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Handing over the reins - an evolving Editorial Board.

It is hard to believe that this is the 22nd year and the 45th issue of the Journal of the New Zealand College of Midwives. The first issue (edited by Judy Hedwig and Helen Manoharan of Palmerston North) was published in September 1989, and since then has been under the stewardship of some outstanding midwifery writers and researchers. Joan Skinner took over as Editor of the Journal in April 2008, from the Otago-based Editorial Board of Alison Stewart, Sally Pairman, Deb Davis, Jean Patterson and Rhondda Davies who had collaboratively edited the journal since 2001. Under Joan's guidance, the Journal has continued to grow in the quality of research and writing as she supported and encouraged midwives in practice, education and research to write about what matters to the midwifery profession. Joan has spent considerable time growing midwifery writers and helping authors to craft their research into an article for publication. The role of Journal Editor is an enormous job, and after four years, Joan feels it is time to hand over the reins.

The Journal is still evolving and Joan's resignation has stimulated discussion and further changes. Since 2010 the Journal has had three sub-editors; Jackie Gunn, Ruth Martis and Andrea Gilkison who have supported the Editor. At the beginning of this year Susan Crowther also joined the team as a sub-editor, with Lesley Dixon actively involved as the Journal secretariat, managing papers for review, and getting each issue ready for publication. Earlier this year, the editorial group met with the New Zealand College of Midwives to discuss the challenges of ensuring a quality journal publication and to clarify optimal editorial processes. When the editorial processes of other midwifery journals were reviewed, it was found that the majority have an editorial board comprising six or more members and most journals have more than one editor. It was agreed that we should follow this lead and appoint two editors to work together. The two editors would work with four sub-editors who would be responsible for working with authors to support them to publication. It was proposed and agreed that the two co-editors would be Andrea Gilkison and Lesley Dixon. Andrea and Lesley would work collaboratively with sub-editors Ruth, Jackie and Susan as an editorial board, with a fourth sub-editor position to be filled in the near future. The Journal Editorial Board will work in a partnership philosophy to ensure consensus building. The board will be responsible for the content and quality of the papers published, robust and efficient publication processes and future strategic direction and planning for the Journal.

We hope that the setting up of an Editorial Board in this way will enhance support for the editors, the sub editors and the authors who are submitting their papers.

We are sorry to be losing Joan, but would like to acknowledge her outstanding contribution as Editor of the Journal for the last four years. Joan has been a wonderful role model for us to follow with considered and measured feedback to authors alongside encouragement and support to improve the quality of writing. She has worked hard to ensure that there were sufficient good quality papers prepared for publication whilst also holding down her own demanding position at Victoria University. We appreciate her time, passion and commitment. She has paved the way for the rest of us to follow, so thank you Joan.

When Joan took over from the Otago Editorial Board in 2008, she wrote that it was "with some trepidation that she took over the reins as editor of this Journal." Joan we know how you felt! Your editorship over the last four years has been outstanding, and your shoes will be very hard to fill. We are extremely grateful for the systems that you have put in place, we are sure that it will make our roles a lot easier.

This issue of the Journal has been a collaborative effort with Joan mentoring and supporting us through to publication. Each of the four papers in this issue has something to offer midwives wherever they work. The first paper presents research exploring the experiences of first time mothers in New Zealand and has come from outside of the midwifery profession. Reassuringly it points to the importance women place on the supportive relationships they have with midwives in the New Zealand context of continuity of midwifery care. Joan Skinner's paper draws on her doctoral research which examines the referral patterns of LMC midwives. The results indicated that, at that time (2005), midwives provided care to women with a variety of risk factors and continued to provide continuity of care even when clinical responsibility was transferred.

For midwives working in maternity hospital environments, Lesa Freeman and Anna van Uden have provided a summary of an audit undertaken in their primary maternity unit. The audit was a collaborative affair with all the staff involved and demonstrates how midwives can become involved in quality improvements and motivate changes to support good practice. Lastly, Ellen Clark and Liz Smythe have explored some of the key themes and issues related to identifying women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and the effects this may have during labour and birth. They have set out some 'universal precautions' that can be used by core midwives who have not previously met women to ensure sensitive and appropriate care for all women but which may also reduce any additional trauma for women who may have been affected by childhood sexual abuse.

Before introducing the Editorial Board in the following biographies, we would like to take this opportunity to thank Rhondda Davies for her proof reading of each issue, all our wonderful skilled reviewers, and of course the authors who work so hard to write and re-write their articles without whom this journal would not exist. We should be so proud of the growing number of midwife writers and researchers in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Talking of good writers and researchers, we were very impressed by the caliber of presentations at the Joan Donley Research Forum in Taranaki in August. We welcome submissions to the Journal from everybody but especially from each and every one of those midwife presenters.

