Your Committee


Sarah Ballard


My name is Sarah Ballard, I have been a midwife for 15 years. During this time I have worked over many positions: as a self-employed midwife in the community, as a core midwife in hospital and currently I am a lecturer at AUT with a small caseload. Last year I was awarded a Masters with Distinction for the development of the ‘Birthplace- Your Choice’ App designed to promote informed decision making on Birthplace and the importance of physiological birth. I am passionate about our midwifery profession and I feel now is the time to be brave and progressive for the Auckland region. Being part of the team that organised the Auckland ‘Dear David ‘March and having the privilege of MCing that event highlighted for me the desire and need for our region to make noise and be heard! My goal is to be part of this and I am motivated to represent the voices of all Auckland midwives and midwifery students. I hope that I can bring new creative ideas and a passionate energy to the committee so that the cohesive spirit witnessed at the March can be cultivated in a way to make our region even stronger.

I am currently a member of the Auckland College committee and have been for four years. I am also a member of the Primary Birthing Project at ADHB/Birthcare and have participated in numerous other committee roles. This year I was invited to China to forward the development of Virtual Reality Education modules for AUT students and had the opportunity to lecture on normal birth. The speed with which progressive ideas can be incorporated was inspiring and I returned to Auckland invigorated with what can be achieved by a group motivated by a joint goal. So I am excited by the opportunity of offering a ‘Tri-Chair’ to the region. It is a new model that I believe offers potential to revitalise our region; three voices each with a unique understanding of the needs of their geographical area of practice. Most importantly, it is our joint goal of representing Auckland Midwives and moving our region forward in a positive and progressive way that most excites me.


Christine Mellor


I have been a midwife for 24 years (originally from UK), have a broad range of midwifery experience, and am open to new challenges. I am collaborative and compassionate, have good insight into both core and LMC midwifery practice, and a holistic understanding of maternity care in New Zealand. I have recently completed a one-year secondment as a Midwifery Research Fellow and am currently involved in coordinating the Maternity Quality and Safety Programme at Waitemata DHB. I am also working towards a Doctor of Health Science degree. I consider that our best way forward is with greater connection: together we are stronger.


Ady (Adrienne) Priday


My name is Ady (Adrienne) Priday. I am a community self-employed midwife working with communities and whānau of Counties Manukau. I have worked in the Midwifery health sector for 22 years. I was born in the Tairāwhiti region, in Gisborne and completed my secondary schooling in Rotorua. I have two Midwifery Practice clinics co-located with Family Health Practices in Otara and Māngere for a small caseload of women and whānau. I work with a group of 8 amazing midwives, who I call my midwifery whanau. I’m also a part-time clinical midwifery educator at AUT and am passionate about supporting student midwives so I can pass the baton to new midwives ready to step up to care for women who reside in Counties Manukau. I’m also keen to support midwives to step-up into midwifery leadership roles. Mentoring new graduate midwives is something else that I find energising and rewarding.

Glenda (1)

Glenda Stimpson

Elder, Historical Advisor, Archivist

Glenda Stimpson, a midwife at National Women’s Hospital/Health for 43 years, was in the founding group of the Midwives Section of NZNA and later NZNO. She was also a founding member of the College of Midwives and has been very active over the years in all things midwifery. Now is actively involved in seeing that our history is kept and that we have photographic records of all occasions.  Is available to help mothers and their significant others to understand their notes and so remove the mystery that so many find as they seek answers. Has mentored many students and continues to have a great interest in teaching particularly the “gems that are not found in textbooks”. Loves to “tell stories”.

Lisa Mravicich

Lisa Mravicich


Hi, my name is Lisa Mravicich and I have been a midwife at Counties Manukau since graduating in 2014. Up until last year, I was working as a core midwife alternating between Birthing and Assessment Unit and Maternity Ward. I have been privileged to work in such a diverse community and while at times it has been challenging, there was always excitement at not knowing what each day will bring.

After a lot of reflection in 2018, I transitioned into a jointly funded role between the Liggins Institute, UOA and Kidz First, Counties Manukau as a Research Midwife. The main component of this role has been to set up and manage clinical trials aiming to improve lifelong health for women, children and their families. I believe that embedding a research culture into practice plays an important role in discovering better and more innovative ways to deliver care and improve outcomes for our community. I am also the Counties Manukau ONTRACK co-ordinator helping to provide education on research findings and their implications for practice.



