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About Us

Pregnancy, birth and early parenting is a pivotal time in life

This is the time a woman becomes a mother and a baby is welcomed into the world. 
It is also the time that if a woman is cared for with respect, it can have a lasting effect on her, her baby, her family and the community. 

Maternity Choices Australia (formerly Maternity Coalition) was formed by committed and passionate individuals who believe that the services being offered are not providing the care that women want or need. We are seeing more and more mothers, babies and their families suffering as a result.

 

Our core aim is to promote maternal mental health and well-being.  One in three women in Australia experiences birth trauma. Two-thirds of these women experience trauma because of mistreatment and disrespectful care. MCA, therefore, believes the promotion of best-practice maternity care is one of the best ways to prevent birth trauma and related diseases.  Best-practice maternity care is also important for the prevention and/or management of antenatal and postnatal depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from causes other than birth trauma. One of the best ways to prevent these diseases is to ensure women have access to continuity of care with a known care provider. Unfortunately, less than one in eight birthing women in Australia have access to such models of maternity care.


We aim to see all women, no matter their circumstances, have access to a number of maternity care choices that are based on respectful, women-centred care and are modelled on delivering care that is formed based on best evidence.

Who we are

Maternity Choices Australia, formerly Maternity Coalition, is a national organisation committed to the advancement of best-practice maternity care to support the maternal mental health and well-being of all Australian women and their families. We bring together groups and individuals for effective advocacy, information sharing, networking and support.

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What we do

MCA's key activities include:

  • providing one-to-one and group peer support during pregnancy and early motherhood; 

  • providing tailored workshops and programs in local communities in conjunction with the health service to meet the needs of local women; 

  • advocating and using the MCA voice to ensure information and decision-making are shared effectively between consumers, health services, government and other organisations; 

  • improving consumers' awareness of and access to the safest evidence-based maternity care throughout Australia; and

  • creating and leading education initiatives across Australia to improve consumers’ health literacy and understanding. 

Download the 2021-2025 strategic plan below.

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Our purpose

MCA is a national (Australian) organisation made up of individuals and groups who share a commitment to improving the care of women during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. It is non-profit, non-political and non-sectarian.


MCA's purpose is to promote the prevention or control of mental health illnesses,
in particular, illnesses such as antenatal and postnatal depression, anxiety, and post-
traumatic stress disorder, including by:
(a) promoting and advocating for women's access to best-practice maternity care
and sex-based rights, in order to prevent and control instances of mental
health illnesses;
(b) educating women about mental health issues during pregnancy, birth and the
post-natal period, including the impact of different modes of birthing delivery
on postpartum mental health outcomes;
(c) providing peer support for pregnant women to share information, skills and
resources regarding antenatal and postnatal mental health issues;
(d) doing such other things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of the object.

Our history

Maternity Choices Australia (MCA) started life as Maternity Coalition (MC), an incorporated association registered in Victoria and a coalition of mothers and midwives working together to improve women's choices in birth.

MC started in the late '90s in Victoria and New South Wales, and in the ensuing years, became a national organisation, managed solely by dedicated volunteer parents (mothers mostly, but sometimes fathers as well, most notably Bruce Teakle from Queensland) and midwives.

In 2014, MC decided to focus its efforts on promoting and advocating for women’s access to best practice maternity care and was reborn as MCA.  At the time MCA was still structured as an incorporated association, registered in Victoria. ​Recognising MCA’s activities and reach extended beyond Victoria, MCA transferred its registration from incorporated association to company limited by guarantee in July 2023.  MCA is now preparing to apply for deductible gift recipient (DGR) endorsement.

After all these years, we are still calling for the gold standard of maternity care: continuity of midwifery-led care.  Check out this submission from MC to the federal government from 2004. It reads like it was written just yesterday!​

And this paper "From little things, big things grow: a local approach to system-wide maternity services reform in the absence of definitive evidence" for the Australian Journal of Health and Policy in 2007 discusses some of the advocacy MC was involved in during the 2000s.  Once again, a very familiar story to today's advocates.

