Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My new job: professional development officer for the Australian College of Midwives

Those of you who follow my blog may vaguely remember me saying back in August that I was moving to Canberra to take up my new role as professional development officer at the Australian College of Midwives. I have hardly said a word about my new job since because a. I have been far too busy settling into the job and getting my head around what I am supposed to be doing, and b. I have been thinking how I can continue to blog my personal opinion without compromising my professional position.....am still thinking about that one.

I am loving my new job. It is very busy and varied, and whilst I feel like I am struggling to keep up some times, I will never be able to complain of boredom. Midwifery is on the cusp of  amazing changes in Australia, and I am delighted to be part of it.

I do all sorts of things from posting links up on our Facebook page to supporting the development of position statements. My main jobs at the moment are:
  • supporting private practicing midwives;
  • supporting and developing the Australian Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative;
  • supporting our application to become a registered training organisation;
  • developing midwives' use of telehealth; 
  • supporting projects such as the up and coming education summit in February 2013, and the ACM structural review.
My hopes for the future
My goals for the next couple of years are:
  • to increase transparency and communication and collaboration amongst members of the College and the wider midwifery community;
  • to explore ways that we can support each other so that we are one integrated group of midwives, who work together to promote midwifery, as opposed to breaking off into fragmented groups;
  • to work out how I can continue to use social media in my new position;
  • and, to work out how to integrate my interests in education and research into my job. 
If you're an Australian midwife, what are your hopes for the midwifery profession over the next couple of years?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Getting settled in Canberra

I have just realised it has been about a month since I wrote a blog post, which is virtually unheard of since I started blogging back in 2007. The main reason for this is because I have been very busy settling into my new home and job in Canberra, Australia. So I have promised myself that I am going to catch you all up with my news, and develop a new routine that helps me get my blogging mojo back again.

No one wants to move to Canberra!
I must admit, when I first got my new job, I was a little concerned about moving to Canberra. Everyone I spoke to, especially Australians, said......"Why on earth do you want to move there! Nothing happens in Canberra...it's the most boring place in Australia". I have to say that I have been very pleasantly surprised now that I have started to settle here....Canberra has much more going for it than you would think.

Initial impressions
My feeling is that Canberra is more a place for families and more "mature" people like myself who are interested in family-friendly events and environments, than raging night clubs. There's two theatres...lots of fabulous little cafes and restaurants...and great places to run/cycle/walk, if you're interested in keeping fit. There's events on all the time, so much so, I struggle to make up my mind what to do every week. I have to say that we don't get the really big concerts and sporting events here, but Sydney is only 3 hours away, so if I am desperate to go to an international show, I can always take the bus up and back...in a day, if I wish.

My top 5 things to do in Canberra
  1. Go to the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings. It has just about everything there with regards to fresh food except for a decent cheese stall. But as I am still on my diet, I am not allowed to eat much cheese, so I appreciate not having to deal with the temptation of buying it.
  2. Walk around the lake. We are having beautiful spring weather, so I have been making the most of the fact I can walk around the lake to work. I saw a duck-billed platypus the other day, and at the moment there are plenty of cute little ducklings out on the water. 
  3. Visit the Australian War Memorial. I have heard it criticised as an exploitation of a very serious issue to gain tourist visits. But I have found it to be a very sensitive place to go and reflect on the horrors of war, and human bravery and endurance.
  4. Explore the back streets to find interesting and "happening" cafes. It isn't obvious in Canberra where to go for good food and relaxing conversation, compared to places such as Melbourne. So you have to put in a little effort and hunt around for places to go. I have been getting ideas from the numerous free magazines about Canberra that can be picked up from supermarkets, as well as HerCanberra.
  5. Afternoon tea at the Hyatt Hotel. This is a lovely experience. Maybe not quite as posh as afternoon tea at The Savoy, in London - I was disappointed that there was no minimum dress code, especially as I made the effort to dress up in a dress and high heels. But you can eat all you like, which makes the afternoon really good value for money.
Long story short...I do miss Dunedin and have been heard to say that there is no where in the world like Dunedin on a good day. But I am loving Canberra and have a feeling I am going to become very fond of my new home. I do miss the sea, but the lovely weather here is going to make up for being land-locked.

So if you're ever in Canberra, let me know and I'll introduce you to its little, hidden treasures.

Image: 'We Will Remember Them'
Found on flickrcc.net