Executive Committee of the South Australian Branch of the Australian College of Midwives, whose unfaltering passion to improve maternity care in this state and beyond make the quest worthwhile. We truly are in this together.

    Outside of midwifery I am a keen cyclist and rockclimber and I enjoy seeing Australia from atop cliff faces and down quiet country roads and cycling tracks.

  • Midwife

    South Australia

    Jamie Logan

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    Jamie Logan

    Midwife — South Australia

    I am a midwife at The Women's and Children's Hospital where I have worked for the last 10 years. I found my calling as a midwife after I started my nursing career and didn't love it. Safe to say after 10 years, midwifery is definitely where my soul belongs. I love everything about my job. I love my colleagues who are amazing, hilarious, passionate and compassionate women. I love meeting incredibly strong women and their families who's world is about to change as they meet their baby. I am constantly in awe at hard the women around me work, the amazing midwives, the fabulous obstetricians and of course the incredible women in labour.

    I also share my time as a midwife between one of my greatest achievements as a clinical hypnotherapist in my business BUMP&MIND Childbirth Hypnosis, where I provide hypnotherapy to women in the antenatal period to prepare for labour and delivery. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge with women and their families about how they can best prepare for labour and delivery, educating and empowering women and teaching them skills while changing their mindset to get through labour and delivery. I want to see all women have a birth where they feel excited and empowered.

    My family are my biggestest suuports and I am so proud to show my children how hard I work in my role as muma, midwife and business owner. I am also beyond proud of the business I have created. It is unique and has so much love put into every single aspect. I genuinely care about the women I meet and do everything in my power to enable them to have a positive experience with me. I am a strong believer that when women are armed with knowledge they are a complete powerhouse and will have an enjoyable, exciting and empowering childbirth experience.

  • Midwife

    Victoria

    Andrea Quanchi

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    Andrea Quanchi

    Midwife — Victoria

    Andrea is a senior midwife and Director of My Midwives. She lives and works in Melbourne, providing personalised care to women through pregnancy, their birth at home or in hospital, and in the weeks and months that follow.

    Andrea started her career as a nurse at the Royal Children’s Hospital before undertaking her midwifery training at Western General Hospital and working as a midwivfe in both metropolitan, regional and rural services.

    Andrea commenced private practice in 1999 and merged with My MIdwives in 2010. She was one of the first midwives in Australia to be endorsed by AHPRA to be able to prescribe medications, order pathology and ultrasounds and for women to be able to get Medicare rebates for these services.

    Andrea was able to providing continuity of midwifery care to women in rural Victoria Andrea and give women an option for pregnancy care that was previously not available to them. By maintaining relationships with rural and regional hospitals Andrea was able to improve the cross disciplinary profile of private midwives in Victoria.
    In 2015 Andrea was invited by The Northern Hospital to develop a pilot program for the introduction of visiting rights for private midwives in Victorian Public Hospitals. Andrea was the first midwife in Victoria to be granted admission rights in a public hospital. Following introduction of the pilot, which went on to win the Victorian Public Healthcare Award for Excellence in Women’s Health in 2017, the program is now in its 5 year and continues to lead the way in demonstrating how well this model works.

    Andrea is married to Ian, mother to Peter & Casey, Hannah & Will, Stuart and Maddie and now a grandmother to Hazel and Otis and is beginning to welcome her second generation of babies as a private midwife.

  • Nurse

    Victoria

    Claire Aldridge

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    Claire Aldridge

    Nurse — Victoria

    I completed my graduate year of nursing in 2019 and now working in the Urgent Care Centre at Benalla Health, so all up a registered nurse for a year and a half.

    Making a difference to someone’s day when I’m a small part of their day when they are unwell, sick or injured. It’s such a short amount of time but people appreciate what we do as a job. I always smile and be myself. I enjoy helping and doing the little things that make a difference in my patient’s time with me, while work always reminds me how important life is and how fragile it can be at times.
    There are constant learning opportunities and ways to upskill or return to study while also working.

    I studied at Charles Sturt University in Thurgoona, graduating in 2019. I found it challenging but thoroughly enjoyed my placements where I was able to put my studies into action and learn on the job.

