Australian Midwifery History

Australian Midwives in History

Pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood, and midwifery have been happening on our country since time immemorial. The last 200 years have seen significant societal change in Australia, and the knowledge, tools and technology available to midwives has also brought about significant change to the profession.

But at its heart, midwifery is the same.

Midwives have always gone to extraordinary lengths to work ‘with woman’ and achieve the best possible outcome for her and her baby, and they still do today.

We acknowledge all First Peoples of this land and their unbroken connections to Country, knowledge, and stories.

We pay our respects to their Elders and Ancestors who watch over and guide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

We seek to engage with First Peoples in our historical work and participating as members, and welcome collaboration with Community.

‘With Women’ Pashmina Designed by artist Leona McGrath for Australian College of Midwives

“The outer purple line represents the Australian College of Midwives and the blue and white dots represent the College working in collaboration with other maternity professionals.

The bronze dots are the members of the College.

The inner bronze circles are the midwives working with women and their families, which are the blue dots.”

Leona is a mother to 3 children and one beautiful grandson, a passionate midwife, and an Aboriginal contemporary artist from the Woopaburra people of Great Keppel Island. Leona is a member of the Australian College of Midwives, a member of our Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Advisory Committee, and a Director on the Board of the Rhodanthe Lipsett Trust.