The ‘Herstory’ of Homebirth NSW
The Homebirth Information Service (HIS) was formed in 1979 by a dissatisfied member of the Homebirth Association Sydney and in 1982 defined itself as a homebirth consumer group. In 1982, the Homebirth Association Sydney and Homebirth Access (formerly HIS) overcame their differences and became a united group called Homebirth Access Sydney.
Some of our milestones
Some of our milestones
- 1987: The decision was made to incorporate HAS
- 1992: The newsletter was renamed Birthings after David Crossley won a naming competition
- 2000: The HAS website was launched
- 2001: Guild Insurance withdrew professional indemnity insurance for independent midwives and suddenly many independent midwives were forced to stop practising. Pregnant women lost care providers and women lost insured homebirth. HAS, along with other groups like Australian Society of Independent Midwives and the Australian College of Midwives, lobbied governments and insurers to address the situation – without success to date.
- 2005: HAS’s Eastern Suburbs Homebirth Support Group started holding regular evening and daytime community meetings on topics relating to natural birth and homebirth.
- 2009: The Federal Government established National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for all Health Professionals. This required all health professionals to provide evidence of medical or professional indemnity insurance to secure their registration. As there was no insurance available for privately practising midwives this meant that they would be unable to attend births in the home setting.
- 2009: (7th Sept) many HAS members joined somewhere between 2000–3000 people in the pouring rain at the ‘Mother of All Rallies' outside Parliament House in Canberra. An exemption to the requirement for “intrapartum” (i.e. birth) insurance for midwives was quickly announced by the Health Minister (Roxon) which was to expire on 1st July 2013.
- 2012: (August) Australian Health Ministers met in Sydney for a meeting of the Standing Council on Health and agreed to extend the professional indemnity insurance exemption for privately practising midwives for a further 2 years until 1 July 2015.
- 2015: The Professional Indemnity Insurance exemption was again extended until 31st December 2015.
- 2015: The Professional Indemnity Insurance was extended again until 31st December 2016.
- 2016: (April) On April the 8th 2016, the COAG Health Council agreed to extend the current exemption until December 2019.
- 2018: (May) The Mothers For Midwives march saw a collective of thousands of women rally outside AHPRA offices nation-wide to seek a solution for the Professional Indemnity Insurance issue, reduction of regulations and hurdles for privately practising midwives and increased access and affordability of homebirth for Australian women.
- 2019: (October) Professional Indemnity Insurance was extended until December 2021.
- 2019: Homebirth Access Sydney (HAS) was renamed and rebranded to Homebirth New South Wales (HBNSW), extending their reach and including more midwives and women NSW wide.