Issue 10
Monday, 03 July 2017
Charles Darwin University
Midwifery graduate Elizabeth Hughes
Midwifery graduate Elizabeth Hughes

Patience pays off for passionate midwife

By Patrick Nelson

It may have taken a while, but Elizabeth Hughes eventually found a way to realise her life-long ambition of becoming a qualified midwife.

“For me, this midwifery degree is a natural extension of my life and who I am,” the mother-of-seven and grandmother-to-four said in the Student Response at Charles Darwin University’s mid-year graduation ceremony in Alice Springs.

“As a child I always wanted to be a nurse and to look after babies. In my little girl’s eyes nurses were nurturers, carers, givers, lovers of people and life and these are the things that I’ve always been passionate about.”

But Mrs Hughes didn’t get an opportunity to study nursing as a young person and when her family came along she considered her career was to be a wife and mother.

“I was in my 40s before the time was right to begin studying for a diploma of nursing. That enabled me to work as an Enrolled Nurse, which I absolutely loved. It also fuelled my desire to undertake further studies.”

In 2013 Mrs Hughes received a scholarship through the Australian College of Nursing to study Midwifery, which prompted her to look for a university that offered distant education.

“I was very impressed with the program offered by CDU. They stated that midwife meant ‘with woman’ and that midwifery was founded on respect for women and on a strong belief in the value of women’s work of bearing and rearing the next generation.

“Not only did this philosophy reflect my own, but the program they offered suited my needs, so I started full-time study in 2014.

“After three years of full-time study and having followed 20 women through their pregnancies and births, I stand here having received my Midwifery degree.

“I have the education and knowledge to work in the amazing, specialised profession I love.”

Mrs Hughes’ next destination is regional Western Australia, where she has accepted a post-graduate midwife’s position at the Kalgoorlie Base Hospital.

“Passion describes the feelings I have about being a midwife,” she said.