Judith McAra-Couper

Midwife Representative

I undertook Midwifery training in 1989 for the express purpose of working as a midwife in Bangladesh. My earliest midwifery experience was among the women and midwives of St Helen’s and Middlemore Hospitals in Auckland, New Zealand, and this has had a lasting influence on my practice.

After graduation I spent five years working in a remote village in Bangladesh, where the Bengali people and their lives touched me deeply, and in terms of midwifery I experienced much that was challenging, tragic and amazing. Since my return to New Zealand in 1996 I have worked at the Auckland University of Technology as a midwifery lecturer. I also held for 12 years a joint appointment at Counties-Manukau where I worked as a clinical midwife educator in the delivery unit.

I have been involved in academic study for many years, and completed my PhD in 2007. In 2009 I returned to Bangladesh for three months where I was employed by the World Health Organisation to write a Midwifery Curriculum and syllabus for nurse midwives. This work has continued and I have since returned to Bangladesh many times to facilitate the implementation of this programme, along with the Curriculum Development for Direct Entry Midwifery in Bangladesh.

In 2010 I was awarded received a Star Post-Doctoral Scholarship, which has enabled me to develop my skills as a researcher. I have been involved in a number of research areas such as Maternal Mental Health, Sustainability of Midwifery Practice, and Place of Birth.

I was the Chairperson of the Auckland Region of the New Zealand College of Midwives 2008-2011, and was appointed to the Midwifery Council of New Zealand in 2010. I became Chair of the Council in 2011. I become Head of Midwifery Department at AUT in 2013 and an Associate Professor in 2014. I am passionate about midwifery, midwifery education, equity and good governance of our midwifery organisations.


Tammy Jowsey

Midwife Representative

I am a current NZCOM member, who is employed at WDHB as an Associate Clinical Charge Midwife 0.6fte and Midwife educator 0.3fte. I also have a very small LMC case load.

I have been a MFYP mentor to three new graduate midwives in the past 5 years.

I am committed to ensuring the communication pathways between the College of Midwives and the WDHB remain effective and our professional body is well supported by our DHB and my involvement.


Sarah Nicholson

Midwife Representative

Since qualifying in 2002 I have been working as a midwife in South Auckland. Initially I was employed as a staff midwife at Middlemore Hospital, then over the last 10 years I have predominantly worked as a community LMC midwife. I provide cares to women birthing in both primary and secondary settings. In 2014 I completed the MHPrac (midwifery) qualification via AUT. I regularly support student midwives on their clinical placements and mentor new graduate midwives as part of the MFYP program. I live in rural South Auckland with my wife and two children, I like to run and I practice bikram yoga. I am passionate about midwifery and I feel privileged to contribute to our profession as an Auckland region committee member.


Nga Marsters

Midwife Representative

Kia ora ~ kia orana kotou katoatoa,
I feel very privileged to be part of the College Auckland region’s committee.  We have the most diverse region in Aotearoa and its uniqueness brings opportunities for creative solutions and opportunities.

My midwifery roles since graduating in 2000 have been in the Counties Manukau area; Core midwife (community, maternity, case loading, labour and birthing) and Childbirth educator.  Currently, I work at AUT (Pasifika student liaison & clinical educator) and I have a LMC practice of 10 years.  My small caseload is a cohesive element which complements the Governance roles on Midwifery Council, CMDHB’s Maternity Quality and Safety Governance Group, and Pasifika Midwives Aotearoa National co-representative on the College of Midwives National Board.  Also as a MFYP mentor I get a glimpse  of a new graduate’s journey with renewed appreciation every time.  That guardianship of safe passage into the midwifery profession, is a special time to celebrate and nurture our young.

I am passionate about growing and sustaining our Pasifika midwifery workforce.  Also ensuring there is a voice and lens over Pasifika matters is essential, especially with Auckland region acknowledged as the largest Polynesian city in the world.

Midwives are positioned to have a positive impact on families’  lives, that can effect change for generations and filter to their communities.  We have a very privileged position.

Mahia Winder

Mahia Winder

Midwife Representative

Tena Koutou Katoa.
Ko Tongariro te Maunga
Ko Taupo te Moana
Ko Parewahwaha te Marae
Ko Ngati Tuwharetoa Ngati Raukawa nga Iwi
Ko Mahia Winder ahau

I have been a Registered Midwife for 23 years, and in that time have worked across the scope. My current role is working at AUT as Maori Midwifery Liaison Midwife. Prior to this role I spent nearly 14 years at ADHB, originally in the role of an Acting Charge Midwife. I was then appointed to the position of Maori Midwifery Advisor.

