Friday, September 4, 2009

Families converge on Canberra


Some are setting out today or tomorrow or Sunday to travel in their cars.

Some are flying in on Monday morning.

They are going to the MOTHER OF ALL RALLIES, Monday 7th September 2009, at 11:30 am, outside Parliament House.

They are protesting, as forcefully and publicly as they are able.


A few of the related events are:

Sunday 6th September, 2009, 6:00 –

Australian Private Midwives Association Dinner

Zeffirelli Pizza

15 Franklin St, Manuka

Monday 7th September, 2009, 10:45 -

Pre Rally Welcome

Aboriginal tent Embassy

Queen Victoria Terrance (In front of old Parliament House)

Monday 7th September, 2009, 11:30


Outside Parliament House

Monday, 7th September 2009, After the rally

Lunch for Australian Private Midwives Association

Monday, 7th September, 2009 - 6:30 - 7.30

Birth Rites Documentary Screening

Parliament House Canberra, Theatrette

The following press release is from Materntiy Coalition

Women United To Save Homebirth at Mother of All Rallies in Canberra.

Maternity Coalition members from across Australia will join thousands of others as they unite in the call for every woman to have every choice in pregnancy and birth.

The Mother of All Rallies, on Monday 7 September is in response to the limited terms of professional indemnity insurance currently on the table for midwives in private practice, which will effectively ban homebirth with a registered midwife come July 2010.

Maternity Coalition has highlighted the inequity of insurance being unavailable to midwives since 2001. Now, an indemnity solution is urgently required before the National Registration legislation takes effect next year.

Maternity Coalition's Victorian President, mother and midwife Janie Nottingham, who led Maternity Coalition’s Drive for Maternity Reform to Parliament House in 2007, will return to Canberra for Monday’s rally. “Appropriately qualified registered midwives have the skill to safely provide maternity care. Lack of indemnity for these professionals has the potential to harm mothers and babies, as the only option left to women in many areas wanting to birth outside an institutionalised setting is freebirth,” she said.

Maternity Coalition Northern Territory spokesperson Kylie Sheffield, who will make her way from Darwin to participate in the event said, "Existing state-run homebirth services in the NT are inadequate. We need to have private practice midwifery re-instated to make this an accessible choice for women and families throughout the Territory."

Maternity Coalition Queensland's spokesperson Joanne Smethurst from Brisbane, travelling to Canberra with her husband and joined by her aunty and sister, said, "The Australian Government must solve the insurance dilemma to ensure women can access registered midwives for birth in the setting of their choice. The option of homebirth with a private practice midwife must be indemnified and funded. Queensland has no state-supported homebirth programs – we rely on our private practice midwives to provide this valuable care to Queensland's expectant mothers."

Sarah Kerr, National Secretary on the road to Canberra from Townsville with her four young sons said, “To solve this problem the Federal Government needs to broaden the definitions for indemnity to include homebirth and birth on country for our indigenous mothers and babies in addition to hospital birth.”

Maternity Coalition’s National President and Wollongong mother of four, Lisa Metcalfe said, “The Federal Government must not leave women and babies without care from a registered midwife if they choose to birth outside a hospital setting. Bureaucratic oversight should not dictate women's choice. Until this problem is resolved, we are concerned that the biggest changes to maternity care we’ve seen in a century – providing midwives with access to Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme – will not be effective.”

For further information about the Mother of All Rallies see Homebirth Australia’s website

Media contacts:

Maternity Coalition National President Lisa Metcalfe, Phone: 02 4268 1675 or 0437 577 576

Lisa Metcalfe
NSW President

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