Welcome from the Australian College of Midwives!

As President of the Australian College of Midwives, I am delighted to welcome you to the ACM 20th National Conference, which will be held in Adelaide from 30 October to 2 November 2017. 

The title of the conference is ‘Calling all Midwives: The truth is out there!’

The conference organising committee have selected this title as a challenge to all of us working in maternity services in Australia and globally to get what we know is the ‘truth’ into reality. There is now literally ‘bucket-loads’ of evidence about the benefits of midwifery care and midwife-led care for women and their babies. We know so much about what women tell us they want and need and that midwives are key to providing quality maternal and newborn care.

However, many of our services do not provide evidence-based care, many midwives are unable to work to their full scope to have job satisfaction and there is huge variation across the country in many processes and outcomes. What we don’t know is how to get evidence into practice – how to make ‘evidence-based practice’ just ‘usual practice’ and how to support women and midwives to have the best possible outcomes? So much we do know, yet so much still to work out.

This is what conferences like this are for. Let us come together, to explore new ways of thinking, to imagine new ways of doing, to unlearn less-than-good habits and relearn better and brighter ones and to support and be kind to one another. 
Midwifery conferences are always a lot of fun and I know this one will be no different. The team in Adelaide are well known for putting on excellent conferences – making the best use of the wonderful South Australian food, wine and entertainment. You will be not only enlightened and informed but also well fed (and there will probably be music and dancing somewhere over the three days). 

Come and join us – it will be a splendid few days to re-energise, rejoice in the wonderful profession of midwifery, to celebrate the past and the present and imagine the future together.

Professor Caroline Homer




Welcome to the 2017 ACM conference in beautiful Adelaide! It is my absolute pleasure to be the Chair of the 2017 conference committee and I hope many of you are able to attend what is bound to be a wonderful conference, full of South Australian enthusiasm.  This is our twentieth national ACM conference, and that alone is worth celebrating.  

The South Australian branch executive initially came up with the theme ‘Calling all midwives: the truth is out there!’ to invite all midwives to implement what we now know is best practice. We know that midwifery models and low-intervention practices work. We know that women want options in care and services that treat them as individuals, and that respect their autonomy and well being. We have all the research we need (though there is always room for more!) and the challenge is now to implement changes that will improve the maternity experience for women in all models of care.   

The sub-themes of the conference reflect several areas that we think are important.
Sub-theme 1 ‘Protecting the space’: Indigenous maternity issues should be front and centre in Australian midwifery. We therefore want to dedicate a conference theme to this, and also other ways of knowing, such as historical, spiritual or personal accounts of birth. 
Sub-theme 2 ‘Practices out there’: While many conferences are by nature research heavy, we want to celebrate the innovations (large or small) of midwifery practice, so if you think you have something to say about what you are doing, submit an abstract! This is also about collaborative models that are working well and research translation or implementation. 
Sub-theme 3 ‘Extending the boundaries’: What are you doing to ‘extend the boundaries’ of midwifery? How are we supporting our future movers and shakers of the midwifery world? What research is cutting edge in Australia right now?  How will Australian midwifery look in ten and twenty years time, and what are we doing to push the profession forward?

You might want to tack on a weekend in vineyard country or check out our funky urban arts and café scene. Regardless, there will be plenty on the conference social calendar, not the least of which will be the 80s-inspired conference dinner.

The conference committee is working hard behind the scenes to bring you a fantastic conference and an opportunity to network and meet friends both old and new from across the country.

I extend a warm welcome to you all, and in particular I would like to encourage those thinking about attending their first ACM conference – come, meet (and perhaps have a dance with) leaders and innovators in the field, be inspired and refill your cup.

Paula Medway