Our team

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Carla Finch

Managing Director

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Sally Cusack

Secretary & Director

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Renee Kay Tennant

Treasurer & Director

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Joanna Schuurman

Communications Manager & Director

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Catherine Bell

Director

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Azure Rigney

Advocacy Manager & Director

Our photographers

​Most of the images used across our site have been kindly donated by the photographers and families in the pictures.  In a time when birth is hidden from view and over-dramatised on television and movie screens, it is so important that expectant parents get the opportunity to see real birth and some of the many ways it can unfold, so we would like to extend our gratitude to the families in these pictures for their generosity in sharing these images.

Privacy Policy

Maternity Choices Australia (MCA) is committed to providing quality services to you and this policy outlines our ongoing obligations to you in respect of how we manage your Personal Information. ​ We have adopted the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Privacy Act). The NPPs govern the way in which we collect, use, disclose, store, secure and dispose of your Personal Information. ​ A copy of the Australian Privacy Principles may be obtained from the website of The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner at www.aoic.gov.au. ​ What is Personal Information and why do we collect it? Personal Information is information or an opinion that identifies an individual. Examples of Personal Information we collect include: names, addresses, email addresses, phone and facsimile numbers. ​ This Personal Information is obtained in many ways including by telephone, email, via this website, from your website, from media and publications, from other publicly available sources, from cookies and from third parties. We don’t guarantee website links or policy of authorised third parties. ​ We collect your Personal Information for the primary purpose of providing our services to you, providing information to our clients and marketing. We may also use your Personal Information for secondary purposes closely related to the primary purpose, in circumstances where you would reasonably expect such use or disclosure. You may unsubscribe from our mailing/marketing lists at any time by contacting us in writing. ​ When we collect Personal Information we will, where appropriate and where possible, explain to you why we are collecting the information and how we plan to use it. ​ Sensitive Information Sensitive information is defined in the Privacy Act to include information or opinion about such things as an individual's racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of a political association, religious or philosophical beliefs, membership of a trade union or other professional body, criminal record or health information. Sensitive information will be used by us only: • For the primary purpose for which it was obtained • For a secondary purpose that is directly related to the primary purpose • With your consent; or where required or authorised by law. ​ Third Parties Where reasonable and practicable to do so, we will collect your Personal Information only from you. However, in some circumstances we may be provided with information by third parties. In such a case we will take reasonable steps to ensure that you are made aware of the information provided to us by the third party. ​ Disclosure of Personal Information Your Personal Information may be disclosed in a number of circumstances including the following: • Third parties where you consent to the use or disclosure; and • Where required or authorised by law. ​ Security of Personal Information Your Personal Information is stored in a manner that reasonably protects it from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. ​ When your Personal Information is no longer needed for the purpose for which it was obtained, we will take reasonable steps to destroy or permanently de-identify your Personal Information. However, most of the Personal Information is or will be stored in client files which will be kept by us for a minimum of 7 years. ​ Access to your Personal Information You may access the Personal Information we hold about you and to update and/or correct it, subject to certain exceptions. If you wish to access your Personal Information, please contact us in writing at secretary - at - maternitychoices.org.au. ​ MCA will not charge any fee for your access request, but may charge an administrative fee for providing a copy of your Personal Information. ​ In order to protect your Personal Information we may require identification from you before releasing the requested information. ​ Maintaining the Quality of your Personal Information It is an important to us that your Personal Information is up to date. We will take reasonable steps to make sure that your Personal Information is accurate, complete and up-to-date. If you find that the information we have is not up to date or is inaccurate, please advise us as soon as practicable so we can update our records and ensure we can continue to provide quality services to you. ​ Policy Updates This Policy may change from time to time and is available on our website. ​ Privacy Policy Complaints and Enquiries If you have any queries or complaints about our Privacy Policy please contact us at: secretary - at - maternitychoices.org.au ​ ​ Revised 30 July 2022

