The Queensland Centre for Mothers & Babies is relatively new, having been established only in April 2009. It is, however, the result of the long-standing vision and hard work of many who are passionate about the health and wellbeing of women and babies.
More than five years ago, key maternity care advocates focused on the need to review maternity care services in Queensland and determine ways of enhancing these services to better meet the needs of women and their families. Their efforts, together with the commitment of the Queensland Minister for Health, led to an independent review of maternity services in Queensland and the Re-birthing Report (Hirst, 2005). The establishment of a Queensland Centre for Mothers and Babies was a key recommendation in this report and is now a reality.
The determination of individuals and organisations committed to maternity care improvement in Queensland is considerable and their roles in the establishment of the Centre warrant particular acknowledgement.
We would like to acknowledge community groups including Maternity Coalition, Childbirth Education Association and the Australian Breastfeeding Association. Such groups have a long history of supporting women and their families, and advocating for their needs before, during and after birth. They often rely wholly on the passion of volunteers and their continuing commitment to improving maternity care is remarkable.
We would also like to acknowledge the tireless work of the midwives, doctors and other carers who support women and babies in Queensland before, during and after birth. Their dedication to providing the best care possible, and to further improving maternity care in the future, is both fundamental and admirable.
Finally, we would like to acknowledge the women, the babies and the families of Queensland. Pregnancy and birth is a uniquely life-changing experience, and having and raising a baby is a role core to our society. The objective of the Centre is to ensure we value and support this role, by working towards maternity care which meets the needs of all women and babies in Queensland.
In conducting our work, we hope to draw on the passion and expertise that has been demonstrated by maternity care consumers, maternity care providers and other stakeholders throughout the history of maternity care reform in Queensland. We value working in partnership with the community, and thank you in advance for your generosity and collaboration.