OVER 30 YEARS AND COUNTING!
Maternity Choices Australia (MCA) started life as Maternity Coalition (MC), a coalition of mothers and midwives working together to improve women's choices in birth.
MC started in the late '80's 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 consumer advocacy and was reborn as MCA, but still structured as an incorporated association, registered in Victoria.
Robyn Payne 1998-2000
Dr Barbara Vernon 2001 - 2003
Justine Caines 2003 - 2005
Leslie Arnott, 2006
Cas McCulloch, 2007
Louise Hartley, 2008
Justine Caines 2008 - 2009
Lisa Metcalfe, 2009 - 2010
Ann Catchlove, 2010
Bec Waqanikalou 2013-2014
Please advise us if you know of any errors or omissions in this list by emailing secretary at maternitychoices.org.au.
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 (with Justine Caines) was involved in during the 2000's. Once again, a very familiar story to today's advocates.
THE STRUGGLE FOR BIRTH RIGHTS CONTINUES...
VALE JUSTINE CAINES, OAM
MCA was saddened to learn of the passing of Justine Caines on 12 September 2022. Justine was a leading advocate on the Australian birth advocacy scene in the 2000's, and past president of MC.
Justine was the mother of 8 home born children and was awarded an Order of Australia for her birth advocacy in 2011.
As the driving force behind the 2009 Mother of All Rallies, Justine used her political nous to stage this unprecedented march on Canberra that called for improved birth choices. You can catch Justine's speech here.
You can hear some interviews from recent years of Justine by another tireless birth advocate, Alecia Staines from Maternity Consumer Network.
PODCAST: Birth the forgotten feminist issue
Ep. 1 Justine Caines OAM - Birth is the ultimate feminist issue
Justine Caines and Maternity Reform with Alecia Staines
ARTICLES by Justine Caines:
Bec Waqanikalou 2014 - 2015
Leah Hardiman 2016 - 2018
Azure Rigney 2018 - 2019
Annalee Atia 2019 - 2021
Peta Tuck 2021 - current