The ACM Midwifery History Project is excited to launch their new website to promote knowledge and appreciation of midwifery and childbirth in Australia. Christine Catling and Rebecca Hart will discuss the history of midwifery in Australia and take you on a tour through ACM’s new Australian Midwifery History website.
As voluntary Administrator and Coordinator of the ACM Australian Midwifery History Project, Christine has been instrumental in the early development of the project, providing organisational support and liaison between members of the steering group, the national office, the NSW Branch History and Archives committee and other key stakeholders. Christine has been a midwife for 26 years. Over that time, she has had a variety of roles in research, education, practice and antenatal education. She is a mother and grandmother and likes to sing. Currently, Christine is an NHMRC Research Fellow within the Faculty of Health at UTS studying Group Clinical Supervision as a supportive strategy for midwives. She is the coordinator of the National Publicly-funded Homebirth Consortium, which acts as a network and resource for managers, policy makers, researchers and all involved in developing and sustaining publicly funded home birth models.
My involvement with the ACM Midwifery History Project Steering Group began back in 2017 when I responded to an expression of interest sent to members for the then Heritage Advisory Committee. I saw this as a way to combine my midwifery with my history studies. As a midwife, I graduated from the first cohort Bachelor of Midwifery at ACU in 2004 and then a Master of Health Science (Clinical Education). I worked as a core birth suite/family birth centre midwife at Mercy, and returned to ACU as a midwifery lecturer, Follow Through student mentor, Continuity of Care Experience co-ordinator, and tutor at Jim-Baa-Yer Indigenous Higher Education Unit. I have been a member of the College since 2002, and served the State Executive Committee (Vic) as Student Representative 2002-2004. As a historian I have a love for genealogy that led me to do a Graduate Diploma in Local, Family & Applied History at UNE. To complete my Grad Dip I wrote a minor thesis on midwifery in rural Victoria 1886-1920. This involved a case study of my great-great grandmother Hannah Jane 'Grannie' Watts and her midwifery practice records. I have recently begun my PhD to develop and extend this research. I am the Education Placement Officer at Museums Victoria. I have a little online collection of historic objects related to Grannie Watts here https://ehive.com/collections/8592/rebecca-hart