Local Midwife Amy’s Incredible JourneySep 24, 2020
Since the tender age of five, proud Dunghutti woman Amy Thompson of West Kempsey has dreamed of becoming a nurse.
Inspired by years of caring for her ill parents, the mother of two has become a trailblazer as one of the first Aboriginal midwives at Kempsey District Hospital.
Amy’s mother Heather was part of the Stolen Generation so becoming the first Dunghutti woman to work as a midwife on country was particularly significant.
“Knowing and understanding Aboriginal birthing women and providing a culturally-safe space for families during their birthing experience is so valuable,” Amy said.
“I find that I can help non-Aboriginal staff to communicate effectively with Aboriginal women and families, and that caring for non-Aboriginal women can actually provide a really wonderful cultural learning experience for them too.”
Amy pursued her passion for nursing after leaving school in Year 10 and securing a school-based traineeship as an Assistant in Nursing (AIN), working at Booroongen Djugun Aboriginal Services and Durri Aboriginal Corporation Medical Service in Kempsey.
She then completed her training to become an Enrolled Nurse (EN) based in Coffs Harbour. Six months into her training her mother passed away suddenly and Amy was transferred to Kempsey to complete her training while being closer to family.
Her passion for midwifery was ignited while working at Kempsey District Hospital.
She applied to study as a Registered Nurse (RN) under the Aboriginal Nurse Cadetship program and completed her degree through the University of Newcastle.
After working in the new graduate RN program at Kempsey for 12 months, Amy applied for the post graduate midwifery program through Charles Sturt University and received scholarship support through the Office of Nursing and Midwifery.
Most of Amy’s midwifery studies were completed online while still working part-time and caring for her two children. She is proud to have delivered more than 30 babies to date.
“It was difficult working shift work while also studying online and looking after my two boys,” Amy said. “I was very lucky to have many great supporters around me.”
Amy said part of her motivation for pursuing her nursing dream was to be a positive role model for her children, and to provide more opportunities for their future.