My name is Sarah Phillips, and I am an Aboriginal woman from the Gold Coast. I am in my second year of a Bachelor of Midwifery at Southern Cross University. I am a mother to four children, so life is very busy. I am grateful for my RSL Queensland Scholarship and the support I have received as an AVCAT Scholar. It has made an enormous difference in my ability to undertake this degree.
I have a passion for holistic woman-centred care and a keen interest in supporting Aboriginal women and their families. I hope to work in an Aboriginal Midwifery Group Practice once I have graduated.
My goal is to support Aboriginal women during their perinatal journeys, striving towards optimal outcomes. I aim to contribute to closing the health and life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians by supporting women’s health and helping them to give their babies a strong start in life. Eventually I would like to undertake research to contribute to midwifery practice in Australia and make positive change.
The theme for NAIDOC week this year is ‘Heal Country!’, and one way we can do this is to support Aboriginal women birthing on Country. Respecting and encouraging Aboriginal cultural birth practices in the hospital settings would also contribute to cultural safety for Aboriginal women requiring closer medical support during the perinatal period.
For me and my children, NAIDOC week is about recognising our ancestors and their story. It is about embracing our culture and sharing among the community. It is up to us to continue the story of our ancestors.