Global Grant was a huge success in sending 15 midwives from remote areas of the Pacific for leadership skills training Canberra
This is the third year we have had midwives from the Pacific Islands attend this programme held between the 10th and 25th November at Canberra University in partnership with the Australian College of Midwives. In 2017, we brought together 15 professional Midwives from Fiji (7), Samoa (2) Cook Islands (2) Tonga (2) and Kiribati (2).
We have been fortunate to have the services of a very competent Team Leader Claire Eyes aka “Mamma Claire”. The midwives gratefully acknowledge the work and support by Claire and many friendships have been formed over the 3-year programme. Claire’s leadership and input is appreciated and has been key to the success of the programme.
The objective of the programme is to deliver Leadership Skills to the participants. The course content has been designed to facilitate personal and professional development, and to enable them to pass on their leadership knowledge to their colleagues. Each participant is assigned a mentor and they return home with projects to complete with the guidance of the mentor. A follow-up evaluation takes place and is included in the final report.
We do not always fully understand that for some of the midwives selected for this programme, this is their first experience of travel away from their Island, and to meet with other midwives to learn the fundamentals of leadership is huge, and they are truly grateful for the opportunity both profes-sionally and personally. Claire’s remarks are that you can see them “grow” even over the period of the two weeks in Canberra.
Communication continues to be difficult for some of the midwives and mentors as access to broadband whilst it is improving, remains difficult for those in outer islands and they have to rely on cell phone coverage to receive emails; although Facebook seems a medium of choice for some.
Various Clubs of District 9920 have generously donated or made contributions to enable each midwife to take home a “doppler”. This is the device for listening to the heart beat of the unborn baby. For many of the Pacific Midwives they still use the old methods as the Doppler is “new” and not available to them as not a priority for their health system.
Mary Taylor, Co-ordinator VTT Team – GG 1758139.