April Jardine, Dhelkaya Health Midwifery Clinical Coordinator and Educator, has won the coveted title of Midwife of the Year in the national 2023 HESTA Australian Nursing and Midwifery Awards. The high-profile awards ceremony was held in Sydney on 16 May.
Ms Jardine was nominated for her outstanding contribution to improving health outcomes for local women and was the driving force behind implementation of Dhelkaya Health’s innovative Midwifery Group Practice model. Ms Jardine also played a pivotal part in encouraging women to take part in studies evaluating women’s views and experiences of maternity care at Dhelkaya Health. The LaTrobe University evaluation report was published in March 2023.
Ms Jardine said of her work, and her win: “It’s such a rewarding position to be in, to be part of women’s experiences and share those beautiful experiences with them – there’s nothing better. And to see families so happy with the care they receive. I work with a fantastic team of nurses and midwives, and we share a vision of where we want to go. We get to spend each day providing women-centred care and keeping the focus on what’s important to women and families.”
Sue Race, Dhelkaya Health, CEO said: “We’re incredibly proud of what April has achieved and are delighted to see her recognised as Midwife of the Year. April has been instrumental in implementing our new Maternity Services operational model and the associated recommendations. She has driven the improvements in communication, culture and processes, and has established a highly engaged and committed midwifery team. This award is incredibly well-deserved.”
Ms Jardine has recently commenced a Master of Midwifery Practice at La Trobe University and as part of her program of study she will be exploring how to further enhance the service through the inclusion of water births as a safe option to be considered as a part of a woman’s birthing plan. She said: “The women in our community have said they’re really keen for us to start looking at water births, so we’re looking at how we can provide that in a really safe manner.”
In her acceptance speech, Ms Jardine encouraged others considering a career in nursing and midwifery to “Go for it!”
For more information about Dhelkaya Health’s Maternity Service visit dhelkayahealth.org.au/maternity. Scholarships and funding for nursing and midwifery study are available through the Department of Health’s ‘Making it free to study nursing and midwifery’ initiative at www.health.vic.gov.au.