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I write this as the Chair of the Australian College of Midwives’ (ACM) Midwifery Education Advisory Committee (MEAC). We welcome informed and vigorous debate at any time about midwifery education. Unfortunately the 2012 (19, 4) Collegian Editorial by Stewart et al. lacks authentication for its claims and innuendo which does not enhance debate or discussion. Neither stipulation nor criticism has been made about midwifery education award levels by MEAC or the ACM – universities make their own choice about award levels and types and this should be based on sound collaboration and consultation with women as consumers, industry partners and the midwifery profession as well as individual university requirements. If this process is not generating effective woman centred graduates for a region/city/state's needs then the university needs to reconsider its decision-making.
Midwifery education is about graduates who are able to function as competent woman centred midwives anywhere in Australia to meet the needs of any and every woman they work with; this should be an enduring endeavour. This is neither about nursing education nor about meeting the needs of nursing staff shortages and vice versa. Effectual university education needs to be contemporary and future oriented to ensure that change is always forthcoming and the award meets evidence based discipline workforce needs not all workforce needs; or we should revert to generic graduates without attentive specification for the client group they are prescribed for and hope they might do the tasks and get the job done but not advance their respective professions and in the case of midwifery aspire to the best for women.