Leadership in midwifery
June 21, 2017

A focus on post-natal care for Pacific midwives​

​The Australia Awards Pacific Midwifery Leadership Fellowship Program delivered by The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG), has just concluded a fellowship placement for seven senior Pacific midwives at Sydney’s Nepean and Liverpool hospitals. 

Fijian midwife Sophie Michel is enthusiastic about her time at Nepean Hospital. ‘My colleagues and I cannot express what this fellowship opportunity has meant to us,’ she said. 

‘We are firmly committed to taking what we have learnt back and sharing with our colleagues back home. I am excited to get started on some of the many things I have learnt here in Sydney.’

The Midwifery Fellowship Program develops the leadership skills of senior midwives from the Pacific islands—offering networking opportunities, knowledge, new insights, and exposure to hospital best practice—and seeks to increase their ability to contribute at a high level to developments in maternity care in their home countries.  

Ms Rhonda Piggot, Director of DFAT’s NSW state office, joined the program for the farewell presentations at Nepean Hospital on June 14. 

‘DFAT Australia Awards highlight the value and potential of building people-to-people networks,’ Ms Piggot said. 

‘I was impressed to see the projects the midwives have completed during their time at Nepean Hospital and…to hear progress on how this support translates into improvements in maternal and child health when you return to your hospitals and health centres and introduce what you’ve learnt.’

And this focus on implementation is firmly in the minds of these midwives as they return to their home countries of Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Kiribati and Vanuatu. From the value of feedback boxes and staff orientation, through to documentation tools and workshops on respectful maternity care, there is no doubt these practitioners will take their learnings and put them into practise adapted for their home setting. 

‘I would like to adopt all the positive things that I find here; in particular the lessons I learn from the workshops especially in leadership, neonatal resuscitation and strong women/men strong societies, not forgetting how to develop a project,’ Joycelene Lapi from Vanuatu said.

No doubt the working lives of these women and their colleagues will be enhanced, not to mention the care and expertise they offer the families they work with.

Last updated: June 21, 2017