    I completed half of my graduate year on the acute ward at Benalla Health. Then rotated to the Urgent Care centre and finished my grad year. I have now extended my contract in the urgent care centre and thoroughly enjoying and learn so much each and every shift. Working here has helped my confidence and triage skills dramatically. I love that I learn something new every day. This has help to guide me in the direction of my next choice of education either being midwifery, emergency, or critical care.

    In my short career so far I have thoroughly enjoyed working in an Urgent care environment where I had a young boy having a horrible day when he hurt his finger. I was able to give him comfort and gain his trust to assess his finger properly. We were able to make the experience fun instead of scary. He returned the next day with his mum and family especially for me to do the new dressing and to have a catch up.

    My work colleges have always been supportive and encouraging. I was so scared when I first started working I felt very out of my depth. Everyone has been so helpful and kind and this has helped to form great friendships also.

    The person who nominated me! Gayle has always been supportive for me as a graduate nurse by always encouraging myself and others to improve our knowledge and increase our education by bringing courses/education sessions to our attention.

    My beautiful mum always encourages me to do what my heart is telling me, and just to go for it!

    I have been brought up riding horses my whole life, so on my days off I ride and enter events to compete on my stock horse named Stormy. It has been a great outlet for my days off. Going for a ride or entering events with my horse helps me to have a good work and life balance.
    Also catching up with friends and family also.

    I am wanting to own my own home, to travel Australia and continue my education to becoming a better nurse.

  • Midwife

    New South Wales

    Vanessa Postle

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    Vanessa Postle

    Midwife — New South Wales

    I feel so incredibly honoured, humbled and thankful to have been nominated for this award.
    I’m a very proud midwife. My mum says I worked hard to be where I am, but it has never felt like hard work. I got so very lucky with being able to do something I love. After leaving school, I went from trainee hairdresser to trainee chef before qualifying as a vet nurse, until finally following in my mothers footsteps to become a human nurse!

    I didn’t know anything about Midwifery or even babies for that matter. I came to be working at RPAH on the casual pool while in my final year of uni. After a while I was sent to work at the special care nursery and in turn the postnatal ward. I fell head over heels in love with midwifery. I begged the manager of postnatal for a job and finally she got so sick of my nagging I got a job under the condition of having to continue on and study to be a midwife.

    Flash forward 12 years and now I find myself holding the privileged position of Clinical Midwife Consultant for Sydney Local Health District iSAIL Clinic – Integrated Support After Infant Loss. This role enables families who have experienced the death of their baby during pregnancy or the newborn period to be supported following discharge from the hospital in a personalised and individualised manner. Through the iSAIL clinic we ensure that families receive thorough explanation of the events surrounding their baby's birth and death, the results of investigations and how this may impact future pregnancies. This is delivered in a supportive, specialised environment without constraints on time or number of questions. The clinic is also, for many, the first point of contact in future pregnancies for assistance in navigating the journey of pregnancy after loss (a particular passion of mine!)

    Best part of my job is the families I work with. To parent a child who is not living takes unfathomable strength and courage. I have the honour of witnessing this strength of human spirit every day. Midwifery is all about supporting the journey a woman takes as she steps into motherhood. I hope to empower all women who have become mothers to feel like mothers, whether their child is with them physically or not.
    At risk of sounding super corny, when reflecting on my career so far, I'm most proud of the times I've fallen over but gotten back up and kept on going. I haven't been able to do that alone. I've been so lucky to have an amazing bunch of midwives who have taken me under their wings and supported me in my journey so far.
    This nomination is reflective of the fantastic, dedicated team of midwives I work with who strive to do their best for women and their families every day.

  • Midwife

    International

    Denise Ahmed

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    Denise Ahmed

    Midwife — International

    I would like to say thank you so much for this nomination. It has come at a time where I have been questioning if I am giving and doing enough for the women in my care and this certainly highlights that I am. The most poignant part of this nominated is it has come from a lady that left me empty-handed, and I could not fulfil her wish and request as her son was born sleeping at term. To know that I am thought of and appreciated in this way genuinely fills my heart with pride and ignites my passion for midwifery all over again.

