11h 15m CPDConference

Midwifery and Diversity - A Transcultural Approach Conference

2-Day Conference for Midwives

Midwifery and Diversity - A Transcultural Approach Conference - Melbourne 2019


2 - 3 Dec 2019
Oaks on Market,
60 Market St

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Why Attend

Australia is a culturally diverse country. With different cultures come different cultural traditions, including those surrounding pregnancy and childbirth. Attend this conference and learn about…

  • What culturally appropriate midwifery care is actually about
  • How to determine if an interpreter is needed during a consultation
  • Supporting midwives from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • Understanding your patient’s birth practices
  • Midwifery in refugee populations and much more…

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Day One

8:30 Registration for Day One

Karyn Smith

Multicultural Midwifery

Childbirth is a joyous and at times stressful occasion for an expectant mother, especially if she comes from a migrant background. With the rise of migrant midwives, these women may be receiving care from a midwife who is from the same background as them, potentially increasing the comfort and security felt by the expectant mother. This session will discuss:

  • Why is it beneficial to have midwives from different cultures and religions?
  • How can midwives correctly document care that was provided in another language?
  • What is unintentional discrimination, and what can we do to combat it?
10:00 Morning Tea

Karyn Smith

Family Matters

In many cultures, the opinion of the family is important, and this includes opinions on medical care. This session will focus on:

  • Why is it important to bring the patient’s family into the conversation?
  • Why do we need to understand that in some cultures the husband or another family member will speak on behalf of the pregnant/postnatal mother?
  • What can we do if the family doesn’t agree with having the pregnant/postnatal mother being cared for by a healthcare professional who is of the opposite sex?
  • How can we come to a middle ground when the family and the healthcare worker disagree on treatment?
Kym Davey

Culturally Responsive Care

When providing care to a woman from a different culture, linguistic, or religious background, it is easy to second guess yourself. This session will explore the concept of culturally responsive care and discuss:

  • What is culturally responsive care?
  • Why is it important to know the woman’s cultural, linguistic, and religious background?
  • What are the challenges faced by midwives who provide care to women from a different cultural, linguistic, and religious background?
  • Why is it important to consider the woman’s cultural birth practices in their care, and what can we do if a birth practice is difficult to include in a care setting?
  • Why is communication key, and what can you do in a situation of language discordance?
12:30 Lunch and Networking

Karyn Smith

Postnatal Depression in CALD Populations

Postnatal depression affects women from all walks of life, and this includes women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) populations. This session will explore the following:

  • Why is a diagnosis of postnatal depression less understood in some populations?
  • How can we support a mother with a diagnosis of PND from a CALD background?
  • Is it possible for men to also experience PND?
Fadia Isaac

A Vow of Silence: Domestic Violence in Migrant Populations

Domestic violence is a pervasive issue that affects a significant group of women worldwide. When a woman is pregnant, domestic violence can have a profound impact on both the mother and the developing baby. As a midwife, if you suspect domestic violence is occurring to a woman in your care then what is your role and responsibility? This session looks at the complex nature of domestic violence and the professional response of midwifery. It includes:

  • What are the possible signs of domestic violence?
  • What is a “forensic injury”, and how can we properly identify and document them?
  • How can you broach the topic with a pregnant woman who may be in a domestic violence situation?
  • What steps should you take if you suspect it is occurring?
  • What resources exist for assist women in such circumstances?
  • Why are some populations less likely to report domestic violence?
  • What is reproductive coercion, and why is it considered a form of domestic violence?
3:15 Afternoon Tea

Jill Green

Safe Sleeping: Making Co-Sleeping Safer

Co-sleeping is a common practice in many cultures, but it may also increase the risk of sudden unexpected deaths in infancy (SUDI). This session will discuss methods to make co-sleeping a safer experience for both the baby and their parents and includes the following topics:

  • How does co-sleeping increase the risk of SUDI?
  • What are the methods currently available to make co-sleeping safer?
  • Is it better to not co-sleep at all?
4:30 Close of Day One of Conference

Day Two

9:00 Commencement of Day Two

Suzanne Willey

Working with Refugee Populations

Refugees have been through so much. As midwives, it is part of our job to provide culturally safe care to pregnant women from refugee populations. This session includes:

  • What are the challenges faced by pregnant women from refugee populations?
  • Why is trauma-informed care especially important in refugee populations?
  • How can we help create an inclusive environment for women and families of refugee backgrounds?