Rebecca Hockey

Rebecca Hockey

Midwife Representative

I am a UK trained nurse and midwife. I have been a midwife for 21 years and worked in a variety of settings. In the UK i have been a hospital midwife as well as a community midwife and this is where my passion for continuity of care became apparent. I have worked at Middlemore and North Shore Hospital as a core midwife. I am an LMC on the North Shore of Auckland in The Cottage Midwives practice where I love offering home births and supporting women in their journey to motherhood.

Lyn Stark_new

Lyn Stark

Midwife Representative

Kia Ora, and thank you for electing me onto your committee.

In my current role as Maternity Quality and Safety Coordinator at Counties Manukau Health I interact with core staff, community LMCs and consumers often. I also coordinate our Women’s Health and Newborn Annual Report and the monthly Women’s Health eUpdate.
Prior to this, I was a case loading Community LMC for 17yrs, working in the semirural/rural Franklin area. I mainly cared for women choosing to birth at Pukekohe Birthing Unit or at home.

My passion began with my own birth experiences, both positive and negative, which culminated in our third and fourth babies being planned homebirths following the stillbirth of our second baby. The other major influence was the empowering exposure to Parents Centre where my training as a childbirth antenatal educator totally enlightened my view of childbirth. I have a huge respect for consumers because it was Parents Centre that exposed me to holistic and active birth philosophy and the far reaching impact of birth experiences on women, their babies and whanau.

A highlight of my LMC work was gaining, along with Claire Eyes, a $50,000 rural grant to set up the pilot cooperative LMC/ Ministry & MMPO/DHB Pukekohe Maternity Resource Centre. It is still thriving 10 years on.

I have always been a committed member of the College of Midwives and well engaged with my profession. I claimed through MMPO because I believed it was crucial midwives work, via data collection, was made visible.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss any issues.
Aroha nui,

Linda Burke (2)

Linda Burke

Midwife Representative

Bula Vinaka, I am Linda Burke. I am of Pasifika and Scottish decent. I am a mother of two, grandmother of six and married for 50 years.

I am a graduate of the first direct Entry Degree in Health Science Midwifery class of 1993. I have been a midwife for 26 years, with a combination of both core and LMC where I have spent the last 16 years as an LMC in Counties Manukau. I am very dedicated to growing our Pasifika workforce.

I currently sit on the following forums: Counties Workforce, Neonatal Maternal Serum Committee, Maternity Strategic Group Counties Representative for the College of Midwives, Pasifika Midwives Committee Member, College of Midwives Committee Member, AUT Clinical Educator, Aunties Programme for Pasifika Midwives.

Linda Burke

Cheryl Barrett

Cheryl Barrett

Student Representative

Kia ora koutou,
Ko Maungapōhatu te maunga,
Te Karae toku awa,
Te Rarawa toku iwi,
Ko Pateoro toku marae,
Ko Cheryl toku ingoa

I am the mother to three amazing children who continue my beautiful whakapapa but also whakapapa back to their strong Samoan roots. I am currently a Midwifery student at AUT. I am passionate about Maternal Mental Health and Whanau Ora. Being a mother has been life changing and being a parent still challenge me daily. It has been a journey that I am forever grateful for. I have learnt so much more about myself, where I have come from and what I can offer. The amazing strength of wahine is what has drawn me to follow this journey, and it is this strength and the passion of whanau that continues to captivate my motivation. I am honoured to be a Student Representative on the Auckland College committee and feel very privileged to help voice the wairua of our student body.

Holly Johnson

Holly Johnson

Student Representative

My name is Holly Johnson and I am part of the first cohort to do the AUT midwifery programme in four years.

My midwifery journey began watching One Born Every Minute and Offspring, but it wasn’t until I had my daughter five and a half years ago that I truly fell in love with the profession.

Having a less than ideal labour, birth and postpartum experience, I saw the importance for individualised, holistic and deep care that midwives provide. I saw a space where I could be an advocate for women.

I have not yet chosen which avenue of midwifery I would like to walk, for now I am just enjoying all of the experiences.

Adith Stoneman

Adith Stoneman

Consumer Representative

I emigrated to NZ from The Netherlands in 1983, when I fell pregnant in 1997 I soon realised what a very different attitude the NZ community had to pregnancy/birth compared to my Dutch community.   It was disturbing to me to receive never ending unwanted, scaremongering advice, when my personal attitude was, this is what women do, pregnancy is a normal part of a women’s life. I truly could not understand all the fuss. My Lead Maternity Care (LMC) provider’s job was to check that my pregnancy was going well and I very much understood that it was my job to look after my health and to ultimately birth my baby.

