ACM Election 2020

Voting for ACM Board Directors and a new ACM President will take place online 12th - 23rd Oct. All full, student and graduate members of ACM are eligible to vote. Please check your inbox for an email from ‘True Vote’ with your unique voting link.

You will also receive a second email from ‘True Vote’ with a separate link for voting on constitutional changes and a new auditor.

Meet the candidates!

ACM President Candidates

Joanne Gray | Mary Kirk 

Midwifery Director Candidates

Jyai AllenAllison Cummins | Gemma Macmillan | Ali Teate | Jocelyn Toohill | Teresa Walsh 

ACM President Candidate

Joanne Gray

Candidate Video

"I am filled with a sense of pride and excitement at the opportunity to lead the Australian College of Midwives as President. I am passionate about midwifery and strongly believe in and support ACM as the peak professional organisation for all midwives in Australia and I am deeply committed to ensuring its ongoing success. My commitment to ACM spans more than two decades and is demonstrated through significant and long-term engagement in a range of ACM activities.  

I support the vision of ACM to enable strong and confident midwives who can work in any setting. As President, I will ensure that the voices of all midwives are sought and listened to.  Midwives work with women in a range of settings supporting women’s choices whilst recognising the importance of continuity of midwifery care and its link to better outcomes.  ACM’s strategic direction promotes woman-centred, midwifery-led continuity of care and I will work with midwives and maternity consumers to ensure this continues and expands further.  I will also provide the leadership that is required to work with others to address the current workforce shortages and professional challenges many midwives are facing. 

I am a registered midwife and nurse and have been continually engaged in midwifery education and practice for over thirty years. I am a long-term member and Fellow of ACM  and I have engaged in the work of ACM  at both the Branch level (NSW Branch Chair, 2007 – 16), and at the National level (Director ACM Board and Chair, ACM Council 2014 – 16). My current roles in Board and Committee work include:  

  • Chair, UTS Academic Board   
  • Member, UTS Council  
  • Chair, ANMAC Profession Reference Group to review midwifery education standards (2019 – current)  
  • Ministerial appointed practitioner member of the NSW NMBA since 2018  

I have also completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Foundations of Company Directorship course. This excellent course provides me with essential skills and abilities in relation to my legal responsibilities as a Director.   

My approach to leadership is guided by absolute integrity, genuine, respectful collaboration, a respect for difference, and appreciation of working with others to achieve our goals.  I see the role of a leader as guiding, facilitating and ensuring that the goals and strategy of the organisation are met through collective action with outcomes shared. My current leadership roles include my employed position as Head, Graduate School of Health (Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney). The depth of my experience, skills and knowledge gives me absolute confidence that I am ready to work with the membership, staff and key stakeholders to successfully lead the Australian College of Midwives into the exciting and challenging future that lies ahead."

Mary Kirk

Candidate Video

"I am a registered midwife with a strong grounding in midwifery clinical, management and education practice from local, national and international perspectives. My particular interest is the contribution of midwifery to the primary health care of women and girls in all settings through the achievement of enabling environments for all midwives. I have extensive experience in the regulation of the profession, with a demonstrated commitment by leading in the achievement of the first jurisdiction in Australia to recognise midwifery as a distinct profession, the establishment of the national regulation scheme, the delegation of accreditation of entry to practice programs and enabling midwives through regulation and sound health policy and planning. I also have proven expertise in being strategic, successfully managing a small public hospital and in being an effective leader and board member. I am known as a respectful and effective communicator in local, national and international forums and am a frequent speaker at seminars and conferences in the fields of midwifery, maternity services, professional regulation, organisational governance, management and continuous improvement. I seek to inspire others in achieving their full potential through being an exemplar in good, challenging and dynamic situations as well as through delegation, support and succession planning.

My midwifery board and committee leadership roles have also been in local, national and international settings, and encompassing clinical, education, corporate, governance and regulatory perspectives. I have been a member of ACM since graduation and have been a Board member holding office bearer positions at branch and national levels. I was on the ICM board for nine years and am the immediate past ICM Vice President. I have also been a board member of other national and international NGO’s and am currently a Board Member of Safe Motherhood for All Australia Inc. As a leader I am accountable. I mindfully recognise and value the input and achievements of others and reap great satisfaction from supporting those with less experience to achieve their full potential in what can often be a new and challenging environment. I have a reputation for being a confident leader and have a demonstrated capacity to make good decisions, while at the same time I am humble in the knowledge that the best achievements are when all involved can say “we did it!”.

It is a privilege to be a board member and an even greater privilege to lead an organisation. I affirm the need to: maximise the capacity of ACM to continually adapt in today’s health care environments; turn challenges into opportunities; remain a key informant in the direction of maternal and reproductive health services for women and girls in Australia; and create enabling work environments for all midwives."

