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ECU midwives on the march

Monday, 23 May 2011

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ECU midwifery staff and students are hitting the streets of Joondalup, completing a five kilometre walk through the town centre to raise money for, and awareness of, the important role of midwives.

This local event is part the global celebrations to mark International Day of the Midwife on Thursday, 5 May 2011, which will see more than 250,000 midwifes in more than 88 countries organising their own five kilometre walks around the world.

More than 50 ECU midwifery students are expected to take part, accompanied by mothers and their babies, whom the students have supported as part of their studies.

The group will set off from Joondalup Campus' midwifery classroom at 9.30am and walk past Council House, into Lakeside Shopping Centre and through the West Coast Institute of Training.

They will return to campus for lunch and to hear from guest speaker Brooke Jones, who will share her recent experiences as a volunteer midwife in Sierra Leone.

ECU Midwifery Lecturer from the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Postgraduate Medicine, Ms Carol Pinch said midwifes make a significant contribution in ensuring the health of mothers and their babies, particularly in developing countries.

"The World Health Organisation estimates we need an additional 350,000 midwives globally. By embarking on a five kilometre walk through Joondalup we aim to raise awareness of this target, to inspire people to consider a career as a midwife and to raise funds for the International Confederation of Midwives."

ECU student Liesl Baxter will take part in the five kilometre walk. After running a small business for several years, Ms Baxter completed a Bachelor of Science (Nursing) and is currently studying the Postgraduate Diploma in Midwifery.

"By participating in this walk I aim to raise awareness of natural childbirth and the midwife's role in that. In our studies we're learning that midwives can really help mothers explore the diverse choices they have in childbirth and to support their informed self-determination."

Staff and students will be accepting donations during the walk, with all proceeds going to the International Confederation of Midwifes campaign to improve maternal mortality.

For more information on ECU courses visit www.reachyourpotential.com.au.

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