Nurse and Midwife Spotlight with Joan Cunningham

In honour of International Day of the Midwife, we are sharing a very special spotlight about St John of God Subiaco Hospital Birth Suite Manager, Joan Cunningham.

5 May 2021

Joan Cunningham and midwives

St John of God Subiaco Hospital Birth Suite Manager, Joan Cunningham pictured far right


What year did you enter the nursing or midwifery profession?

I arrived in Australia in 1993 and shortly after started working St John of God Subiaco Hospital.

I have been at the hospital for 28 years and 26 of those have been in our birth suite.

In 2012, I was thrilled to become the Birth Suite Manager.

In total, I have worked as a practising midwife for 34 years, having been in nursing for 40 years.

What do you love most about the profession?

I love midwifery and I think it is the most amazing job in the world.

We make a big difference to the lives of our patients and families.

Why is the most challenging part of your role?

The most challenging, yet rewarding, aspect of midwifery is caring for a mother who has lost a baby, through a preterm birth or death. This never gets any easier.

It is in our nature as midwives to do as much as we can. In these situations, we sit and spend time with the mother and family to provide comfort and support them through this traumatic experience.

What advice do you have for our midwives?

The advice I would give to midwives is to always remember that it is a privilege to care for women during this special time of their life.

No single person has the sole authority on the care of a woman. It is a collaborative process to achieve the best outcome for the family and baby.