The classroom fell silent as midwife Ros Mayfield outlined the great challenges of helping to bring babies into the world.
One of the students at St Mark’s College took closer interest – Rosie Wallace decided she wanted to become a midwife, too.
Today Rosie, who is already a Registered Nurse, is the recipient of the $10,000 Gwendoline Dinah Henderson Annual Midwifery Scholarship.
The money will go towards covering the costs of her two-year midwifery course through accommodation in Adelaide during work placements at hospitals, text books, travel and university fees.
Rosie works at the Port Pirie hospital where family friend Mrs Mayfield, now McGrath Breast Care Nurse and women’s health nurse, is also employed.
When asked what motivated her to begin her journey, Rosie looked at me and said: “That would be your wife, Ros.
“She came to school when I was in Year 10 and talked about being a midwife. That day I decided I wanted to be a nurse and midwife,” she said.
“My passion is caring for people. I love nursing because you care for people when they are unwell, but I also love midwifery because you are able to empower well women.
“I am very grateful for the scholarship.
“It would be good in this article to encourage Registered Nurses to achieve their midwifery qualifications.
“Gwendoline Henderson left this money for the scholarships because she was working as a Registered Nurse in the country and an emergency case came in needing a midwife and she said that if she was trained, it would have led to a much better outcome.”
Asked whether she could one day face such a situation when fully qualified, she replied: “I would like to stay in the country with my nursing so there is always that possibility … it is beneficial to be trained in both nursing and midwifery in the country.”
Rosie, who lives at Crystal Brook, is the daughter of Ian and Lynn Wallace, of Watervale, formerly of Port Pirie.
She works in C ward surgical and obstetrics at the hospital and is studying midwifery externally with the University of South Australia.
She said the ward staff supported her and it was a great place to work. “I encourage any country nurse to think about studying midwifery and applying for the scholarship,” she said. Gwendoline Henderson was a highly-decorated World War II nurse with a vision to support country nurses to take part in midwifery training. Perhaps Rosie, after becoming qualified and gaining experience, will follow the footsteps of the “special lady” Mrs Mayfield to spread the word about the noble role of the midwife.