ACM Virtual Conference

8:30am Friday, 27 November 2020
8:00pm Friday, 27 November 2020
Online Conference
-, Australian Capital Territory -

ACM's Online Conference 2020

Join ACM's online conference in celebration of the Year of the Midwife and the Nurse.

  • Presentations from all over Australia
  • Content contributed by ACM Branches
  • 7 CPD hours
  • Access to recordings of all sessions available

Tickets are $50 each and $25 from every ticket will be donated to The Rhodanthe Lipsett Indigenous Midwifery Charitable Fund.

Registrations are now closed, please contact for any questions or queries.

The conference will begin at 8:30am AEDST and finish at 8:00pm, full program below

Draft Program

Our presenters

Gemma MacMillan

Implementation of MGP on Thursday Island

As a healthcare professional since 2008 Gemma has 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.  Currently Gemma is 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 Torres and Cape region. Previous roles have included the setup of midwifery group practice continuity models of care. The most recent being on Thursday Island where 97% of the caseload are Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander women and the geography of the region is exceptionally challenging. Gemma is most fulfilled when she see models of care which are woman centred, underpinned by evidence and addressing all aspects of health, culture and wellbeing

Sue Kruske

Childhood Trauma and Motherhood

Professor Sue Kruske has contributed to midwifery in a variety of roles and settings including clinical, policy, education and research. She has sound industry experience in both government and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and is an endorsed midwife authorized to prescribe scheduled medicines and order diagnostic tests. She has clinical, teaching and research experience in maternal, child and cross-cultural health.

Lois McKellar

The new normal : COVID-19 and beyond

Lois is an Associate Professor of Midwifery at the University of South Australia engaged in teaching and research. She is an advocate for working collaboratively to ensure the provision of outstanding midwifery education and equipping midwives for practice in the 21st century and beyond. Lois is a Fellow of the Governor’s Leadership Foundation, a founding member of Trans-Tasman Midwifery Education Consortium and an active member of Australian College of Midwives.

Hazel Keedle

The impact of model of care on women's experiences of planning a VBAC in Australia

Hazel Keedle is a lecturer of midwifery at Western Sydney University and a PhD candidate. Hazel has worked in midwifery group practices, an aboriginal medical service, a variety of hospital settings and as a privately practising midwife in both city and regional locations.  Hazel's passion for VBAC followed her own experience of having a VBAC with her daughter in 2008 and since then has published research on women's experience of having a homebirth after caesarean and on her PhD work exploring women’s experiences of planning a VBAC in Australia. 


Dr Laura Biggs and Christielee Plumridge

Making Sense of the Unseen: Understanding women’s experiences of suicidality in the perinatal period

Dr Laura Biggs is a midwife and Postdoctoral Fellow in the Intergenerational Health Group, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Her work focuses on trauma and violence informed care and issues of equity in maternal health, particularly relating to gender based violence, mental health promotion, and maternal suicide prevention. 



 Christielee Plumridge is the Peer Investigator on the study, Making Sense of the Unseen. Having experienced emotional distress and suicidality in the perinatal period, she understands on a personal level how it can affect women and their families. When the opportunity arose to be a part of this initiative, she felt inspired to use her own lived experiences to encourage improvements in perinatal health care.

Dr Allison Cummins

Acceptability of an Antenatal and Postnatal midwifery continuity of care model to women and midwives

Allison Cummins is a senior lecturer in Midwifery and teaches both in the undergraduate and post-graduate midwifery programs at the University of Technology Sydney. Allison is the Co-Director of the Centre for Midwifery Child and Family Health and coordinates the higher degree by research students in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at UTS. Allison’s research interests include the introduction and support for midwifery continuity of care models and scaling up these models of care to enable women’s access. Allison is an Associate Editor of 'Women and Birth', the official journal of the Australian College of Midwives and is a Midwifery Director on the Board. The research presentation for today is the result of being awarded the “Pat Brodie Scholarship for Midwifery Research” for which Allison is very grateful.

Sue MacFarlan

My midwifery, then to now

Sue worked for many years in all areas of midwifery before settling into a team midwifery model of care in the hospital Birth Centre, until a few Midwifery Group Practice continuity of care contracts led to complete the Flinders University Graduate Certificate in Midwifery and become an Endorsed Midwife in 2014. In 2015 Sue commenced private practice with her business, Adelaide Midwives, and gained visiting rights for birth services at Lyell McEwin Hospital soon after.

As a member of the ACM SA Branch Sue joined the Executive and Professional Development committees several years ago and also an active member of the SA Privately Practising Midwives Association. This year Sue was very excited to be nominated for the SA Health Nursing and Midwifery Excellence Award for Excellence in Midwifery. Sue is proud to offer a unique blend of expertise and client-centred care for women in all stages of pregnancy, through birth and up to 6 weeks post-birth.

Nine Australian researchers led by Dr Zoe Bradfield

The impacts of COVID-19 on maternity care in Australia

This novel Australian five-cohort study has been conducted by a team of 9 Australian researchers led by Dr Zoe Bradfield.  The study has explored the experiences of 5 key stakeholders of maternity care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 4500 surveys were returned from women, partners and support people, midwives, doctors and midwifery students in Australia. In the second phase, over 80 interviews were conducted between each of the cohorts.  Findings reveal important insights regarding the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternity care and provide evidence that will support health policy, and service design during and after the pandemic. Understanding the impact of service redesign on consumers and providers of maternity care offers critical evidence as we prepare to consider the ways we provide maternity care into the future.


For any questions or queries please contact

Look forward to seeing you there!

Contact Information

ACM Marketing & Communications Unit - Sydney

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