2024 Excellence in Midwifery

Fiona Watson – Rockingham Peel Group, South Metropolitan Health Service

Fiona actively demonstrates excellence as a Registered Midwife at Rockingham General Hospital where her passion lies with vulnerable women, especially those who have experienced perinatal loss. She displays empathy and passion in all aspects of role towards women and staff alike, providing support to students, novice midwives and senior staff. She ensures evidence based information underpins policy and practice when delivering woman-centred care with her expertise extending to other departments to promote education on the care of women and families who experience perinatal loss. When in the role of Staff Development Midwife, Fiona has developed many collaborative partnerships to deliver education to all levels of staff. Identifying a gap in maternity services around perinatal loss, she promoted the idea of memory boxes and through Miracle Babies Foundation, introduced these into the service. Alongside this, she collaborated with Heartfelt Photographers, to provide their voluntary photography service to give the gift of photographic memories to families who have experienced stillbirth, and Angel Gowns to provide garments for their infant which are donated to families. Fiona is committed to making a difference to the women and families in the maternity unit, and to the community.

Myra Kildunne – King Edward Memorial Hospital, North Metropolitan Health Service

Myra is a Clinical Midwifery Consultant for the Breastfeeding Centre of Western Australia and is responsible for the day-to-day coordination of the Centre, triaging resources, and gathering and the disseminating up to date breastfeeding knowledge. For many years she has been a fierce advocate for women and babies in the field of breastfeeding and is instrumental in the education of clinical staff on breastfeeding topics and training. COVID led to Myra leading a huge shift to virtual education, leading her staff to produce several educational videos featuring real mother-infant dyads and staff working through a range of common breastfeeding challenges, allowing a greater outreach to women state-wide. Myra is committed to supporting midwives in advancing their own skills and knowledge to provide evidence-base, woman centred breastfeeding and neonatal feeding care. Her future goal is to have a midwife run mastitis clinic where women can attend from diagnosis to prescription and management by midwives. Under Myra’s innovative and enthusiastic leadership, the Breastfeeding Centre provides highly specialised care to help women achieve their feeding goals by a team of midwives who share her enthusiasm. In 2023, she spearheaded WNHS re-accreditation as a Breastfeeding Hospital Initiative (BFHI) health service to create a health care environment where breastfeeding is the norm with evidence demonstrating women who birth in a BFHI facility are more likely to initiate and continue breastfeeding.

Jessica Priest – Karratha Health Campus, WA Country Health Service

Jessica is a Clinical Midwifery Manager at Karratha Health Campus overseeing 6 inpatient beds, 2 birth suites, antenatal, postnatal and birth care of approximately 320 women in the Pilbara. She also oversees the community midwife role which provides outreach services to Onslow and Roebourne. As a passionate, knowledgeable, and clinically experienced midwife, she is committed to advancing the profession for herself, her colleagues and her patients taking on the role of Neonatal Resus Instructor for WACHS. Identifying a gap in Neonatal Resus, she has been proactive in leading teaching sessions for non-midwives at Karratha Health Campus to improve their confidence and skills in an emergency. Jess always leads by example and is the first to pick up on-call shifts to support her team, regularly working clinically to ensure safe cover. She is a positive influence for her department and the wider community being solution focused to ensure a positive workplace culture, inclusive of agency, students, admin, and medical colleagues. Jess is passionate about improving women’s health, and every decision she makes is centred around improving the experiences and outcomes for both her women and her staff. Noticing a gap in the community midwife service, she redesigned this, reimplementing the Visiting Midwife Service to ensure all women received appropriate post-natal care in the community setting. This has resulted in an increased patient satisfaction and improved patient care. Jess’ passion to commence a MGP service model at Karratha Health Campus will come to fruition in March 2024 when a trial period will commence. This model has progressed due to her diligence, hard work, perseverance, and dedication to provide quality care to the Karratha community aimed at improving Maternal and Neonatal health outcomes.