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Meet Our Volunteers: Tara George

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Each month, our Education Unit introduces you to one of the ACM's fabulous volunteers. These hard-working and dedicated individuals are the backbone of ACM, and we are incredibly grateful for their continued support and service. 

In May 2018, we would like you to meet Tara George, who is a current member on our Midwifery Education Advisory Committee (MEAC).

Profession

When did you become a Registered Midwife?  

I registered as a midwife in January 1999.

What lead to you deciding to become a midwife?

Initially, I applied to study midwifery to broaden my skills as an RN and enable me to work in the country and overseas.  Whilst studying midwifery part-time over two years, I experienced a significant paradigm shift and realised, to oversimplify significantly, that midwifery is much more than an additional nursing qualification. This changed my career goals. I am now a midwife because I enjoy supporting women through pregnancy, birth and the early postnatal days.

Where did you train/study? Have you undertaken and additional midwifey studies since you registered?

I completed a Diploma of Nursing at the Sturt campus of the South Australian College of Advanced Education in 1990 and a Bachelor of Nursing at Flinders University of South Australia in 1993.

I worked as an RN for a number of years before completing a Graduate Diploma in Midwifery at the Underdale campus of the University of South Australia in 1999.

I later when on to complete a Graduate Certificate in Health - Midwifery Continuity of Care at Flinders University in 2001.

ACM Membership

When did you join ACM?

A friend and fellow midwifery student encouraged me to join the ACM in 1997, when we attended a Presentation by Hilary Hoover at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide.

What roles do you currently undertake for the ACM?

I am currently a volunteer member of the Midwifery Education Advisory Committee (MEAC), and have been in this role since April 2017. This was a logical progression when my term in the Professional Development Advisory Committee concluded. Membership on the MEAC involves quarterly teleconferences and frequent communication by emails to provide feedback about issues around midwifery education.

What roles have you previously undertaken for the ACM?

I volunteered in the role of Newsletter Coordinator and member of Management Committee for the SA Branch of the ACM from September 2009 – August 2015. This involved attendance at monthly management meetings, email correspondence to discuss issues arising between meetings, meeting with the chief nurse quarterly, with one or two other ACM members, sourcing, editing and collating information for the SA pages of the AMN, writing summaries of key events for inclusion in the SA pages and communicating updates to the SA webpages.

I volunteered on the Professional Development Advisory Committee from October 2011 – April 2017. This involved bimonthly teleconferences, reviewing course content of ACM online e-learning courses and webinars, developing scenarios for online courses, pilot of ACM online courses and writing for the Australian Midwifery News.

Where has your membership of the ACM taken you?

I don’t think I would still be a midwife if I hadn’t been actively involved in the ACM. During the six years I was involved in the management committee of the SA Branch, the regular meetings with the amazing women that made up the committee inspired me to keep renewing my registration. I learnt a lot through these wise midwives.

During this time conditions for midwives were changing with National Registration and the implementation of AHPRA, and it was an uncertain time. I appreciated the regular updates from the ACM about this process. I also had a young child and my working conditions changed considerably. Being an active part of the ACM kept me connected and inspired at a time when I could have easily drifted.

When my family network was unable to support my regular participation in the local ACM events, I was able to continue volunteering through committees that work by teleconference and email. I miss meeting with local midwives and the energy within the SA group, but I can continue to be an active part of my profession and extend myself.

Social

Tell us a little about your non work life….

As well as being a midwife, I am also a writer and author. I have published two early reader chapter books about geocaching. I also volunteer for raising literacy as a professional reader for the Big Book Club. This gives me a chance to read a random variety of books and to support Australian authors.

At times it is difficult to juggle both writing and midwifery, although there is a significant overlap of these two areas. One of the main reasons I write is that I have control over my work, I have choices and it empowers me. Currently this is not the case with midwifery, but I hope that this will change in the future.

What do you do to relax?

I like to read, sew, knit, cycle, bush walk, do yoga and lie on my shakti mat. I have also been experimenting with the use of recycled fabrics to create new projects using techniques of sewing, knitting, plaiting and knotting.

What is your favourite non work thing to do?

Hangout with my family.