Alana Street

I am delighted to be part of this group of Midwives who share the same passion and interest in exploring, discovering, and recording a history of midwifery in Australia and the history of Australian College of Midwives and its respective branches.

I live in Tasmania and have enjoyed some wonderful career opportunities including membership of the Tasmanian Branch of the Australian College of Midwives and enjoying and sharing the roles of Member, Area Representative and President of the State Branch over many years.

Tasmania hosted the 1999 National Conference in Hobart and a very small , active, vibrant group of midwives ensured that this was the most successful national conference to date. A wonderful memory for me. It has been held in Hobart again, since that time, and again was very well attended.

In 1999 I accepted the invitation to be Executive Officer of the National College and went on to Melbourne and then relocated the National Office to Canberra, all those years ago.

Since those days I have worked as a clinical midwife in the public and private sector and most recently continue to work within the remote Indigenous communities of the Northern Territory.

I have spent some years working with refugees in Australia and overseas. I have a special interest in the people of Papua New Guinea where I first worked as a volunteer midwife in the 1990s. I have since returned as a team member in a leadership program supported by our college in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Morialta in South Australia and the PNG Midwives Society.

The project was Strengthening Midwives in Papua New Guinea to save Women’s lives. It is a wonderfully successful program created by a past ACM College President, Midwife Judi Brown who continues to work very hard to reduce the maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality rate in that country. It was an honour to be part of her team. You can read all about this on the Morialta Rotary Club website.

I mention the following little projects which I created in my career history as special events which volunteering led me to and I take this opportunity to invite all midwives to consider helping out our neighbours whenever they can. There are many pathways which lead to helping birthing women particularly those with incredibly high maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality rates.

  • PNG Food Project with the Kimbe PNG Rotary Club and the Mt Eliza Rotary Club here in Australia,
  • Water Fountain Project – for birthing women in the Port Moresby General Hospital PNG where there are more than 40 births per day.
  • Project PNG – supported by Soroptimist International – an educational program for midwives.
  • SISWP Birthing in the Pacific – “improving maternity services” – supported by Soroptimist International. This project was a Federation Project supported by 13 countries and has been nominated for The International Presidents Appeal, for Human Rights Day, December, 2011.
  • Aussie Midwives – procurement project to gain professional support and donations of medical supplies for PNG Midwives and Hospitals.

I find this opportunity to join the History Group very timely because I have been looking at my collection of midwifery/ACM/birthing/memorabilia and this task will hopefully inspire me to preserve not only my collection, but maybe others as well. This came about as I was attending the ACM National Meeting of 550 midwives in Cairns October 2022. This was the first meeting of members since before Covid pandemic and we certainly made up for lost time. I could not resist the opportunity to help with the history of Tasmania and hope I can do so productively with the help of Tasmanian midwives from anywhere.

I reach out to our Tasmanian Midwives and ask if anyone who is interested to contact me if they would like to join me on this adventure