My name is Susan Smith. I am a Registered Nurse/Midwife with over thirty years’ experience. Most recently I was employed as a Maternal Child Health nurse working with Child and Family Health in the country south region of Adelaide. In this position I established an immunisation clinic in the Murray Malley region where my role was to coordinate and immunise clients ranging from six weeks of age to five years. I was also responsible for coordinating staff immunisation programs as well as managing vaccine orders and cold chain maintenance. I completed a Masters of Midwifery by coursework and research in 2019, with a publication in Women and Birth Journal entitled “Midwives’ role in the promotion and provision of antenatal influenza Immunisation”. In 2020, prior to the outbreak of Covid 19, I commenced a full time PhD at Flinders University. This project is entitled “Vaccine decision-making in pregnancy and parents of children aged 0-5 years”. The aim of this project is to explore the values, beliefs and choices made by pregnant women and parents regarding their decision not to vaccinate their child or children aged 0-5 years, and to determine the factors that influence this decision making and to give a voice to vaccine hesitant parents. I am also a military veteran having served for twelve years in both the RAAF and Army, with a passion for supporting ex-servicemen and women and take an active role as Executive Officer of the Australian student veterans association – Flinders Branch (ASVA).
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