Hi Members and friends of HAS,
A few weeks ago, we had our Annual General Meeting amidst some challenging happenings at HAS. I will leave that news for later but would like to first make the announcement that after approximately 4 years as Coordinator/President and head whip cracker for Homebirth Access Sydney, I decided to take a step back from the lead role, and I nominated our Advertising Coordinator Jodie Powell as the new president. With Jodie’s extensive background in charity work, and her super motivated energy, inspiration and great ideas, I felt that she could do the role much better justice than I. And as my youngest home-birthed baby has now started school, I need to focus more time and energy on my own doula and natural therapies business. Fortunately, Jodie accepted and I will continue on as her vice president, helping out where I can, as well as continuing to assist our editor Bitna with editing Birthings. So I will hand it over to Jodie to fill you in on what has been happening and the exciting changes that HAS has been undergoing.
2016 was an exciting year here at Homebirth Access Sydney. We had new people join our committee (myself included) and changes in jobs within the committee – and lots of fresh ideas! We undertook a survey to get feedback from our members and wider audience – this was a very revealing process for us and has given us much to think about and work with. We finished the year on a high note – by having a stall at the Raising Happy Kids Conference – we were able to speak to many people about Home Birthing . We hope to be able to be present at more events like this in the future so that we can raise the profile of Home Birth within the community. We also got to connect with many great people in organisations within the ‘Gentle Parenting’ community – with some exciting collaborations now on the horizon. Watch this space.
However – 2016 was also a year of challenge for us. Unfortunately, HAS has been suffering from financial issues. The main problem being that it costs more to produce and print our magazine, Birthings, than we collect from membership fees. This – combined with the loss of one of our major sponsors has led us on a slow but steady decline for some years which has now come to the point where something needed to change. We did not want to raise our membership fees – so instead we have decided to turn this challenge into an opportunity for exciting change: We are now going to be publishing Birthings as a Bi-monthly E-magazine in glorious colour!
Our members will now enjoy 6 issues of Birthings per year instead of the previous 4. In addition, our members can also benefit from a discount in our online shop and member specials with our sponsor businesses. Plus of course our members get the biggest bonus of all which is having an organisation actively pushing for their ability to access Homebirth in Sydney, NSW, and beyond.
And of course – since you are reading this you have probably noticed that we now have a new and updated website! Our web administrator & Treasurer Veronica has been working night and day to get it online and we are all very grateful for her efforts. We are hoping to build this website into a great free resource for home birthing families. Here you will find great information on Homebirth, support to find a midwife near you or a doula, a list of Homebirth Support Groups across Australia and a directory of goods and services that may be of interest to Homebirthing and natural parenting families. We are still building this site and will be constantly adding to it based on the feedback we get from our supporters. So please feel free to get in contact with us and let us know what you think. If you want to help us in any way we would love to hear from you.