Pat Brodie – Highlights as National President, Australian College of Midwives

My achievements and contributions as President of ACM were only possible because I had a team of committed, supportive, creative and enthusiastic Board Members and an excellent CEO in Barbara Vernon. What follows is a list of some outcomes we achieved during my four years as President. The lists also reflect our continuing engagement in a myriad of projects, advocacy work, advisory committees and opportunistic conversations that built on work commenced by previous Boards. We were building understanding as we went, all the time seeking to progress our strategic plan and the goals we set in consultation with members.

Continuing to advocate for women, midwives and midwifery

  • To ensure midwifery is recognised as a Public Health strategy and all women have access to midwifery continuity of care from a known midwife
  • Promoting midwifery to governments and decision makers
  • Supporting midwives to reach their full potential
  • Setting Professional Standards
  • Continued advocacy re workforce, indemnity, professional standards and other midwifery issues – national, state & local – national maternity reforms!
  • Reinvigorated and revised the scholarship fund for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who wished to study to become midwives – renamed ‘The Rhodanthe Lipsett Indigenous Midwifery Trust ‘ in honour of the midwifery elder and longstanding ACM member, whose idea it first was to create such a trust.
  • Ensuring highest standards of leadership and representation (‘a voice at the table’)
  • National Maternity Services Review
  • National Regulation of Health Professions – ongoing pursuit of National registration for midwives
  • National Health & Hospitals Reform Commission Review
  • National Primary Health Care Strategy
  • International Confederation of Midwives, Council meetings
  • COAG Health Workforce initiatives
  • Inter-professional collaboration – Breathing New Life into Maternity care – we initiated and developed a series of biennial interprofessional collaborative conferences. Building rapport and strategic relationships with Consumer groups RANZCOG, ACRRM and later ACGP. Our shared vision for this conference was that interprofessional learning opportunities will result in a new shared culture of care in the future where the woman is at the centre and mutual understanding, trust and effective collaboration become the cornerstones of best care. I consider this one of our many great achievements and would recommend that they reintroduced.

National advisory committees

  • The Australian Peak Nursing and Midwifery Forum
  • The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (ANMC) Professional Reference Group
  • The ANMC Project Management Committee on the Development of Re-entry to Practice Standards
  • Beyondblue National Perinatal Mental Health Project
  • National Antenatal Guidelines Development Project
  • National Advisory Maternal Mortality Committee of the AIHW
  • National Perinatal Data Collaboration Project
  • National Health Workforce Taskforce Project on the development of Core Competencies for Maternity Care Professionals
  • Primary Care Roundtables hosted by the Australian Nursing Federation
  • National registration for health professionals -consultation workshops, and
  • Rural Health Roundtables, hosted by the National Rural Health Alliance

Achieve national standards for midwifery education and practice

  • MidPLUS
  • Midwifery Practice Review
  • Workshops, seminars, conferences
  • E-Learning Centre
  • Women & Birth Journal
  • Australian Midwifery News

College Advisory Committees

  • BFHI National Committee
  • Australian Midwifery Scholarship Foundation
  • Clinical Midwifery Advisory Committee
  • Fellowship Committee
  • Consumer Advisory committee
  • Continuity of Care Advisory Committee
  • Professional Development Committee
  • International Advisory Committee
  • Midwifery Education Standards Committee
  • Rural Midwifery Advisory Committee
  • Constitutional Review Committee
  • Student Advisory Committee

Support Branch Presidents and Executive members in order to strengthen the ACM and its capacity to serve all midwives.

Prepared by Pat Brodie 20th November 2021

A conversation with Pat Brodie

In 2020, Pat sat down for a conversation with Joanne Gray. This conversation was prepared and shown in lieu of Pat not being able to attend as Keynote speaker at ACM NSW conference in 2020. It is very individual and personal reflection of a wide range of topics.

Pat reflects on her motivation to become a midwife and her early days as a midwifery student, her vision for midwifery, and the culture of the profession at the time she started.

Pat considers the questions how she promoted the normal in childbirth, and what led to changes in maternity care?

Pat talks about the beginnings of the Australian College of Midwives, why she believes in the College, and the early days of the profession (including the 1984 International Confederation of Midwives in Sydney)

Pat offers a message to students and early career midwives, talks about her role models and mentors, and reflects on the skills of a good midwife

To be a midwife is to be political! and Pats dream for the future