A Southern Cross University midwifery student has been awarded an International Women’s Day Scholarship that will allow her to attend an annual women’s culture camp in Uluru focusing on improving health outcomes for women living in outback Australia.
Undergraduate midwifery student Georgina Swift, who at aged 32 sold her design business in Sydney to study to become a midwife in the hope of making a difference in the lives of women through healthcare, said the scholarship confirms she’s on the right track.
“I’ve always wanted to work with women and during a separate trip to the Australian outback I was able to spend time in an Indigenous community where my sister lives and works near Alice Springs and found the disparity I saw in women’s health there confronting,” Georgina explains.
“In the future I would like to work in outback Australia to help ensure all women can have access to continuity of care and can have positive birthing experiences because it’s something that not only affects the women but also their children and families.”
With the $2,500 scholarship prize, awarded for high academic success and personal achievement, Georgina will attend the women’s camp in Uluru, which focuses on integrating Indigenous and non-Indigenous culture and aims to improve health outcomes for women in outback Australia.”
“I’ll be learning from Indigenous elders, gaining a direct insight into their law and culture, impacting the way I can deliver culturally-safe care in the future.”
Georgina has supported 20 births during her Bachelor of Midwifery degree and also spent time volunteering with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME), where university students mentor Indigenous high school students to help them achieve educational goals such as completing high school or attending university.
Georgina says International Women’s Day, which in 2020 is running under the theme #EachforEqual and promoting a gender equal world, presents a great opportunity to celebrate women globally.
Her own inspiration for pursuing midwifery was Ina May Gaskin, who forged a path in the profession to raise awareness around spiritual and psychological childbirth, and is the only woman to have an obstetric manoeuvre named after her, the Gaskin manoeuvre.
“International Women’s Day is a great day to celebrate women’s empowerment and to recognise what women give to humanity as mothers and creators. Celebrating the courageous women who have walked before us and those who inspire the future generations of women.”