Jane traveled down under to present at a special midwifery conference
Winning the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award from Cavell Nurses Trust in 2016 was an incredible honour. Winning the award enabled me to attend the International Normal Birth Conference, which took place in Sydney, Australia in October 2016. I was lucky enough to be accepted to present a poster of my MSc research at the conference, as well as attending the full programme of talks and events.
My husband and I left for Australia on 4th October, leaving our two children behind safe under the care of my parents in law. It was a tearful good bye; and my utter terror of flying meant I then could not relax until we arrived in Sydney on the afternoon of 6th October! But an evening stroll around the botanic garden, with incredible views of the Opera House, and the excitement fully kicked in! We had arrived! The conference itself was from 10th-13th, so we had a couple of days to explore the amazing Blue Mountains first.
The conference itself was amazing! Three full days of listening, talking, discussing, and sharing thoughts about normal birth and how to promote it – what a privilege and honour to be a part of it. I listened to some of the experts in the field, and heard about the newest research in the field – including everything from breech birth to water birth, place of birth, national and international concerns and celebrations. And then, on the last day I got to share my work with my fellow delegates. I felt a bit nervous putting up my poster – my own blood, sweat and tears open to peer review and criticism. I should not have worried however, I received excellent feedback and little criticism; and lots of encouragement to publish my work as quickly as I could (I am still working on this though!).
I cannot thank Cavell Nurses' Trust enough for the award I was given last year. Without this award, I would not have been able to attend the conference. Attending meant I could meet hundreds of like-minded professionals with an interest in normal birth promotion; to learn from current experts in the field, and to share may own research with them. I am currently writing up my research for publication in a peer-reviewed journal; partly due to the overwhelmingly positive feedback I received when I attended the conference.
I am forever indebted and grateful to Cavell Nurses' Trust for the opportunity I was given, which has given me a great start to what I hope will be a meaningful research career.