Birth Issues Conference 10-11 May 2018

title border 1st January 2018

Birth Issues: Trauma, Human Rights and Negotiating the System Conference 10-11 May 2018

This event is for anyone interested in childbirth and the maternity system – midwives, doulas, doctors, midwifery students, consumer advocates and more…

Conference dates: Brisbane: 10-11 May 2018

Registrations have closed.

We have developed the Birth Issues: Birth Trauma, Human Rights and Negotiating the System Conference and brought together expert speakers to

  • highlight the experience of birth trauma (physical and psychological),
  • provide information on supporting women,
  • discuss human rights in relation to maternity care
  • discuss laws related to pregnancy and birth, in particular around consent
  • support midwives with working in the current maternity system while advocating for change


Registration is at 0800 and the Conference runs from 0900-1700.

Registration fees include morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.

The Conference will provide 6 contact hours each day and you will receive a Statement of Attendance.

The full program is available online here.


Venue, Accommodation and Parking

The venue is the Pullman/Mercure King George Square (it’s a two tower hotel, the conference is in the Mercure tower which is the Ann St side). The Mercure/Pullman website is here.

If you are intending to stay onsite we recommend joining their customer club as they offer a discount and email advance notice of sales (click here to join).

We recommend public transport, particularly on weekdays. There is a bus station underneath King George Square, and it is an easy walk to the Roma St Transit Centre. The closest parking is King George Square Council Car Park (at time of posting this is $35/day during the week, although there is also an earlybird option for $20 – see their website for details on accessing this rate). Weekend parking is $5.

About the Speakers

Amanda Donnet is a registered psychologist working in private practice on the southside of Brisbane. She predominantly works with women and their families experiencing depression, anxiety, or adjustment difficulties during pregnancy and the postnatal period. Amanda also assists mothers or fathers experiencing parenting difficulties, including sleep difficulties, bonding or attachment issues. The mother of three young boys, in her spare (and often not-spare) time, Amanda enjoys volunteering as a qualified breastfeeding counsellor assisting individuals and running mother-to-mother support groups. She has also completed additional training in managing unsettled and distressed babies.

Dr Holly Priddis is a lecturer of midwifery at Western Sydney University. Her main research areas include understanding the experiences of women who sustain birth related trauma, specifically severe perineal trauma. Holly is interested in the impact birth trauma has on the sexuality and identity of the woman, and how this may impact on the woman’s ability to mother as a result of the psychological and/or physiological implications of birth trauma. Holly is a registered midwife, mother of 4 children, a disability and mental health advocate and birth photographer.

Melissa Bruijn & Debby Gould (Birthtalk) – Since 2002, Melissa Bruijn BA and Debby Gould BN GradDipMid have been managing Birthtalk, an Australian support and education organisation whose focus is planning a positive birth (no matter how you are birthing), plus birth-after-caesarean support, and birth trauma/birth grief support after a previous traumatic or disappointing experience. Debby originally trained and worked as a midwife. She is now a childbirth educator and doula. Melissa experienced a traumatic birth ending in caesarean, an empowering VBAC, and a beautiful waterbirth. Together, they are the authors of How to Heal a Bad Birth : Making sense, making peace and moving on, where they share their experiences from 15 years facilitating their free ‘Healing From Birth’ meetings.

Bashi Hazard is an Australian lawyer and the Legal Director of the ANZ arm of the Human Rights in Childbirth (HRiC) International Lawyers Network. Bashi’s background is in competition and consumer law and litigation, after graduating with first class honours in Law and Economics from the University of Sydney. Bashi’s focus in law expanded soon after she had her first child. From her own experiences, Bashi became aware of the widespread impact of current obstetric models of care on the emotional health and wellbeing of mothers. That awareness took her back to working with fundamental ethical principles and human rights law and forming networks with human rights lawyers in the USA, Netherlands, UK and Europe, with whom she now works closely to develop a legal discourse around the human rights of women in pregnancy and childbirth.

Jessie Johnson-Cash is a Lecturer at the University of the Sunshine Coast. She has practised midwifery in a range of models and settings. Jessie is a PhD candidate, exploring the stages of labour discourse on contemporary Australian midwifery practice. She is committed to the promotion of physiological birth and supporting women during their various rites of passage. She is passionate about supporting students; viewing the process of becoming a midwife as another rite of passage and is acutely aware of the unique challenges students face.

Dr Rachel Reed is a Senior Lecturer and Discipline Leader in Midwifery at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia. She has practised midwifery in a range of models and settings in the United Kingdom and Australia. Rachel is committed to
the promotion of physiological birth, and of women’s innate ability to birth and mother. She is a writer and presenter, and is the author of the MidwifeThinking blog.


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