I drive half way to the Gold Coast (oh that sounds so dramatic! it is about an hours drive in the morning traffic..about half that home) to Griffith University's Logan Campus where I tutor an Indigenous Australian midwifery student. She is studying a Bachelor of Midwifery - which is an internationally recognised direct entry course leading to registration as a midwife (in about three years).
The university offers tutoring at no charge to all Indigenous students regardless of their degree. For me it is so worth it - more Indigenous midwives will go a long way to closing the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
Rates of perinatal mortality, preterm birth and low birth weight are two to three times greater among the babies of Indigenous women than among those of non-Indigenous women; low birth weight predisposes infants to greater risks of chronic illness in later life. Indigenous women in Australia tend to present for antenatal care later in pregnancy than do non-Indigenous women; reasons are many — geographical, social, cultural, financial and in some cases a lack of service provision. While good care cannot solve all medical and social problems, commencing such care as early as possible in pregnancy with care providers women feel safe with has been proven to improve maternal health and pregnancy outcomes.
So I offer a little, once a week and take my wee girl with me. I won't be able to continue next semester; she is nine months old in a couple of days and very, very mobile. She is not in the least content to be restrained in a sling or pram and while there are loads of very keen students to play with - they are not supposed to be playing!
The university has asked me to lecture and I have written some of the course content for their Bachelor of Midwifery which commenced this year but you know what...I have lost my passion a little, there is so much going on politically with Australian midwifery right now and it is so exhausting. I am content to just do my mothering...and even though i know it is not, it feels selfish to say it.
Anyway here is a link to a little video, that was made about this time last year..so much has been written and said since but I'm not sure all that much has actually changed. I'm in it 'with woman' - I had plenty of passion then!