New midwives love living, working in Bairnsdale

Renae Meade (left), Lizzie Grimstad (rear) and Laura Griffiths (right) stand in a triangle shape with the maternity nursess' station to their left and swinging bi-doors behind them. Each ios wearing a navy blue BRHS nurse's uniform.

New midwives love living, working in Bairnsdale

A stimulating work environment and East Gippsland’s enviable lifestyle have enticed two midwives to join the Bairnsdale Regional Health Service team.

Experienced Registered Midwives and Nurses Renae Meade and Lizzie Grimstad have joined BRHS’s Maternity Unit, a move that they say is fulfilling and offers many benefits after work.

Renae, a former agency midwife employed by BRHS on three fixed-term contracts, enjoyed working with BRHS and living in East Gippsland so much she’s moved permanently from Terang in western Victoria.

It’s many happy returns for Lizzie, a Hobart-based agency midwife. She is 6 weeks into her most recent BRHS placement, her fourth, which ends in mid-November – and she’s already looking forward to her next stint, which begins in January.

Both relish the chance to work with the BRHS maternity team and use a broader skill set at BRHS.

“They are brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. So friendly,” she said of her colleagues.

“We have midwives with a broad range of experience. It’s a really nice mix. It’s a great team environment. We get to collaborate with our GP Obstetricians, and it’s nice to know you’ll be well supported by your manager and your colleagues.

“The thing about maternity in Bairnsdale is that every day is different. You work across the continuum. You really feel like you’re a midwife. Your day could be in the ante-natal clinic or on the ward looking after post-natal women and attending ante-natal assessments. You’re an all-rounder. It’s not like in a tertiary birthing centre where you just work in a birthing suite or just post-natal.”

Renae said she enjoys working right through the birthing cycle with her patients.

“What is really nice is the continuity of care with our women. You might see them in the clinic or up here on the ward for assessments. You support them through labour and you can do home visits,” she said.

BRHS is a great opportunity for young midwives to build their careers or for experienced midwives to exercise a broader range of skills.

”You get to really build on your skills. We train yearly in our competencies but we actually get to use them here because, with a smaller workforce, you have to be really proficient in our clinical skills. We use them daily, and we form a professional relationship with our doctors.”

Lizzie says BRHS’ great working environment draws her back again and again.

“Number one, it’s all the girls in the unit. It’s one of the most cohesive teams I have ever been in. They’re so knowledgeable and passionate. They care about the women and the services,” she said.

“Because Bairnsdale is a bit smaller, you get to practice a bit of continuity with the women, and with lower intervention compared to other places I have worked. It’s nice to get back to midwifery-led practice. Education is always encouraged here, which is refreshing.

“I have also had the opportunity to work with more indigenous women. I love working with these women and learning about their perspectives and experiences.” 

Lizzie leaves her partner and her dog in Hobart but loves coming to East Gippsland.

“We meet up in Melbourne at the halfway point, so we make sure we see each other. It works all right,” she said.

“My parents live in the Snowy Mountains, so it’s only a three-and-a-half hour drive. I visit Lakes Entrance when I am here, and the Den of Nargun (a small cave behind a waterfall in the Mitchell River National Park), the Buchan Caves and other tourist attractions.”

BRHS Maternity Unit Manager Laura Griffiths said Renae and Lizzie strengthen her team.

“They are fabulous. They are wonderful midwives who bring a wealth of experience from their roles doing agency in other hospitals and other states, and they are a great for our team – friendly, kind, women-centred midwives,” she said.

“We have made some wonderful improvements in terms of providing more ante-natal clinics. More staff on board allows us more flexibility with rostering, and the staff are celebrating the fact that Renae is back permanently and Lizzie is coming back to do more contracts with us.”

Maternity positions available:

Associate Maternity Unit Manager

Registered Midwife

2023 Registered Nurse/Midwife Postgraduate Studies Program

More from our Latest News

Got Something To Say? We're Listening.

If you have a compliment, a complaint, or a suggestion on how we can improve our service, we’d like to hear it. Use our feedback form to send us your message.