NAIDOC WEEK 8-15 JULY 2018

Because of her, we can! - Cherisse Buzzacott

This years theme celebrates the essential role that women have played - and continue to play - as active and significant role models at the community, local, state and national levels.
Theme

Cherisse Buzzacott

I am an Arrernte woman from Alice Springs, NT and I am a midwife. I was the first student to graduate from the Australian Catholic University (ACU) Bachelor of Midwifery Indigenous- course, an Away-from-Base delivery mode. This allowed women from the NT to travel to Brisbane for study blocks but remain in community, where I worked as a student midwife with Alukura. I am the first in my family with a university degree.

I tutor first-year Aboriginal students and I often mentor Aboriginal midwives because I know how difficult the journey of an Aboriginal midwife starting out in her career. I was also the recipient of the ACU Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Award which led to receiving the Alumni of the Year award in 2016.

My experience varies from working in a large inner-city tertiary hospital to working in Alice Springs Hospital, where I spent 1 year as an outreach midwife travelling to a remote community. I have experience working in the areas of birthing, antenatal and postnatal care and, completed my women’s health training which allowed me to practice autonomously while in community.

Now I am based in Canberra my focus is Birthing on Country. I am employed at the Australian College of Midwives working as the Project Officer for the Birthing on Country (BoC) Project, co-Chairing the Birthing on Country Strategic Committee. The BoC Project aims to establish Aboriginal Birthing on Country models of maternity care in two sites. Our focus is improving maternity care delivery to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers and babies, working in collaboration with Aboriginal women to ensure the provision of culturally safe care to their women and families.