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Rachel Smith

Board of Trustees

I have worked in maternity services since 1990 and have been a midwife since 1995. Throughout this time I have worked in New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and Australia. I have worked in a variety of positions within midwifery and these include as a core midwife; caseload and team midwife; a clinical midwifery educator; a midwifery academic; a training and support midwife; midwifery educator; and, project manager for a variety of midwifery related projects.

During my time as a midwifery academic, I had the opportunity to work closely with a number of Aboriginal midwifery students as they entered into a career in midwifery. Through this work and more recently, through work as a tutor through the Aboriginal Tutorial Assistance Scheme (ITAS) I have come to understand some of the enablers and challenges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students face as they complete their studies.

I feel lucky to have been given the opportunity to work with, learn from and assist where possible, Aboriginal women in their journey to becoming midwives. I truly believe, that as a society, if we are serious about ‘closing the gap’ and improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, then a great place to start is ensuring appropriately trained health professionals are available to provide culturally acceptable care. Supporting and growing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander midwifery workforce is one strategy that will make a difference. Therefore, I am proud and excited to be given the opportunity to be a part of the Rhodanthe Lipsett Indigenous Midwifery Charitable Fund Inaugural Board.

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