Over the past 40 years, since 1979, Homebirth Access Sydney Inc (HAS) has been advocating for homebirthing families in the Sydney region. Our main goals throughout this time have been to provide information to homebirthing families, and to protect and maintain access to homebirth as a valid birthing option for Sydney families.
In support of this goal, HAS maintains a website full of up to date homebirth information, details of Privately Practising Midwives offering homebirth services and connections to homebirth support groups and birthworkers. To help normalise and protect homebirth, and share homebirthing information, HAS publishes Birthings magazine electronically and in print, which is full of theme articles and birth stories and provides updates on current events and the climate of homebirth in Australia. HAS regularly represents the interests of Homebirthing families in the community and up to government level, with committee members involved in consumer advocacy in our local health district hospitals, maintaining contacts with parliamentary ministers and acting as consumer representatives with Health Consumers NSW. The committee members that make up HAS, and ensure all of this is possible, are volunteers; HAS is a non-profit, community-based organisation.
At our Annual General Meeting in February 2019, members resolved to widen our geographical focus to include all of NSW. We believe that a state-wide homebirth advocacy organisation is necessary to help address the lack of homebirth services across NSW, and this change is a response to an increase in the requests for support and information in regional and rural NSW. The broadening of our geographical focus is now reflected in the resolution to change our name to Homebirth New South Wales Inc (HBNSW).
In the coming months we will be transitioning to our new name and focus, and celebrating 40 years of advocating for homebirthing families in the Sydney region! Our members recently voted on our new logo to be used going forward. Our website and contact emails will remain the same until our new website is built under our new domain: homebirthNSW.org.au.