The Zepherina Veitch Memorial Lecture
We are proud to announce this year’s Zepherina Veitch speaker was Professor Billie Hunter CBE who lead the lecture ‘Life as a Researcher’.
Each year, The Royal College of Midwives invites a leading midwife to deliver a thought-provoking and inspiring lecture, presenting the best in current midwifery research. The lecture commemorates Zepherina Veitch, a pioneer of modern midwifery and one of the founders of the institution which would become the RCM.
Professor Billie Hunter CBE
RCM Professor of Midwifery and Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Midwifery Development
Billie is a professor of midwifery at Cardiff University, is internationally esteemed as a researcher and author, particularly for her focus on the emotional work of midwives and their professional resilience. She lectures across the globe and holds a number of visiting chairs, including at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia.
A midwife for 40 years, and the first RCM professor of midwifery, she has spent the past two decades making an outstanding contribution to the evidence base for midwifery, through research, writing papers, books and presentations, and says she is committed to ‘inspiring and supporting others to do the same’.
She is the founder and former chair of the All Wales Midwifery and Reproductive Health Research Forum. More recently, Billie became director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Midwifery Development in Europe, based at Cardiff University. She also helped to set up the RCM oral history archive.
She says: ‘We know that midwives need to feel valued and cared for themselves in order to provide compassionate and safe care, so we really do need to pay attention to how tough it is for midwives on the ground, and find ways to offer better support.
‘I think it’s my interest in ‘caring for the carer’ that really resonates with other midwives. The ideas for this research originated in clinical practice, and I’ve made sure that I’ve taken the findings back to midwifery education and practice.’
She says becoming one of the RCM’s first fellows is ‘a huge honour’, and adds: ‘I hope that I can use the fellowship to carry on supporting midwives in their invaluable work, and hence improve care for women, babies and families.’