Monday, 7 January 2013

The Five Year Plan

I always knew that I wanted to be a midwife. It seemed like the kind of job where I could look after people, not have to deal with sickness and also make a difference in people’s lives. Working with women and babies is the bonus. Well that is the short answer anyway. Most of my early years of work, higher education and travel revolved around becoming a midwife. I achieved my midwifery qualification in London in 1991 from St Mary's Hospital in Paddington before returning home to Australia in 1993 and I have worked in a large tertiary hospital ever since. 


Now that my son is of an age where he can (supposedly) be responsible for himself, it is my time to have another adventure.  I've been planning this adventure in one shape or form for the last five years. It's been through many permutations however, I've always wanted to work somewhere in the developing world, where I will have a cultural challenge and where just maybe, I can contribute in a positive way. Working with refugee women here in Australia has simply strengthened that goal. If anyone of you hasn't heard of the Millenium Developement Goals then reading more about that will give more insight into the why. I can't do much about numbers 1 and 8, I don't have much influence in number 2 but numbers 3, 4 and 5 are directly related to the work that I do, and number 6 is my other sphere of specialty - HIV in pregnant women - and number 7 is how I try to live the rest of my life. But, more about that later.


I was reading a fabulous book called Half the Sky which galvanised my thinking in many ways and also introduced me to Edna Adan Maternity Hospital in Somaliland. I could relate to her mission and was impressed with her dedication. I wrote and asked if I could work with her and 6 hours later she responded with a resounding yes. Now what to do? I had spent the last 9 years working in an antenatal clinics. I needed more experience in birth suites so late 2012 I moved out of my comfort zone and started working part time in our birth suites and part time continuing to care for pregnant women of a refugee background.


This blog is an attempt to share this journey with friends and family and work colleagues who may be interested, instead of splashing it all over facebook.  Stay tuned for more to come, it’ll be slow to start with, as I don’t leave until end of May. However, I will add occasionally before then.



"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours." -  Henry David Thoreau



  1. Oh wow Michelle, I'm so proud of you and can't wait to follow your journey.

  2. Thanks Sonia... it is with a mixture of excitement and trepidation... I'll definitely be outside by comfort zone... but that is part of the point.. how else does one learn???

  3. Wow what an adventure Michelle. Will certainly be following your journey and wish you all the best.

  4. All the best for your adventure. I've assisted with some very brief medical aid work in Africa and it's a real joy to work there and you feel like you're making a difference although you soon learn that sometimes they have far more to teach you than the other way around. Congratulations for having the courage to pack up and go.

  5. Sounds like an adventure indeed! And like any adventure, expect the unexpected - half the point really! I am so looking forward to "travelling" with you.