ACM Midwifery Director Position Candidates 

Jyai Allen

“I am a mother, midwife, lecturer and researcher with a passion and skill for improving the outcomes and experiences of mothers and babies. Prior to completing my PhD, I worked for more than 10 years in several roles as a registered midwife, caseload midwife, and clinical midwifery facilitator. I have worked across a broad range of settings in Australian and New Zealand including women's homes, alongside birth centres, midwifery-led units, and tertiary maternity hospitals. 

In 2019, I joined the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Griffith University and the Transforming Maternity Care Collaborative. I teach into the Bachelor of Midwifery and Masters of Primary Maternity Care, which includes supporting students on clinical placement and overseeing independent projects. I have authored a textbook chapter on providing midwifery continuity of care to specific groups. Recently, I successfully redesigned a postgraduate research course to include a module on Indigenous research methods by developing collaborative working relationships with the First People’s Health Unit. I have obtained four competitive grants (>$200K), published close to 20 high-impact papers in leading journals including The Lancet, and presented at international midwifery conferences including the Normal Labour and Birth Conference. In my previous role, I worked collaboratively across disciplines to facilitate the introduction of waterbirth and baby-led breastfeeding at the largest maternity hospital in Australia. I am Associate Editor for the top-ranked midwifery journal Women and Birth.

I am committed to the ACM definition and philosophy of midwifery; to increasing midwifery autonomy; to increasing women’s access publicly funded midwifery continuity of care in any setting; and to expanding midwifery-led models of care to be available to all Australian women. I am action-oriented and courageous, I am an advocate for midwifery even in the face of hostility or resistance from other disciplines. I have the requisite skills, professionalism, drive, and capacity to contribute to the Board and help lead the strategic direction of midwifery in Australia.”

Allison Cummins

Candidate Video

"I currently sit on the ACM Board of Directors, holding one of the Midwifery Director Positions in a casual capacity and am seeking to extend this to a full-term position. I am incredibly passionate about ACM and its members. In my position as a Midwifery Director I have contributed to a multitude of committees, working groups and papers with an aim to represent the midwifery and consumer members of ACM. I also hold a position within the NSW Branch Committee as treasurer. The experience of the past twelve months has cemented my determination to remain dedicated to the ACM vision of enabling strong and confident midwives and the ACM mission to position and profile midwifery as the primary profession for quality maternity care.  

My professional experience includes over 25 years as a practising midwife and a midwifery educator for the past 17 years. My previous clinical roles include working as a midwife providing continuity of care, providing private one-to-one antenatal classes, and a clinical education in a big referral hospital in metropolitan Sydney. Over the last 10 years and currently I am employed as a midwifery educator in a leading Australian University. In this role I ensure students learn to place the woman at the centre of their care and promote midwifery as the primary profession for quality maternity care. My professional experience together with experience on the NSW Branch executive, and for the last 12 months as a Midwifery Director on the Board for the ACM positions me as an excellent candidate for the Midwifery Director Position on the Board."

Gemma Macmillan

"As a healthcare professional since 2008 I have gained a wide and varied range of experience in clinical care, health project management and as a midwifery consultant and director in both tertiary hospitals and rural and remote facilities in Ireland, the UK and Australia. Education, research and the ability to utilise up to date best practice during my career have been vital to my growth and success. I am confident that my work ethic demonstrates honesty, integrity and respect and that my skills and knowledge are in line with the ACM values and attributes of the Midwifery Director Position. 

I am excited at the opportunity to apply for this position. I see myself as a well-rounded candidate bringing knowledge of clinical practice as well as the solid foundation of my work designing and implementing continuity maternity models of care. Currently I am the Director of Midwifery for the Torres and Cape Hospital Health Service (TCHHS). This was a new role created in March 2019 to function as the professional and strategic lead for midwifery and maternity services within the TCHHS. It is my responsibility to ensure all maternity services operate at a high level providing exceptional care which promotes best outcomes for women and their family. Previous roles have included the setup of midwifery group practice continuity models of care. The most recent being on Thursday Island where 97% of our caseload are Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander women with a variety of risk factors, chronic disease complications and social issues impacting on health. I am at my most fulfilled when I see models of care which are woman centred, underpinned by evidence and addressing all aspects of health, culture and wellbeing. 

These past few years I have contributed professionally in a variety of committees both within and out with the TCHHS. These include; Statewide networks such as Perinatal and Infant Mental Health, Maternity Services Action Groups and as a member of the working parties for review of Intrapartum Care Pathway and the Neonatal Early Warning Tool. More recently I have become a member of the JCU midwifery advisory committee and Queensland Clinical Guidelines Steering Committee. In May 2019 I completed my position as a member of the Rural Maternity Taskforce. Such roles hold immense value and have potential to influence the shape and provision of maternity care in Queensland."