Introducing the Journal's Editorial Board


Andrea Gilkison

Andrea has been a midwife in New Zealand since 1985. Andrea went to Wellington Polytechnic for her midwifery education (as a part of the Advanced Diploma of Nursing), and has practised in various areas of midwifery at Wanganui Base hospital, Wellington Women's Hospital and Palmerston North Hospital.

During the 1990s, Andrea worked in the Manawatu region as a self-employed midwife. Her passion has been supporting women who choose to birth at home or in primary birthing units. Andrea has had a long involvement with the New Zealand College of Midwives and was a regional chairperson of the Manawatu region and on the editorial committee for the College Journal in the early 1990s.

In 1998, Andrea's focus turned to education. She lived and worked in the United Kingdom (UK), and completed her Masters degree in education there. Her Masters research explored the facilitation of Problem-Based learning tutorials. Returning to Auckland, New Zealand in 2001, Andrea was able to combine midwifery with education, when she commenced teaching in the undergraduate midwifery programme at Auckland University of Technology (AUT). Andrea is now a senior lecturer and programme leader for the midwifery programme, and also teaches in the postgraduate midwifery programme. She has gained her PhD this year which explored the experience of implementing a narrative-centred curriculum in an undergraduate midwifery programme.


Lesley Dixon

Lesley is a Midwifery Advisor with the New Zealand College of Midwives, providing practice advice for midwives and developing a research framework for the College to support midwifery knowledge and practice. During her 25 years working as a midwife Lesley has practised midwifery across a variety of work settings. Her first years were as a community midwife in the UK followed by several years working in Germany and a final move to New Zealand 12 years ago, where she has worked as a Lead Maternity Care midwife and a Charge Midwife of a primary birthing unit. Whilst working Lesley has also undertaken an academic journey starting with an Honours degree awarded in the UK, a Masters in Midwifery from Otago, New Zealand and a PhD completed this year with Victoria University of Wellington. Her doctoral research has explored women's perspectives and understanding of labour as it moves towards birth.


Jackie Gunn

Jackie is the Head of Midwifery at AUT University and has worked in Midwifery Education for more than 20 years. During that time she has led curriculum development and implementation of the BHSc (Midwifery) and the development of postgraduate midwifery papers. Jackie has been a midwife for more than 30 years. During this time she practised as a Lead Maternity Care midwife for over ten years and as a core midwife prior to 1991 and again more recently to maintain her midwifery practice. Jackie is the National Education Consultant for NZ College of Midwives and a member of the Health Practitioners' Disciplinary Tribunal. She was recently made a life member of NZ College of Midwives.


Ruth Martis

Ruth has practised as a midwife for nearly 30 years in a variety of settings, mainly attending homebirths or working in primary units. She has worked across a number of countries, mostly in South-East Asia, but recently has had the privilege of spending some time with the Hamlin Fistula Trust in Ethiopia. Ruth is currently a senior midwifery lecturer at the CPIT Midwifery School, Christchurch. She has been involved in a number of research projects and clinical practice guideline developments. Her Master's thesis researched the antenatal education needs of young pregnant women and she has recently been invited to be on the trust for Rachel's House working with young parents, as well being part of Waipuna St. Johns professional development team. Her main research and midwifery interests are how to keep birth normal, oxytocin, breastfeeding/lactation, issues surrounding teenage pregnancies and the implementation of evidence-based care. Ruth was a regular feature author for five years of 'Teen Talk' for the Kiwi Parent magazine. She has published a number of research articles and a chapter for the recent book by Davies, Daellenbach and Kensington called 'Sustainability, midwifery and birth'. She is a fledging Cochrane review author, having co-authored and published three reviews before embarking on becoming a first Cochrane review author. Ruth is also a New Zealand College of Midwives foundation member and held a variety of positions with the College over the years. Currently she is a member of the NZCOM governance committee.


Susan Crowther

Susan has worked in health care practice since 1983. For the last 20 years she has practised as a midwife in a variety of settings, home, birth centres and hospitals in several countries such as UK, Ghana, Burkino Faso, Armenia, NZ and France. As a NHS consultant midwife in England she set up a birth centre and organised the provision for a water birth service in Cambridge in the UK before coming to NZ with her NZ husband. Once in NZ she set up a remote rural self-employed midwifery service on the Kaipara, Northland. In early 2010 she joined AUT as a midwife lecturer and occasionally still provides a rural locum service for colleagues. She writes and publishes regularly in midwifery journals and has been on the editorial board for the UK Practising Midwife for the past decade. She is a PhD candidate examining the often hidden spiritual sacred aspects of birth that remain concealed within contemporary metanarratives that inform the way we speak and research childbirth in the 21st century. Susan is passionate about primary midwifery provision and family focussed maternity care. She loves nature and lives on a biodynamic lifestyle block 100 km north of Auckland.
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Title Annotation:EDITORIAL
Author:Gilkison, Andrea; Dixon, Lesley
Publication:New Zealand College of Midwives Journal
Article Type:Editorial
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:Oct 1, 2011
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