Indigenous Birth Rituals

Indigenous cultures are rich and colourful, and this includes their birth rituals. This session explores the different birth rituals of Australia’s indigenous populations, and will discuss:

  • What are the most common birth rituals in indigenous populations?
  • How can healthcare professionals support their indigenous patients with these rituals?
  • Is it possible to practice these rituals despite not being on country?
10:45 Morning Tea


Birthing on Country

Indigenous women often have to deliver their children far from home because there are no birthing facilities for them on country, and this may lead to adverse events for both the mother and the child. This session will discuss a concept that started in Canada for indigenous populations, linked to good health outcomes. It includes:

  • What is the Inuulitsivik Midwifery Service, and why is it a good model for birthing on country?
  • Why is it good for Indigenous women to have an Indigenous midwife?
  • What are birthing centres, and how can these be beneficial for indigenous populations?
12:15 Lunch and Networking


Supporting Your Multicultural Patients through Grief and Loss

The birth of a baby is a joyous occasion in any culture, but what if the parents experience a stillbirth or infant death? This session will look at the unfortunate reality for some parents and the cultural considerations surrounding these instances. It includes:

  • How can we support multicultural patients through grief and loss?
  • What are some examples of rituals surrounding grief and loss in other cultures?
  • Are there any resources that midwives can access to help support their patients?
Boipelo Besele & Medina Idriess

Female Circumcision

Female circumcision, commonly referred to as female genital mutilation (FGM), is a reality for around 53,000 women living in Australia. This practice carries with it the chances of infertility, prolonged and obstructed labour, and, in some cases, infant death. This session will look at:

  • What is female circumcision/female genital mutilation (FGM)?
  • Why is it important for us to ascertain if our patients have gone through FGM?
  • Are there any treatments available for women in order to treat the adverse results and effects of FGM?
3:15 Afternoon Tea

Jasmin Chen

Family Planning in CALD Communities

Some midwives also play a role in their patient’s family planning; however, this can be more difficult in some CALD and religious communities. This session will discuss:

  • How can we respectfully discuss the topic of family planning and contraception with women from CALD and religious communities?
  • Why are some women from CALD and religious communities less likely to access family planning services and contraception?
  • What are the options available for women who cannot use standard birth control due to cultural or religious reasons?
4:30 Close of Conference and Evaluations

The Goal

Need for Program

According to the 2016 census, nearly half of all Australians were born overseas or had at least one parent born overseas. It is the role of healthcare professionals to provide care that respects different cultures and beliefs.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this conference is to provide key updates on how midwives can provide culturally appropriate care to improve patient health outcomes.

Your learning outcomes:

Recognise the importance of culturally appropriate care
Provide compassionate care to a woman with a culturally diverse background during the perinatal experience
Underpin patient outcomes with evidence-based practice, recognised standards, and guidelines that are culturally sensitive
Optimise interprofessional collaboration to enhance mother and baby outcomes


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Medina Idriess

Medina Idriess was a teacher in her homeland, Eritrea, and has always aimed to empower women to make... Read More

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Fadia Isaac

Fadia is a registered Clinical Psychologist. She is also the principal consultant at The Centre For ... Read More

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Kym Davey

Kym Davey brings 35 years experience as a Paediatric Nurse and Midwife. She currently works as a Lec... Read More

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Jasmin Chen

Jasmin Chen is currently the Research, Advocacy and Policy Manager at Multicultural Centre for Women... Read More

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Suzanne Willey

Suzanne Willey is currently a Maternal and Child Heath Nurse, is a member of the Refugee Health Rese... Read More

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Boipelo Besele

Boipelo Besele is the Senior Project Officer for the National Education Toolkit for Female Genital M... Read More

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To Be Determined

... Read More

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Jill Green

Jill Green is a principal in Soteria Safe Sleeping Advice, established in 2017 to offer all caregive... Read More

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Karyn Smith

Karyn Smith is a midwife working in Women’s Health in a regional Victorian city as well as an outrea... Read More


2 - 3 Dec 2019


Oaks on Market
60 Market St
Melbourne VIC,3000


$740.00 (two days)
Book Online Now  

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