Ali Teate

"I know the ACM and am a strong candidate for board director. I have been an active member since 1993. I am current Chair of the ACT Branch and have been a member of four different branches across the country and an executive committee member for two. As Branch Chair I influence midwifery by lobbying politicians, health bureaucrats and maternity service managers. This broad depth of experience has given me essential skills to be a fair, honest and decisive Midwifery Director for the ACM Board.  

I know Australian midwifery. I understand the tensions of balancing passion, workload and life. I have a variety of experiences working as a midwife. I currently work in private practice in the ACT and NSW and have an adjunct professorial position at the University of Canberra. My PhD examined why midwifery continuity of care works. Prior to my academic role/s I worked in NSW State government; policy, research and leadership position. In my early and mid-career years I worked in SA, Qld and NSW and was a change agent for models of midwifery care including midwifery group practice, public-funded homebirth and group antenatal care.  

I am a passionate and proud midwife with ACM as my peak professional body, my professional guide and my midwifery family. I look to ACM becoming a stronger and vibrant agent for midwives across Australia and a partner with other key organisations; international and at home. My enduring midwifery vision is that it best meets the needs of childbearing families by working in partnership with women (birth parents) and other health professionals and being autonomous and self-determining. Please vote for me."

Jocelyn Toohill

"I am a long time member of ACM (including being a Fellow of ACM); I  have the energy and passion to guide decisions in the best interest of the profession of midwifery and ACM, and have held leadership positions at the State level of ACM (including past President and Vice President). I currently hold the most senior midwifery role in Queensland; employed in a leadership role as the Director of Midwifery with the Department of Health in Queensland. I am recognised as a strong woman centred clinician, evidenced based, with both managerial, education and research expertise. My skills, experience and drive indicate I am well placed to serve ACM as a Director, having built my capacity across many arenas, adopting varied leadership roles over my career both at voluntary and employed levels. 

In my leadership roles for ACM as President and Vice President I successfully led alongside a great team the development and growth of ACM state committees and the strategies they subsequently produced (which included midwives holding leadership positions and additionally being supported to work to their full scope of practice). Under my direction these then contributed to influencing elected members of parliament, government officials and industrial bodies to recognise the unique profession of midwifery. I hold great pride that as a result the Director position I currently hold within the Queensland Department of Health was created (although previously an advisory role), and that additionally our industrial award was changed to recognise the role and scope of midwives working in caseload models providing local agreements in each Hospital and Health Service, appropriate provisions for private midwives to gain access and admitting rights for women in their care to Queensland public hospitals, and state election commitments met to establish 3 additional birth centres in Queensland (Gold Coast, Toowoomba and Sunshine Coast). 

I am currently working in policy providing an informed midwifery and woman centred approach for government.  I have been instrumental to securing a review of the role and scope of contemporary midwives in Queensland to meet international standards, which will be the first step towards development of generic level statements, career pathways specific to and recognising midwives separate to that of nurses. 

Please vote for me."

Teresa Walsh

"Midwifery is critically important for a healthy society, and our profession can positively influence not just women’s individual experiences of birth but also community perceptions and population outcomes. Since 2000 I have sought opportunities to increase recognition for our profession and drive positive changes for Australian maternity services. Society is constantly changing and the ACM is changing too - adapting to new opportunities and the 21st century challenges affecting women and midwifery.  Australian midwives in 2020 are a hugely diverse group of individuals working across a variety of settings with many different families. I believe that ACM is the uniting force which can shine a bright light on the health benefits of midwifery for Australian society, and also strive to meet the diverse professional needs of all Australian midwives into the 21st century. A strong passionate Board provides the strategic direction for the ACM, and together with midwives we drive positive changes for women’s health and midwives nationally. 

I became a midwife in Queensland in 1986 and ACM member in the 1990’s, served on Queensland committee 2005-2013, National Director since 2017, and as a volunteer representing midwives on advisory groups related to education and curriculum development, homebirth position statements, clinical practice guidelines, perinatal mortality and rural maternity services. I’m privileged to work with a small group of passionate midwives in private continuity practice and we mentor graduate midwives and students. Every day I see and hear amazing transformations made possible when midwives partner with women in holistic relationship-based collaborative maternity care.  

For the last 10 years I have tried to inspire our profession as it embraced private midwifery practice with Medicare funding in Australia. As one of the first midwives with a Medicare provider number and a founder member of the first private practice offering Medicare rebates for midwifery services, I became one of the first midwives to negotiate collaborative arrangements and private admitting rights at a Queensland public hospital. My achievements required passion, intelligence, courage, confidence, energy and integrity which are skills I bring to my role as Midwife Director of ACM, and which I hope to continue for a further 3 years of service if I am re-elected in 2020."