Westmead Hospital Foundation respectfully acknowledges the traditional owners of the land where Westmead is based, the Barramattagal people of the Darug nation. Westmead Hospital Foundation acknowledges Elders past and present, and the deep connection to the lands and the waters of Western Sydney Local Health District.

Donate to the Dragonfly Midwives providing culturally sensitive midwifery care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and women having an Aboriginal baby during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period.

Pictured Above: Mum, Jo-Elle Harland Sykes with the first babies and twins born through the program, babies Zakariya and Jacob with midwives (L-R) Baylee Eyears, Sam James, Courtney James and Georgie Gibbins.

Community-based Aboriginal Maternity Care

Western Sydney Local Health District has the largest population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living within NSW. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and babies continue to experience higher rates of mortality and morbidity compared to non-Indigenous women and babies.

To improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, babies and their community, Westmead Hospital’s Women’s and Newborn’s Health has developed a new Aboriginal model of maternity care in consultation with the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and the well-established and Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Health Service at Mt Druitt. Women’s and Newborn Health recently launched the Dragonfly Midwifery Clinic at Westmead, which needs in-kind and financial support to provide:

  • antenatal classes and education
  • welcome packs for mums and babies with personal care products 
  • baby clothes and hooded baby blankets
  • Aboriginal artwork 

Photo: (Front Row) Aunty Chris and Narelle Holden, WSLHD’s Aboriginal Liaison Officer (Back Row) Susan Heath, Westmead Hospital’s High-Risk Pregnancy Midwifery Project Lead and Midwifery Caseload Manager Carolyn Hilsabeck.

Meet Our New Midwives

Four new midwives passionate about Aboriginal Health have been recruited for the clinic and have moved from interstate and regional NSW to join the program. New midwife Baylee Eyears moved from Thursday Island, Sam James is from Broken Hill, Courtney James is a Waradgery women and Georgie Gibbins is from the Northern Beaches. 

Recently the midwives trained in child car restraints at Mt Druitt Police Station, and following a donation of seats from Mt Druitt Police Highway Patrol, can now safely install baby car seats for their mums. A book exchange service is now on offer at the clinic providing education resources on pregnancy and baby care for families. The clinic looks forward to shortly offering women’s antenatal classes, exercise and yoga classes and belly castings with Narelle Holden.

Photo: Midwives Georgie Gibbins, Courtney James, Midwifery Nurse Operations Manager Julie Swain, Midwifery Case Load Manager Carolyn Hilsabeck and granddaughter Amelie, midwives Sam James and Baylee Eyears.