Thursday, 2 July 2009

Every Woman, Every Choice

National Day of Action, Saturday, 4 July 2009
Organised by the Maternity Coalition

Saturday 4 July will the mark our first National Day of Action for birth reform. It is a day to celebrate progress, and to acknowledge the positive changes Nicola Roxon has announced, but also an opportunity to let the Government know that we will not stop until every woman in Australia is empowered to make informed birthing choices.

Here are the events planned so far – there are more to come! Check this page for further updates, or go to Facebook page:

    Byron Bay – 11am, meet in car park off Lawson St (behind the Hogs Breath Cafe). We will walk down Jonson Street with The Amazing Mullumboombas to Railway Park for performances by local musicians, face painting, sausage sizzle and stall. Contact: Vicki McAlistair

    Brisbane - 10am-midday, Bardon Hall, 247 Simpsons Rd, Bardon. Bring a plate for morning tea. If you have any inspirational images or anything that celebrates your positive experience that you'd like to share, bring along. Contact: Sara Nest

    Goodwood - Homebirth SA are hosting a Morning Tea for Birth Reform, 10am til 12pm, Friday 3 July, Goodwood Community Centre, 32 Rosa Street Goodwood. All are welcome to attend this child-friendly morning. Please bring $2.50 per adult to cover hall hire costs & a plate of morning tea if time and funds permit.

Wagga Wagga – 2-4 pm, North Wagga Community Hall, Hamden Ave, North Wagga. Contact: Bernadette Anderson

Stanthorpe - 9am -1pm. The Piazza, in the main street of Stanthorpe town. Petition for people to sign. Contact: Alison Gaffney

Ipswich – 9.45am for a 10am photoshoot at the Rotunda in Queens Park, Ipswich. We will string a line of nappies with our messages and photos on between trees on on the Rotunda. We need lots of local midwives, mums and babies to come along with placards and nappies. Morning tea in the park afterwards.. Contact: Cas McCullough

Mackay – 11am, Jubilee Park, Mackay. Contact: Diane Longworth

Illawarra - 10.30am. Botanic Gardens Wollongong, next to the Play Ground - parking off Murphys Avenue. Please bring morning tea. Contact: or 0424 051 246

Darwin - 'Ride for Reform'. Bike ride to support the National Day of Action and highlight the local and national issues affecting pregnant and birthing women throughout the Territory. Start Palmerston 7am, finish with morning tea at the Esplanade (opposite Novotel Darwin) at 10am. Please bring a plate to share. Details of the planned route available at <> by Tuesday 30 June or email Kylie

Gold Coast - 10 a.m. Pratten Park, Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach. Meet near the playground just north of the Kurrawa Surf Life Saving Club. There is parking in the Oasis Shopping Centre (free for the first 3hrs). Bring a plate of morning tea. If you have any inspirational images or anything that celebrates your positive experience that you'd like to share, bring it along! Contact: Janice or Renee Facebook page:

Toowoomba - **Note - Toowoomba's event is on THURSDAY 2ND JULY,10am, Rosebank Cottage, Newtown Park. A sharing circle will be facilitated to discuss what women’s perception of the MBS and PBS and also lack of indemnity for homebirth midwives. Contact: Jessica Krop

Geelong - 10am -12noon, gathering in Johnstons Park, Geelong (wet weather venue is Courthouse Youth Arts Centre - Magistrates theatre, a short walk away on the corner of Little Malop and Gheringhap Street). Family friendly picnic. Contact: Melissa McFarlane 0423 155 460 or

Central Coast – 10am -12pm. Morning tea in the park. The Liberty Playground, Saltwater Creek Reserve, The Central Coast Highway, Long Jetty. Please bring a plate to share for morning tea. Consider wearing Maternity Coalition colours (purple & green). Contact: Anne Maggs 02 4334 5154

Organise a National Day of Action event in your town. We need events in every state to show that this matters to women across the country from Broome to Hobart and from Torres Strait to Adelaide. The more events we have, the greater the media and political impact. Here are some ideas to get you going:
  • A peaceful walk down your main street (please check - you may have to get your council’s approval for this)
  • A morning tea in the local park
  • Organise a cake for your local midwives and celebrate with them
  • Hire a community hall/church

Events can show support for reforms so far ...
  • Recognition of private practice midwives across the country
  • Funding for continuity of care from a known midwife
  • Assistance for midwives to access indemnity insurance

... and demonstrate:
  • Women should have a right to choice over the full spectrum of birthing choices, including homebirth: “Every woman, every choice”
  • Continued support for further reform in maternity services in Australia, including supporting a woman’s right to choose her place of birth including at home and, for indigenous women, on country
  • The needs of women and communities must come before administrative convenience of a National Registration Scheme
  • Women and babies will be put at risk because it will be illegal for midwives to practise homebirth
  • Making homebirth illegal will increase birth without professional maternity care and drive homebirth underground
  • Acknowledge many birth support groups and individuals have contributed in working towards this goal

Planning for the day:
  • Plan to hold your event in the morning as you are more likely to attract media at this time of day.
  • Choose a venue that is child-friendly and maybe rain/weather-proof if possible.
  • Contact local media to let them know of the event and send them our press release (we will send you a template of a press release which you can localise).
  • Fill in an event plan ASAP and email it back to This needs to be done for insurance purposes and also so we can get your local event onto our website and the national media release.
  • Send out invitations to your networks, the local hospital, local consumer groups such as playgroups, homebirth groups, indigenous groups, ABA and Childbirth Educators. Also child health clinics, midwives in private practice and other health practitioners.
  • Invite people who may no longer be active in the campaign but have contributed to its success over the last decade.
  • Invite both State and Federal MPs and Senators in your area - see
  • Everyone wearing the same coloured shirts with slogans printed on the front
  • Purple and green helium balloons (MC Colours)
  • Banners and signs – a white background looks best
  • A big celebratory cake to share
  • Lots of family (mums, dads, grandparents, children), several generations always looks good!
  • Take your MC banner, our leaflets and copies of Birth Matters.
  • Have some women invite their midwife and have them prepared to share their birth stories focussing on what their midwife meant to them.
  • Have women prepared to talk who can’t invite their midwife because they don’t know who they are, but still feel that their midwife’s work was paramount to their overall birth.
  • Try to put together some history of the work that has been done in your area. Include old newspaper clippings and photographs. This could be done through the use of posters or a slideshow.
  • Recreate events that had a big impact in your area ie. rallies from yesteryear – maybe the use of a birth pool to create media attention.
  • Recognise those who have given a long term contribution to the campaign.

Possible slogans for your signs:
  • Midwives for Me
  • How about Homebirth?
  • Every woman, Every Choice
  • We’ve only just begun, there’s more reform to come!
  • My birth, my body, my choice.
  • Homebirth’s a choice not a crime.

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