Your Committee

Sarah-Ballard-2

Sarah Ballard

Chair

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.

Linda Burke (2)

Linda Burke

Chair

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.

Vinaka,
Linda Burke

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

Treasurer

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-081

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

Tammy Jowsey

Midwife Representative

I am a current NZCOM member, who is employed at WDHB as an Associate Clinical Charge Midwife. I am in the middle of postgraduate study at AUT doing my Dip in Midwifery. I have a small LMC caseload based at Hauraki Midwifery Group in Northcote who are like minded midwives, interested in providing physiological support for pregnancy birth and the postpartum.

I have been a MFYP mentor to five new graduate midwives in the past five 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

Sarah Nicholson

Midwife Representative

Since qualifying in 2002 I have been working as a midwife in South Auckland. I have predominantly worked as a community LMC midwife. I have recently had a change in career and now I am employed by Counties Manukau DHB as the Deputy Chief Midwife. In 2014 I completed the MHPrac (Midwifery) qualification via AUT. I live in rural South Auckland with my wife and two children. I am passionate about midwifery and I feel privileged to contribute to our profession as an Auckland regional NZCOM committee member.

Robin Cronin

Robin Cronin

Midwife Representative

Hi, I’m Robin Cronin and I work as a midwife for Counties Manukau and AUT. My midwifery career has been on the front-line of clinical practice, providing the full scope of care, from home birthing as an LMC, to core midwifery in large maternity units. I’ve been involved in NZCOM since signing up as a foundation member in 1989 and have enjoyed many different NZCOM roles. I’m currently privileged to provide a midwifery voice on the PMMRC, Neonatal Encephalopathy Working Group, ACC Perineal Tear Working Group, and on international stillbirth groups. I’m deeply grateful to the midwives who so kindly contributed to my Master of Midwifery perineal care survey and PhD stillbirth research that is helping to make a positive difference to women we care for. In addition, I’m fortunate to be part of the AUT midwifery team working with our fabulous future midwives. My belief in the importance and value of midwifery is as strong now as it has ever been.

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.

Gail McIver

Gail McIver

Midwife Representative

I’m Gail McIver and are the Midwife Manager of Birthing and Assessment at Middlemore Hospital.

I have been a midwife and a member of the NZ College of Midwives since 1994.  I started my nursing and midwifery career in Taranaki and worked both as a core and LMC midwife in New Plymouth before moving to Auckland in 1997, where I have since worked as a hospital midwife in Counties.

I am standing for the Auckland Region NZCOM committee member as I would like to be part of our regional professional body. I bring with me experience in core clinical work across the scope of practise and management.  I have been a past committee member of the PMMRC and the Neonatal Encephalopathy working group.  My fundamental drive is to see woman receive quality and equity of care and to strive to ensure that midwives have a leading voice in delivery of midwifery care, clinically, professionally and politically.

I would like to offer my midwifery passion, knowledge and experience to the Auckland Regional College of Midwives to be part of the 2020 committee.

Jamie Smith

Jamie Smith

Midwife Representative

Since becoming a Registered Midwife in 2018, I have practised as a community LMC midwife in Counties Manukau DHB. My passion in midwifery is continuity of care with women and I support this through providing care to women birthing in both primary and secondary birthing settings. I have recently enjoyed supporting first year midwifery students as they familiarise themselves with clinical placements. To further my career, I am currently exploring my options in midwifery research and starting the pathway to a postgraduate qualification.
Prior to midwifery I was a qualified childbirth educator, I contracted to Parents Centre’s Auckland wide. I enjoyed working with my local Parents Centre, as a member of their committee I was able to establish opportunities for course development and consumer events. I still assist annually with the local ‘Big Latch On’ breastfeeding event. My background as a childbirth educator and my new career as an LMC midwife forms a foundation which links both our midwifery priorities and an understanding of the consumer voice.
I moved from the Waikato region to South Auckland with my husband and our two boys prior to my Midwifery studies where we have loved exploring all the mountain bike tracks Auckland has to offer.
I have fresh energy and passion for midwifery and would value the opportunity to add my voice to the NZCOM Auckland committee.

Victoria Christian

Victoria Christian

MERAS Representative

My name is Victoria Christian.  I have been a midwife for 6 years, graduating from AUT in 2014.  Throughout my career I have worked in primary, secondary, and tertiary settings.  I have been a  MERAS workplace representative at North Shore hospital and now at Auckland DHB. I am also the Auckland DHB MERAS representative on the MERAS National Representative Council.

My work with MERAS has given me the opportunity to be part of the DHB midwives pay equity interview team, participate in workplace reviews relating to Model of Care, organise rallies during the 2018/2019 strikes, and be a voice for my colleagues where needed.  My experiences have given me a balanced view of the challenges employed midwives regularly face.

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.

Cath Copley

Cath Copley

Student Representative

I am Cath Copley, a mature 3rd-year midwifery student at AUT. I am a mother of two girls (birth age 16 and one foster age 6). Previous to changing to midwifery I had a career in marketing and not for profit management which ultimately wasn’t floating my boat. After a year of soul searching, I chose to follow a passion for midwifery that I had wanted to do when I first left school at 18 but didn’t think I was mature enough for the responsibility. I find it such privilege to be a part of a woman’s pregnancy and birth and I have a passion for supporting women in a non-judgmental way through safe, informed choice and evidence-based practice. In today’s society, there is a lot of pressure on pregnant women and mothers to be “perfect” and I want to work with them to debunk the myth and allow themselves and their whanau to enjoy their own pregnancy and birth journey whatever that looks like.

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

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.