Website Terms of Use

Welcome to our website. This website is owned and operated by Maternity Choices Australia, ACN 667 546 885, ABN 82 691 324 728. The terms ‘us’ or ‘our’ or ‘we’ refers to Maternity Choices Australia, the owner of the website, whose registered office is in Queensland, Australia. The term ‘you’ or ‘your’ refers to the website user. Maternity Choices is a not for profit organisation that provides the following services: * Pregnancy and Birth resources * Consumer Advocacy * Birth related articles Please read these Terms and Conditions carefully, as together with our Privacy Policy it sets out your important rights and obligations in relation to: 1. the use of this website 2. all services and products provided through this website. Should you not agree with any of these terms and conditions, please do not use our website. 1. Your use of this website is subject to the following terms and conditions: 1.1. When you visit this website and use our services or purchase our products you agree that you have read these Terms and all related documents and that you are willing to be bound by them. 1.2. The content of this website is for your general information and use only. It is subject to change without prior notice. 2. Variation 2.1. We may update our terms and conditions from time-to-time and the new provisions will apply from the date they are updated. 3. Disclaimer (General) 3.1. Whilst every care is taken, Maternity Choices Australia does not provide any warranty or guarantee as to the performance, accuracy, timeliness, completeness or suitability of the information and materials found or offered on this website for any particular purpose. 3.2. The information available through this website site is provided for educational purposes only. 3.3. You are solely responsible for any results you obtain as a result of using the information on this website. 3.4. You acknowledge and agree that no information or advice provided by us including that contained on this website any way constitutes health, midwifery or medical or psychological advice or is to be used by you in the place advice provided by your doctor. Neither does this the information contained in this website constitute advice of any other regulated industry or creates a warranty of any kind with respect to this website. 3.5. This disclaimer applies to the fullest extent permitted by law and survives any termination or expiration of this agreement or your use of this website or the services found on this website. 4. Copyright, trademarks, and other intellectual property 4.1. Maternity Choices Australia owns the intellectual property rights in all of the content of this website or has permission to use or display the material on this website. 4.2. You may not use, copy, display, distribute, modify, translate, reformat, incorporate into advertisements and other works, promote, create derivative works, or in any way exploit or allow others to exploit any of our website content in whole or in part except as expressly authorised by us. 4.3. Please email secretary@maternitychoices.org.au if you require permission to reproduce any of the contents of this website. 4.4. Images and item descriptions posted on this website by third parties are the responsibility of those third parties and may be subject to copyright. 4.5. You must seek permission from the third party before using any of their content. The names of actual companies and products mentioned on this website may be the trademarks of their respective owners. 5. Personal use only 5.1. You may access, download, or print material from the website for your personal use only. 5.2. Sharing any intellectual property or copyright material from this website for commercial use of any sort, without permission is expressly prohibited. 5.3. You agree not to change or delete any copyright or proprietary notice from materials downloaded from this website or any site accessible through this website. 5.4. Except as otherwise expressly granted to you in writing, we do not grant you any other express or implied right or license to our website content or our intellectual property. 6. No unlawful or prohibited use 6.1. As a condition of your use of this website, you warrant that you will not use this website for any purpose that is unlawful or prohibited by these terms and conditions. 6.2. You may not use this website in any manner which could damage, disable, overburden, or impair this website or interfere with any other person’s use and enjoyment of this website. 6.3. You agree not to hack into areas of this website that are not intentionally made available to you. 6.4. You expressly agree not to: 6.4.1. engage in any internal or external spamming, or other similar actions 6.4.2. engage in any unlawful or immoral acts, or acts that are in violation of these terms and conditions 6.4.3. decompile, reverse engineer, or try to copy or imitate this website or underlying content 6.4.4. use the website to copy, store, host, transmit, send, use, publish or distribute any material which consists of (or is linked to) any spyware, computer virus or other malicious computer software. 6.4.5. use data collected from the website for any direct marketing activity (including without limitation email marketing, social media marketing, online marketing, SMS marketing, telemarketing, and direct mailing). 