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Karel Williams is an Aboriginal midwife based in Canberra, with family connections to the Palawa and Western Arrernte Nations. She is currently an owner and the Executive Director of Burbangana Group, a 100% Aboriginal owned consulting company.
Karel completed her Bachelor of Midwifery through the University of Canberra (UC) in 2014. At her graduation ceremony Karel was the inaugural recipient of the university’s Tom Calma Medal. She commenced her graduate year in the Birth Centre at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children and was the first new graduate to do so. Karel was a Board member of CATSINaM and represented it on the working group that revised the Code of Conduct for Midwives, successfully advocating for the inclusion of cultural safety. She was also CATSINaM’s representative on the National Birthing on Country Strategic Committee convened by the ACM.
Prior to becoming a midwife, Karel had a long career in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy and program areas in the Australian Public Service. During this time, she participated in a 12-month Executive Exchange program with the then Department of Indian and Northern Affairs in Canada.
Karel has taught and been a guest lecturer in courses related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues, including health, at UC and the Australian Catholic University in Canberra, and has researched and published on racism as a determinant of health.
Karel is a strong advocate for culturally safe practice and for Birthing on Country models of care. In 2019, she received a Distinguished Alumni Award for Excellence in Health from the University of Canberra.
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