Dr Dianne Cutts – President ACMI 1995 – 1997

Dr Dianne Cutts reported the following in the ACMI Journal in June, Sept and Dec 1996 and March 1997.

· Composition of the ACMI National Exec, is 8 delegates, all volunteers, each representing a State and Territory. The cost of each delegates attendance at meetings is shared between the National office and the Branch.

– National Executive meets quarterly at the Melbourne ACMI headquarters

-ACMI has a full time EO, Lorraine Wilson and a 20hr/week administrative officer

-Each delegate provides a link between the National office and the Branch

· Work continues on advancing midwifery as a separate discipline from nursing and advancing acknowledgement midwives as the primary carer for well women, working in a variety of models of midwifery care.

· Lobbying continues, arguing that midwives have the appropriate education and skills to care for women and babies rather than registered or enrolled nurses or mother craft nurses.

· Acknowledgement given to member numbers, unification, support for each other and contributions to the work of the College, as they strengthen and advance the work of the College.

· 24th ICM Triennial Congress was in Oslo in May

· 2,000 midwives from 75 countries attended; 128 from Australia, easily identifiable with red akurbra, apple green outfit and silk scarf with Australian flora had painted on it.

· The theme of the Congress “The Art and Science of Midwifery Gives Birth a Better Future”. Art being associated with sensitivity, subjectivity, intuitive knowledge and wisdom. Science being associated with reason, rationality and objectivity. Within midwifery they are combined.

· The papers and presentations were of high quality.

· 104 delegates attended the ICM Council meeting prior to the Congress. Australia had 4 representatives, Margaret Peters (Director of ICM), Judi Brown (Asia-Pacific Rep), Dianne Cutts (Victoria)(Pres ACMI) from Victoria and Elaine Smallbaine (Tas)(Vice President ACMI).

· Major Priority for ICM is Safe Motherhood. Workshops pre-congress were held.

· In Norway, the equity that exists for women was evident and women can freely chose a midwife or a medical practitioner, as her primary carer and at home or hospital as the place of birth.

· 4 day mid-triennium meeting and Asia-Pacific Conference is planned for New Delhi at the end 1997 or early 1998. ACMI to drive this meeting.

· ACMI bid in 1999 to host the 25th ICM Congress was lost. It will be held in 1999 in Manila, Philippines and midwives of Australia will be giving their support to their Filipino colleagues.

· Comments from midwives to Presidents comments in June’1996 Report have raised concerns as they need to work as both a nurse and a midwife in rural areas. Whereas city midwives are concerned that they are expected to work in general nursing areas without the necessary skills.

· Consumers have asked ACMI’s view of homebirth. ACMI supports NHMRC Homebirth Guidelines (1992)

· ACMI Position Statement on Planned Out of Hospital Birth 3.4.0. as published in the ACMI Journal, June 1995, p20.

· ACMI Fellowship Categories in place in 1997 were listed, Distinguished Fellow, Fellow & Honorary Fellow.

· ACMI continues to work to advance midwifery for the benefit of the women it serves and to strengthen our self-determination and identity, which includes being independent from nursing.

· Global trend for midwifery to have professional governance of itself and in countries where that has happened the public has benefitted and the profession flourished.

· Trans-Tasman agreement published in ANC Inc Newsletter Nov 1996, means that NZ midwives entitled to practice under NZ law can practice in Australia, except ‘direct entry midwives’ as there is no provision in any of the Nurses Boards to register ‘direct entry midwives’.

· Bachelor of Midwifery programs are being debated and are seen as positive move

· 10th National Biennial Conference April 16th-18th 1997 in Melbourne