Are you a single star type of midwife or part of a constellation?

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Ruth King, Midwifery Advisor, Education Unit

On the 22nd of May 2018, Paula Medway (Chair of the ACM’s SA Branch) and I were invited to meet future faces within the midwifery community – first year BMid students from Flinders University.  I always get a bit nervous when I’m asked to present, as I worry that I will stumble, talk too quickly, or what I have to say will not resonate with my audience. This particular presentation, focused on raising the ACM’s profile with midwifery students, in-turn helping them consider their peak professional body as worthy of their membership. 

It’s a tough world for students. They’re struggling to manage the competing priorities that come with expensive university fees, completing (let alone surviving) clinical and theoretical requirements, working in a casual, part-time or full-time job, plus possibly adding caring for a family to that ever-growing list.

There needs to be a clear and tangible reason as to why students might want to be a member of the ACM. What can we do for them?

There are lots of financial benefits to being a member, especially for midwives who are out in practice and have continuing professional development requirements. We have oodles of webinars, online courses, journals and articles that can be accessed free of charge, or at a heavily discounted rate. But for students–who already eat, sleep and breathe education/learning, whilst they work towards registration–these benefits may not seem as fabulous or important as they would to midwives who are looking for educational content to develop or upskill their learning.


So, what makes membership for a student valuable?  To answer this question, I find myself reflecting on why I joined as a first year BMid student back in 2006…

We had a member of the ACM come out to our university, and talk to us about all of the work that ACM had done in the past, as well as what our local branch was currently working on.  They wanted us to understand that being a part of ACM is about much more than just accessing free resources or receiving discounts. It is about being part of a community, growing your network and making changes to midwifery in your local area, as well as on a national and international level.

The most powerful words that I heard that day were:

Midwifery is political, and if we want change to happen we need to get involved. The more midwives work together the stronger the voice.  

This resonated with me, and I joined. Twelve years later, these words helped me form the basis of my presentation, as I created an analogy to inspire current midwifery students - Midwives and Midwifery Students as Stars.  

As midwives (or midwifery students) we are all amazing beings that shine and twinkle at a personal level. But, as individual stars we can only shine our light locally, as we are singular and isolated.

When a number of stars shine together (say at networking event, in a community group or a partnership) the collective brightness of the stars twinkling together will increase and the light they create will have a bigger reach. It’s a bit like looking out into the sky and seeing the vista filled with stars, with light bright enough to see by at night...

If all of the midwives and midwifery students around Australia came together (for instance by joining the ACM), then the collective brightness from all of the individual stars can create a light source that is as bright and as effective as the sun.


The sun, by its very nature, creates changes and promotes growth from the light that it radiates, and the ACM works to do this for midwifery and midwives in Australia by creating support and networking opportunities, leading discussion and change in policy and standards. We work together towards ensuring that all midwives and midwifery students are strong, confident and passionate about their choice in profession.

So my question to you all is...

Are you a singular star twinkling out on your own, or are you part of the amazing brightness that is the ACM?

You can see my presentation to the students in the file attached to this news article. Link here

Not a member and want to bring your twinkle to the ACM?  Click here to join 

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