Friday, October 9, 2009

Adelaide Conference: Australian College of Midwives 16th National Conference

It’s been a while since I last blogged, and why? that's easy to answer, too much to do and caught up with Facebook & Facebook games.. Yes unfortunately I am guilty of mindless games.... I do find it helps me relax... however it was taking up too much time. You know the old saying...."everything in moderation".. Well almost everything.

The Adelaide Conference "Midwives & Women: A brilliant Blend" was excellent. The good thing about attending conferences is not only hearing the keynote speakers, presenters and looking at the trade / exhibition displays but the social networking with like minded people. Other midwives you've read about, wanted to meet, old friends, acquaintances and conference junkies, the ones you see at every conference. It's great...... you get to meet other midwives, students and in fact each new city you go to you increase your chances of meeting complete strangers... and strike up new liaisons. What a great opportunity we have as midwives to increase our profiles. It was good to meet up with Sarah Stewart and Lisa Barrett whom I met initially blogging, now we meet also at conferences. The break times was an ideal time for networking over a coffee or tea. Meetings took place anywhere people could find a comfortable spot. The food over the four days was splendid, great choices and enough for everyone.

Highlights of the conference for me: Welcome reception - renew old acquaintances and meet new contacts: The opening- Welcome to Country was performed by three Aboriginal males... was superb: Pat Brodie outgoing National President of the ACM, together with Dr Barb Vernon Executive Office ACM, are always inspirational. Hon. Sandra Kanck former Parliamentary leader of the Democrats (SA) her tenacity in politics did well for women and midwives of SA, she was memorable. Cheryl Boles, Midwife, Anangu Bibi Birthing Program...again inspirational.

As with all programs when it comes to the concurrent sessions its hard to choose which one you want to go to...and often there are two at the same time you want to attend, its times like this you wish you were Hermione Granger from the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry - Harry Potter movies and had a time piece so you could alter the time to attend everything you wanted- ah life in the movies.

Several concurrent sessions spring to mind: Angela Kellock Midwife her presentation on waterbirth had a very catchy title; "Swim with the Sharks" brilliant how appropriate. Amber Janowicz, a brave mother, her story reduces you to tears, and makes you remember why you became a midwife. Hannah Dahlen midwife, Homebirth and the National Maternity Review: Too hot to handle? politically motivates you and makes you realise how far we have come and how far we have to go... no rest for the wicked. Finally Devon Plumbley Midwife sang "We Dreamed of You" a song written and composed by Devon when she was a student midwife. The song is about grief and loss, the journey of bereaved families’ experiences. Devon has a truly remarkable voice a very talented young woman. All the concurrent sessions I attended were of an excellent standard and memorable.

This conference was different for me because I achieved two personal goals; that was to present a concurrent session and do a poster presentation, of which I did both. I was extremely nervous for my presentation; the room was full, standing room only. There were friends, peers, strangers, all come to hear what I had to say - however all like minded people thirsting for information and the sharing of ideas. After the initial nervousness I went into full swing and pretended they were all my family, relaxed and gave my talk. I felt it went well and would do it again.

On Wednesday night I was fortunate to be invited to the Fellows Oration... anyone that knows me, knows that I like a bit of pomp and ceremony...I am a bit of a Royalist have been to the Garden Party at Buckingham Place, so I was delighted to be going to the Fellows Oration. My friend and colleague was being made a "Fellow" of the Australian College of Midwives... what an honour, not sure what you have to do when you are a Fellow, I am guessing more work for nothing. No I shouldn't say that it was tongue in cheek... it is for the profession of Midwifery. Anyway it was pomp and ceremony, champagne flowing. Chris Cornwell Vice President SA ACM gave a brilliant oration - now I am really going to show my ignorance by saying I didn't know what an oration was until then "a formal public speech - a sacred story" Chris did a magnificent job, I was truly inspired by it and in awe of her ability to present it so well.

It was a busy four days, however we did have a fantastic dinner on Thursday night at The Pavilion Adelaide Oval Function Centre.... it was a sea of purple, pink and blue, the food was fabulous the wine flowed freely, good company, relaxing, dancing a good time was had by all. There was many a tale to tell the next morning... and I was one of them... and that’s all I'm going to say on the subject... except to say! You never know when you are going to meet someone, who knows someone you know.... in a strange city. Remember there is only 6 degrees of separation.....

This duck posed for my picture!

This shop has the best chilli hot chocolate I've ever tasted...worth a try.

Next ACM Conference: 2011 NSW


Laura Jane said...

what a terrific summary of a very busy conference.

I'd like to add some photos to the ACM event page on FB...maybe I should just add the ones to our own site, although I'm not sure the public need to see a bunch of well....refreshed midwives padding up outside the Bradman stand at the Adelaide oval.

InfoMidwife said...

thanks Laura yes it was a busy conference... I will be doing a summary also for our ACM WA yes add whatever you think to that one as well.... it worth a laugh, midwives padding up outside Bradman stand with a bottle of champers...

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