Julie Bell–Julie Bell is a mother of three daughters and a son, all born at home – in Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. In a “previous lifetime”, Julie trained as an RCompN in New Zealand and then lived in Asia for nearly 20 years with her American husband. She returned to Australia in 2004, completed her doula training and is the WAHM of Blissful Herbs, which provides therapeutic herbal teas and topical herbs, specialising in women’s health. Motivated by justice for all, Julie is a passionate activist for human rights, reconciliation, the environment, , the welfare of refugees and immigrants, women’s rights & gender equality and of course, birth rights.
Heather Brock–Heather Brock is a home birthing, home schooling mother of three and the daughter of Carla Hartley. She is a vocal advocate of family birth and pushless birth and teaches on many health and physiology related topics. Essential oil use is Heather’s latest endeavor in the field of health.
Patricia Edmonds—Patricia Edmonds has been serving as a midwife for the past 37 years. She began her path to birth as a child at the feet of her grandmother,
who served her family and community as a traditional healer. Finding nursing school to be the wrong direction for her desire to follow in her grandmothers footsteps she withdrew and enrolled in the Northwestern School for Practical Midwifery. She served as a founding mother of the Cascade Midwives Association, and the Oregon Midwifery Counsel. She served as the editor for the OMC newsletter “BIRTHING” for 15 years. She completed the Apprentice Academics program in preparation for becoming a Certified Midwife. She was briefly licensed by the state of Oregon, but voluntarily returned to community midwifery service. Along with her birth service, she has been directing her experience toward teaching midwifery in the past few years, having served on the faculty of several midwifery schools and conferences, including the Trust Birth Conferences. She currently serves as the instructor for Ancient Art Midwifery Institute’s Midwifery SkillsLabs. With Woman Birth Seminars and is on the advisory board for the quarterly magazine “Birth n Babies”.
Janet Fraser-Janet Fraser is the National Convenor of the Australian Homebirth Network, Joyous Birth. divides her time between community birth education, birth activism, supporting women and families in healing from birth trauma She has been writing since she was seven. Like many people, she lives in a house, in a city. She has children and a dog and is indulged by three cats. She is considered to be of adult years although not overly tall. She likes to garden but doesn’t sufficiently to warrant the title gardener. She writes because she has to and reads because not to do so would thus appear churlish. She prefers cake. She is on a lifelong odyssey to locate the best coffee. She is clearly over run with bourgeois notions and pastimes and therefore with sufficient time to advocate revolutions of various kinds in the best white, middle class tradition. She is intimidated by poetry and startled when it emerges from her keyboard but persists nonetheless. She hopes to live a very long time and see social change unfold worldwide. Sometimes things she writes end up on t shirts which is an unusual form of publishing but better than the alternative.
Gail Hart–Gail Hart became an apprentice midwife as a teenager. After the birth of her first children she graduated from a midwifery training program as a Certified Practical Midwife in 1977; later becoming a Certified Midwife and a Licensed Direct Entry Midwife when licensing became available in 1994, and was a member of the state midwifery board. She is now “semi-retired” and has a small practice. Gail is interested in ways to holistically incorporate evidence-based medical knowledge with traditional midwifery understanding. She travels extensively teaching midwives, doulas and other birth professionals. She contributes to midwifery publications, and is the author of Research Updates for Midwives and the forth-coming “A Textbook for Midwives.”
Carla Hartley–Carla founded the original distance school for midwives in the U.S., Apprentice Academics, in 1981. Since 1994, known as Ancient Art Midwifery Institute. She founded the Trust Birth Initiative in 2005, after a melt down over the rising number of cesareans in the U.S. That is when she had her epiphany: doctors and medicine were not the enemy. Too many have been seduced by the lie that birth is a medical event. Actually birth is a normal function of biology and a private family matter. Birth is safer than not and interfering with the natural process adds risk. Mothers have sovereignty over their births and their babies and mothers should make ALL decisions concerning where and with whom they birth. Carla’s mission is to protect parents’ rights at all costs, to encourage mothers to assume authority and responsibility for their births, while she helps more birth trusting midwives attain a superior education!
Joy Jones—Joy Jones, RN, is a consultant on the subject of the Brewer Diet, and the creator of the “Brewer Pregnancy Diet” website (drbrewerpregnancydiet.com). Over the past 35 years she has worked as a childbirth educator, doula, breastfeeding consultant, midwife’s assistant, author, and workshop speaker. She and her husband are parents of two grown sons who continue to make them proud.
Elizabeth Noble–Elizabeth Noble graduated from the Universities of Adelaide (Physiotherapy) and Western Australia (Philosophy and Anthropology). She worked at the King Edward Memorial (maternity) Hospital in Perth before moving to the US in 1973. Specializing in Women’s Health she founded the Maternal and Child Health Center in Cambridge, MA and the Section on OB-GYN of the American Physical Therapy Association. The author of 9 books, she presents programs and observes maternity care around the world (80 countries)
Rachel Reed–Rachel Reed is a Lecturer at the University of the Sunshine Coast where she teaches midwifery. She is also a currently practising homebirth midwife and has practised midwifery in a range of models and settings in the United Kingdom and Australia. Rachel is committed to the promotion of physiological birth, and of women’s innate ability to birth and mother. Her PhD thesis is ‘midwifery practice during birth: rites of passage and rites of protection’. Rachel has written articles for journals, magazines and websites, and presented at many conferences and study days. She is also the author of the MidwifeThinking blog site.
Sheila Stubbs–The author of Birthing the Easy Way, Sheila Stubbs is someone who learned the hard way. Her birth story begins as a healthy woman in labour and ends with a cesarean section for a condition she calls ‘Physician Distress.’ After learning how homebirth was safer than she realized, less painful than she anticipated, and easier than she imagined, she began sharing her experiences with others. Through letters, then email, public speaking and her book, she has shared with thousands the secrets about easier birthing that most doctors don’t understand. With a background in psychiatric nursing and pediatric nursing, and over 25 years as a La Leche League Leader, Sheila is equally passionate about helping mothers understand that breastfeeding is more important than realized, less complicated than imagined, and more joyful than anticipated. Sheila currently lives and works in a small town in Ontario, Canada with her husband, the youngest three of their six children, and two foster daughters. She holds regular Birth Talks in her home and serves occasionally as a homebirth doula.
Elly Taylor–Elly Taylor is an Australian relationship counsellor, columnist for Practical Parenting magazine and the Sydney Morning Herald and author of the book Becoming Us, Loving, Learning and Growing Together. Her passion is including fathers/partners more during the perinatal period and facilitating whole family bonding: between mum, dad/partner and bub. Elly lives in Sydney with her gorgeous fire fighter husband, their three children and a rotation of pets.
Grace Welliver– Grace is a Student Midwife and staff member at AAMI, mother to 4 children, and practices massage therapy in her spare time. She enjoys helping people heal through essential oils and advocates for mothers’ rights to birth at home with whomever she chooses.
Katrina Zaslavsky–Founder of Birth Goddess & Author of A Modern Woman’s Guide to a Natural Empowering Birth; Editor and Publisher of Empowering Birth Magazine