Highlights in my time as ACM President 2014-2017
When I commenced as President we were well on the way to unification thanks to the leadership of the previous President Sue Kruske and the CEO Ann Kinnear.
Unification was achieved in my time and this led to the establishment of one ACM with branches across the country, a Midwifery Council made up of representatives from each state and territory and a strong skill-based Board with three community directors. We transitioned from an Interim Board to a new Board under a new constitution. I was the first nationally elected President and we had a board of 5 midwives, also elected by the members for the first time. This process was fantastic to see happen finally after so many years of planning but was not without pain with not all states and territories being willing to contribute their funds to the new national organisation. We worked through this challenging time and I pleased that, over time, we did bring all the state-based branches with us.
At a governance level, we undertook a lot of training to ensure that the Board could fulfil its constitutional function including strengthening the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee of the Board, developing a 3 Year Financial Strategy to support and facilitate the achievement of the ACM’s Strategic Plan and to form the basis of budget development.
We lobbied strongly for midwifery to be recognised in the National Law as a separate discipline. In September2017, the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 was passed in the Queensland Parliament paving the way for the National Law to be updated to recognise nursing and midwifery as separate professions. This was important as it paved the way for future changes recognising the professions as separate.
In 2017, we held our first Midwifery Awards celebration. This was a wonderful occasion to celebrate the work that our members do across the country in education, innovations in practice, leadership and also a chance to recognise emerging leaders through our midwifery student award.
We also hosted the first Midwifery Managers Seminar in September 2017 where more than 100 leaders and managers of midwifery came together to talk about the joys and challenging of managing midwifery work. This work has led to future midwifery leadership forums and courses in 2021.
We worked on updating the continuity of midwifery care handbook which was originally developed by Queensland Health – Delivering continuity of midwifery care for Australian women. We launched this in 2017 in collaboration with Queensland Health.
In 2017, we developed a new image for ACM. Our last image stood us well but time moves on and with unification we recognised we wanted a fresh new look.
We were pleased to be part of an important Birthing on Country project in partnership with CATSINaM, the University of Queensland and the University of Sydney and the Poche Institute with additional funds from Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) for Mothers Program. Birthing on Country values Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing and learning.