Chairperson – Hester Alkemade
Vice Chairperson – Frances Parkhowell
Treasurer – Sarah Jane Taylor
Secretary – Michelle Griffin
General Board Member – Syahirah Hussein
General Board Member – Renee Bradfield
Who are we?
Australian Doulas is a group of like-minded doulas who work within a Code of Practice to deliver quality support to women and their families.
Australian Doulas provides doula training specifically tailored to the needs of Western Australian women. Australian Doulas provide ongoing support to their members in the form of mentoring and opportunities for further professional development.
Australian Doulas was formed in 2004 by Lisa Chalmers.
Before moving to Perth, Lisa was a recognised doula in London and was fortunate enough to train with some of the world’s most renowned obstetric and birthing professionals, including Michel Odent, Sheila Kitzinger and Jean Sutton. Lisa was co-director of Mothers Care Doulas and a founding committee member of Doula UK.
Lisa says, “When I arrived in Perth, I quickly realised that I really missed the network of supportive doulas we had in Doula UK so I strove to create something similar.”
Australian Doulas' first doula training was held in 2004.
Our doula training has evolved over the years to meet the needs of Western Australian women and is now facilitated by combinations of Tamara Stone, Emma Fedigan, Frances Parkhowell and Sashi Hesson, along with other respected key speakers. We provide training for both birth doulas and postnatal doulas, as well as recently developing a 'business for doulas' course for our members.
In recent years, we have been approached by several community organisations to develop specific training to meet the needs of different areas in the community and to assist with pregnancy and birthing services.
We have had the opportunity of providing doula training to Aboriginal Health Workers in Western Australia and to collaborate with Community Midwifery WA (The Bump WA) to provide volunteer doulas for refugee and new migrant women. We have also trained cross-cultural doulas to better support particularly vulnerable women.
After each doula training course, trainee doulas are invited to become members of Australian Doulas and to abide by our Code of Practice.
In 2010, Australian Doulas officially became a not-for-profit organisation with the aim of being able to reach further into the community and develop projects to meet the needs of Australian women.
Our vision is for all families to be well informed, supported and respected through their pregnancies, birth and the early postnatal period.
Our mission is to:
- model best practice doula conduct;
- provide unbiased information and support to all pregnant women and their families;
- offer the most relevant doula training for Western Australian women;
- offer support to all doulas, regardless of where or when they trained.
- building strong community relationships;
- ongoing professional development and research;
- raising community awareness of the benefits of continuity of care by a doula;
- supporting one another.