During my pregnancy I joined La Leche League (LLL) a volunteer breastfeeding support organisation, became a leader in 2000 and for two decades ran the LLL group out West Auckland supporting thousands of women to successfully breastfeed their babies.

At LLL I heared so many sad and disempowering birth stories, it encouraged me to take up studies and become a Child Birth Educator (CBE).

In my role as a CBE I was passionate about getting people to understand that birthing is natural (not medical), that women are very able to birth their babies, providing people with unbiased, researched information, ensuring they understand their rights and options, which ultimately can lead to an empowering birth. Over some 10 years I facilitated over 3000 couples, it was always such a pleasure for me to catch up with them again at LLL.

September 2015 saw me take up a position at Maternity Services Consumer Council (MSCC). At MSCC I learned more about the history of maternity care in NZ, the many issues that had occurred over the years, the issues that are still ongoing. I passionately believe that if we get “birth” right, we potentially avoid many issues that we see today, low breastfeeding rates, high depression rates, lack of bonding to name but a few.   Furthermore if a birthing environment provides better outcomes for mum and baby, this will have a direct effect on the job satisfaction experienced by staff, something that is very much missing for many today and is partly the reason why so many midwives are leaving their post.

It is frustrating that DHB’s continue to shout they practise “evidence based” when it is clear they are not! It seems they manage for the “abnormal” rather than the “normal”, as a result, women are increasingly expose to tests and procedures, the intervention rates are increasing year on year, very few women have the option available to birth in a “Primary Birthing Unit” (PBU, home away from home) as the DHBs are either closing them, not building them or not maintaining them to an acceptable level. For example, MSCC has been in talks with the WDHB for three decades now in regards a PBU for women out West Auckland and we are still waiting.

We owe it to women of childbearing age, their families, staff and the next generation to make a commitment to implementing changes for the benefit of all.

Holly Neilson

Holly Neilson

Consumer Representative

Tena Koutou, I am a mother of three and have represented Auckland Homebirth Community since 2017. I am also a Midwifery Standards Reviewer and have been since 2018. I have a huge passion for women’s health advocacy and making sure our consumers are well represented with true informed consent.

Emma Ryburn-Phengsavath Head shot - 2019

Emma Ryburn-Phengsavath

Consumer Representative

Hello, my name is Emma and I am a Committee member of Maternity Services Consumer Council. I have been with the organisation for 10 years. I have a passion for advocacy and believe that consumers have the right to the complete ‘picture’ to make an informed choice. It is important to have consumers in professional groups so that they are represented as the main constituents for care, and that policy is clearly written with their best interests at heart. The College of Midwives is a professional body with a heart, and I am thrilled to be included as a representative for consumers.


Lavinia McGee-Repia

Consumer Representative

Tena koutou katoa,
I te taha o toku matua tupuna
Ko Onekainga te maunga
Ko Wairahi te awa
Ko Whakapaumahara te whare tupuna
Ko Whanau whero te akitai ki Ngati Rehua te hapu
Ko Ngati Wai te iwi
I te taha o toku whaea tupuna
Ko Hirakimata te maunga tapu waenga nui,
Ko te Moananui o Toi Te Huatahi te moana,
Ko Rehua raua ko Te Rangituangahuru nga tupuna
Ko Tukaiaia; ko te Tuatara; ko te Mango-pare nga Kaitiaki
Ko Ngati Rehua te hapu
Ko Ngati Wai te iwi
I te taha o toku papa no Kotimana ia.
Ko Lavinia McGee-Repia ahau.

I have been blessed with seven children and 13 grandchildren.  As a mother and grandmother I feel that it is important to lead by example, my journey began in 2012 when I took up a wero and returned to full time study.  I felt that it was necessary for the betterment of my growing whanau.  I have since come through all my studies and I am now awaiting to graduate with my degree in Bachelor of Health Science (Standard Health Pathway).  Education is the key to success and through success many doors will be opened.  My journey in education has empowered me to become more self-reliant and it has helped to take care of the growing needs of my whanau. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to gain a higher education, I take pride in my work and operate on a high level of proficiency and integrity.  I look forward to working within the forum of Midwifery alongside other ethnicities.