At a special ceremony in Glen Innes Hospital, the graduation of a new midwife for the hospital was celebrated.
Anju Kafle moved to Glen Innes from Nepal in 2012 to work as a registered nurse before taking up an offer to specialise in midwifery under the Rural Midwifery Program which is run by local hospitals together with Charles Sturt University. The aim of the programme is to train and retain midwives in small communities.
There’s been pressure on the department because of the shortage of staff so the new addition helps relive that pressure and make it easier for Glen Innes mothers to give birth in the town’s hospital.
She said when she was training that she had been a midwife back in Nepal but had to retrain to gain Australian qualifications.
She said her favourite part of being a midwife was being in the delivery room when a baby is born.
“Being there during birth is the best part to see how it happens,” she said.
“The main processes [in midwifery] are the same in Australia but we follow a lot of policy and protocol here which is better than back home.
“Having good protocol makes it a lot easier to work in this environment.”
Anju said she wasn’t accustomed to the country life before moving to Glen Innes, having come from a large city in Nepal –but she’s enjoying the change.
“I’m from the city and to give you an honest answer I never had a country life,” she said.
“When I got a job offer from Glen Innes I said ‘why not’ I will experience something new – that’s why I’m here.”
Anju moved over with her husband, who is currently preparing to retrain as a doctor in Australia.
“He’s only been here since 2015 and it’s really hard for him to get back into the system,” she said.
Clinical midwifery educator, Sarah Whyte, who helped train Anju Kafle said previously that the Glen Innes maternity Unit were extremely grateful to have her.
“I was a student 14 years ago and there’s a lot of ex-students working within the north here,” she said.
“Some are working as educators, some in the clinical setting, some are managers and some are midwifery consultants.”
Ms Whyte said for many years the unit didn’t have students due to a drop in birthrates.
Nine other midwives graduated and will work at Armidale, Tamworth, Inverell, Gunnedah, Narrabri and Moree.