April named ‘Midwife of the Year’

Castlemaine midwife April Jardine was named ‘Midwife of the Year’ at the 2023 HESTA Australian Nursing & Midwifery Awards in Sydney on Tuesday evening.
April was recognised for the instrumental role she played in implementing the innovative new Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) model at Dhelkaya Health in Castlemaine.
April was proud to be one of the driving forces behind the implementation of the new model that has proven to be highly valued by women in the local Castlemaine community, improving care outcomes.
April also played a pivotal role in encouraging women to take part in studies evaluating women’s views and experiences of maternity care via personal surveys to assist the service to continue to evolve to meet the needs of their consumers and through a La Trobe University study on the new model.
April told the Mail it was wonderful to see the service receive recognition at a national level.
“I feel extremely humbled to be recognised in the 2023 HESTA Australian Nursing and Midwifery Awards. This has allowed me to pause and reflect on my professional journey. To be part of reshaping a suspended rural service with community input, and successfully re-launch a local maternity service where so many have been closed, has been a very rewarding experience,” she said.
“I am really honoured that our CEO Sue Race took the time to nominate me for the award.
“It is great recognition of the support and advocacy the leadership team have for the service and our staff. I was the one standing up there receiving the award but I did so on behalf of everyone behind the scenes, especially our Midwifery Practice Group (MPG) who helped make this happen,” she said.
“It was a bit unusual for me as a midwife to be in the spotlight, we prefer to stand on the sidelines and cheer on the women in our care!” she said.
The new model sees women partnered with a MPG midwife for antenatal, intrapartum (labour and birth) and postnatal care providing continuity of care whether they birth in Castlemaine or at Bendigo Health.
“We welcomed 55 babies at the service in our first full calendar year in 2022 and have already welcomed more than that number in 2023. The service is continuing to grow,” April said.
“The new model is highly valued by the local community and is now serving as a great example to other regional and rural health services of what can be achieved,” she said.
On a personal note April says the prize money will support the completion of her Masters of Midwifery Practice.
“It will also assist with education on simulation training for water births and acupuncture techniques for continued support of women’s choices and safe midwifery practice,” she said.
Dhelkaya Health CEO Sue Race said they’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 Race said.

Lisa Dennis
Editor of the Castlemaine Mail newspaper and senior journalist on our sister paper the Midland Express. Over the last 24 years Lisa been proudly reporting news in the Mount Alexander and Macedon Ranges communities.