Midwives and Rabbit Snatchers
Stories of Australian Midwives
Midwives and Rabbit Snatchers is the latest in the series of works in which Dr Mavis Gaff-Smith records the stories of the women who have assisted Australia’s mothers in that most vulnerable of all the times of their lives – the weeks of gestation and when they are giving birth.
The book pays tribute to the role of Aboriginal midwives among their own people and for the help that they gave to settlers’ wives, often far from other women and from medical help. She pays particular attention to the stories of the koori women at Hollywood Mission near Yass and at Erambie, near Cowra.
Just as earlier volumes in the series have focussed on specific areas of the colony and then the state of New South Wales, Midwives and Rabbit Snatchers scans the stories of the ‘granny’ midwives and the trained nurses who conducted hospitals, small and large, from the Snowy Mountains to ‘The Levels’ of the Lachlan, from the South-West Slopes to the Southern Tablelands.
Mavis Gaff-Smith is passionate both about her calling as a midwife, and about the stories of the brave women who have preceded her as mothers and in the profession.
Author: Mavis Gaff-Smith
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