6.4.6. use data collected from the website to contact individuals, companies or other persons or entities for marketing purposes. 6.5. You must ensure that all the information you supply to us through our website, or in relation to our website, is true, accurate, current, complete and not misleading. 7. Copyright infringement 7.1. If you believe that there is material on our website that infringes third party intellectual property rights, please email Maternity Choices Australia with sufficient information to enable us to determine who the owner of the intellectual property is and to remove it from the Maternity Choices Australia website if appropriate. 8. Cookies 8.1. This website uses cookies to monitor browsing preferences. 8.2. By using our website or by agreeing to this Terms of Use, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with the terms of our Privacy Policy. 9. Third-party links 9.1. This website may also, on occasion, include links to other websites which are not controlled by us. 9.2. These links are provided for your convenience to provide you with further information. You acknowledge that they are used at your own risk. 9.3. Third-party links on our website do not signify that we recommend or endorse the websites. 9.4. We have no control over the nature, content, and availability of those websites. 10. Website security 10.1. Maternity Choices Australia makes every effort to maintain the security of the Maternity Choices Australia website including but not limited to encryption, firewall, antivirus, and spyware protection to the extent that we deem advisable to protect your personal information, the integrity of the website and conduct our business. However, we do not guarantee the security of the website, our records, or your content. 10.2. Maternity Choices Australia disclaims all liability for any computer virus or technological problems that we do not intentionally cause or that is beyond our control. You are advised to install and maintain up-to-date security software on your computer for your further protection. 10.3. The Maternity Choices Australia website is managed by third-party services; therefore, the website may be inaccessible from time to time. 11. Limitation of Liability 11.1. Maternity Choices Australia will not be liable to you or any other person or entity for any damages whatsoever arising as a result of your use of this website in any way, subject to the requirements of Australian Consumer Law. 11.2. Where warranties are implied by law, you acknowledge and agree that the total aggregate liability to us is limited at our discretion to the provision of those services again, or to a refund equal to the total amount paid by you for the particular services that are the subject of the cause of action, even if those services were provided to you without cost. 11.3. This limitation of liability applies to the fullest extent permitted by law and shall survive any termination or expiration of this agreement or your use of this website or the services found on this website. 12. Indemnity 12.1. You agree to indemnify and defend Maternity Choices Australia from any claims, damages, liabilities, costs, or expenses (including without limitation court costs, collection costs, and reasonable legal fees) related to: 12.1.1. your unauthorised use of this website or products or services included or advertised on this website 12.1.2. your breach of these Terms of Use. 13. Applicable law 13.1. This agreement is governed by the laws of Queensland and you consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of courts within Queensland in all disputes arising out of or relating to the use of this website. 13.2. You may provide notice to us through the contact us page or otherwise by email addressed to secretary@maternitychoices.org.au 13.3. Maternity Choices Australia may provide notice to you via email or other electronic means. 13.4. Use of this website is unauthorised in any jurisdiction that does not give effect to all provisions of these terms of use, including without limitation, this paragraph. If you are resident in a jurisdiction where the use of this website is unauthorised, it is your responsibility to stop using this website. 14. Relationship 14.1. You agree that no joint venture, partnership, employment, or agency relationship exists between you and Maternity Choices Australia as a result of this Agreement or use of this website. 15. Validity 15.1. If any part of these terms and conditions is determined to be invalid or unenforceable pursuant to applicable law including, but not limited to, the warranty disclaimers and liability limitations, then the invalid or unenforceable provision will be deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that most closely matches the intent of the original provision and the remainder of the terms and conditions will continue in effect. 15.2. These terms and conditions together with our Privacy Policy form the entire agreement between you and Maternity Choices Australia. 16. Feedback, comments or complaints 16.1. If you have any questions, please email secretary@maternitychoices.org.au. We endeavour to respond to all enquiries within three business days.

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