    We are blessed and lucky to do this as a profession and that we actually get paid for it as I would wholeheartedly do this for free. I became a midwife to make a difference and have had the most horrendous three years of my life with my husband leaving, sustaining three slipped discs on labour ward and becoming a single mum and dad to four amazingly beautiful and strong children. Midwifery for me is a way of life and it is my escapism where you are auto-tuned and can automatically click on to what each woman individually needs. Although I have only been qualified for about five years it seems much longer as I have met so many wonderful people throughout. If I was given the chance I would have chosen midwifery back at 17, so that I could have made a difference to loads more couples!

    I am honoured, thankful and astonished that I would be shortlisted for doing the basics in life and that is to care, as that is something that is a given for me. Now with my back injury and me being out of clinic, I thought I would have been forgotten a long time ago. Thank you.

  • Nurse

    South Australia

    Jill Sullivan

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    Jill Sullivan

    Nurse — South Australia

    I have been an Enrolled Nurse for approximately 14yrs I was a late starter I studied at Tafe when my children were getting ready to fly the nest it was MY time to begin a career of nursing. I have been with SA Health throughout my career and am based at the Port pirie Hospital. I am classed as a floater so i go where I'm needed from the wards to aged care or clinics, i love my job and the people i work with, but the best part of my job is nursing the sick back to health, people may not remember your name but they remember how you made them feel. Nursing is fulfilling and rewarding witnessing a baby taking their first breath and we are privileged holding the hand of people taking their last breath.

    I work at a great hospital where the staff are supportive and work as a team we group together to deliver exceptional care to all of our patients and families I feel I'm extremely lucky to be part of it all, I'm the lucky one!

  • Midwife

    Western Australia

    Kristy Wiegele

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    Kristy Wiegele

    Midwife — Western Australia

    Since learning that my Grandmother had a stillborn baby that she was never allowed to hold... or see... or name, I have been incredibly passionate about Perinatal Loss. In 2014 Lincoln John Cook was born without breath at my hospital. Although I didn't look after him and his parents, my husband had taken photos of him and these inspired me to make a difference. I started a fundraiser, "A Midwife's Gift" with the aim to purchase a Cuddle Cot for my hospital. Since this decision, A Midwife's Gift became bigger than I ever expected and I have now raised, together with a grant from the WA Health Department, around $115 000 and purchased 24 Cuddle Cots. I have delivered these to Maternity Hospitals all over WA providing education and professional development to staff on delivery.

    The time these Cuddle Cots give to families is immeasurable.

    I currently work as a Clinical Midwife at St John of God Mount Lawley Hospital and also at One For Women, an antenatal clinic where I provide a Keeping Baby Safe appointment using Still Aware's brochure to all women at 26 weeks. I also guest lecture at Universities to upcoming Midwifery students to pass on my knowledge and hopefully inspire others to not be afraid of such an emotional area of midwifery. One of the best things about public speaking in this area is creating dialogue and giving a voice to those who have experienced loss but never had the opportunity to speak about it. I am incredibly lucky to work in an area I am so passionate about.

  • Midwife

    Victoria

    Libby Conn

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    Libby Conn

    Midwife — Victoria

    I’ve been a registered nurse and midwife since 2010. I was fortunate enough to complete my graduate year at Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne, where my passion working with “high risk” pregnancies evolved into normalising the abnormal for these families, and helping to create the best experience possible, no matter how complicated their pregnancy journey.
    Since 2018, I have been working alongside Doctor Joseph Sgroi- Obstetrician/Gynaecologist as his practice midwife. I love the continuity of care with the patients. Building therapeutic relationships and trust, especially amidst complications, ultimately creates a safe environment for these families and I love being a part of that.
    Although midwifery is a joyful profession, it is not without its hardships. My personal experience of stillbirth has most definitely informed my practice in working with families experiencing perinatal loss. I feel privileged to look after these families, to meet their babies who are earth-side for such a short time, and to share in their grief in having to say goodbye to their beautiful babies. My name is Libby - and this is why I love what I do.