With Charles Darwin University’s new Graduate Diploma in Midwifery safely completed, partners Sarah Ireland and Brin Pogsom are heading to the remote community of Wadeye as health care nurses.
Wadeye has one of the highest birth rates among remote communities in the Territory, although the couple says the common practice is for women in remote communities to be sent to major hospitals to give birth to their babies.
‘In the majority of cases women are not given a choice. We hope to be able to help empower the communities to make their own decisions as to where the women have their babies,’ says Sarah Ireland, who completed her bachelor of nursing at the University of Technology, Sydney.
Ireland, who comes from Wentworth Falls in the Blue Mountains in NSW, met her partner Brin Pogsom while she was walking in the mountains. She had originally trained in outdoor education before switching to nursing.
Pogsom has a nursing degree from the Brighton University in southern England and had travelled to various countries before coming to Australia.
The pair decided to move to Darwin last year so they could complete the new graduate diploma in midwifery, which is run by the Graduate School of Health, a partnership between the NT Health Department and Charles Darwin University.
Students completing the diploma at the Royal Darwin Hospital are funded by the NT Government while they work on the maternity wards. Thirteen nurses completed their midwifery qualifications in February and will work in Territory hospitals.
Ireland and Pogsom, who will take up their posts at Wadeye in March, say they are looking forward to working in the community. ‘We expect to be very busy helping women throughout the pregnancy, and looking after the health of babies afterwards,’ says Ireland.