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Global perspectives on midwifery

College of Nursing & Midwifery

Strong midwifery discipline and a commitment to two-way learning were at the heart of a four-day tour of health facilities in Indonesia recently.

For three CDU College of Nursing and Midwifery staff, it was the culmination of many years of relationship-building with schools of midwifery, orphanages, birthing centres, public health clinics and private health clinics in Bali.

Angela Bull, Senior Lecturer and Course Coordinator in Midwifery, Mpho Dube, Lecturer in Midwifery, and Dr Sadie Geraghty, Director of Clinical Education, visited 11 organisations. They aimed to lock in arrangements for the 2019 Global Perspectives placement and to plan a joint research project to be conducted at the same time.

Every year, a two-week clinical placement in Bali is offered to Bachelor of Midwifery students as part of their Global Perspectives unit. Since 2015 Midwifery staff have been travelling to Bali, developing relationships with Indonesian health services. In 2017 they raised funding to bring key partners to Darwin.

“Since 2015, 25 students have benefitted from our strong ties in Bali,” said Angela Bull, Senior Lecturer and Course Coordinator in Midwifery. “This year, the focus will be peer-based learning. CDU students will be placed with Indonesian students, allowing for a more open and relaxed exchange, increased two-way sharing and rich learning opportunities.”

As part of their placement, students will experience Indonesian midwifery practices across a range of facilities, from primary to tertiary, starting with the Taman Permata Hati orphanage in Ubud. They will also spend one week immersed 24/7 in the life of an Indonesian midwife, supporting mothers and babies from pregnancy to five-years old.

“This will help students understand the girl-child perspective that will impact on a woman’s decisions throughout her life,” said Mpho Dube, Lecturer in Midwifery. “Students will learn about the complex issues that women face in Indonesia across the whole continuum.” Led by Mrs Dube, the joint research project will explore the shared learning experiences of Australian and Balinese midwifery students and educators during the two-week placement. With 11 researchers from Politeknik Kesehatan Kartini Bali, Politeknik Kesehatan Denpasar and CDU, the visitors had a lot to discuss.

“We had a four-hour meeting where we mapped out every little detail,” said Mrs Dube. “Face-to-face planning was vital.”

The research project is titled ‘Shared learning on an international placement promoting symbiotic midwifery practice knowledge: The voices of students and educators’. The study aims to identify ways to improve shared learning between students from resource advantaged and resource constrained countries.