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Midwife Heroes Win $10,000 For Their Hospitals
Shea Caplice and Leeanne Pendleton have been named the winners of the WaterWipes inaugural Pure Foundation Fund – a new global bursary scheme designed to celebrate the incredible work of antenatal and neonatal Healthcare Professionals.
WaterWipes received hundreds of nominations in Australia and New Zealand and winners were selected by a panel of WaterWipes representatives and esteemed judges including Australia’s most recognised breastfeeding expert Pinky McKay, high-profile neonatologist Dr Howard Chilton and Paralympian and Order of Australia Medal recipient, Jessica Smith.
The Pure Foundation Fund was developed in response to the COVID-19 health crisis and how it has highlighted the importance of human connection. The Fund’s first campaign “These Are The Hands” was designed to invite both new and expectant parents and other Healthcare Professionals to nominate a Healthcare Professional who had provided exceptional support, compassion and care for their patients or contributed to advancing maternity or neonatal care.
Shea Caplice, a Clinical Midwife Consultant at Malabar Midwives in Sydney’s Randwick, received $5,000 for her department in recognition of the team’s amazing work in culturally-sensitive Indigenous maternal and infant care. These are the hands that remove the barrier of health access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and go above and beyond to provide outstanding care.
“Historically, the absence of care that recognised the specific needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples contributed to a lack of engagement with antenatal services and subsequently compromised health care during pregnancy, birth and postnatally,” said Shea Caplice.
“The Malabar Service recognises there is a range of social determinants of health that impact on the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families that can contribute to poor health outcomes. Our program addresses these issues at a grass roots level by offering a one-stop-shop midwifery service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.”
Leeanne Pendleton, a Midwife from Midwifery Group Practice in Alice Springs, has also been awarded $5,000 for her department to continue to improve their care of parents and babies. Leeanne was nominated by Bree Irvin as she completely transformed Bree’s view on pregnancy and birth, and went to extreme lengths to allow Bree to have the birth she desired, despite being in the midst of a pandemic.
“As COVID-19 restrictions hit, my partner couldn’t come to the appointments at the clinic anymore, so Leeanne offered to come to our home for the check-ups instead. As a family we looked forward to these appointments and Leeanne was quickly becoming a life-long friend,” said Bree Irvin.
Bree describes Leeanne’s care as exceptional because it empowered her to feel confident and informed in her own decisions and enabled a natural birth that Bree never thought she could have.
“I never ever thought I’d be able to experience a home birth, but due to Leeanne’s extensive knowledge, support and guidance I will be forever grateful for the calm and natural birth of my daughter, Rose. This was a birth I could truly be proud of. Leeanne had believed in me from the start and through her knowledge and experience I have had such a beautiful birth experience. I never knew how much this would develop my confidence as a woman and mother.”
According to WaterWipes, The Pure Foundation Fund puts faces and names to the hands that touch the lives of expectant and new parents, both physically and emotionally, yet so often remain anonymous. A whole host of Healthcare Professionals are involved in the pregnancy, birth and post-natal journey; including midwives, doctors, nurses, surgeons, anaesthetists, obstetricians, neonatal professionals and health visitors.
Andrea Hawes, Marketing Manager of WaterWipes Australasia, said; “The COVID-19 pandemic has opened people’s eyes to the dedication of our healthcare heroes who have gone above and beyond, and we received so many remarkable entries. Stories of those nominated highlighted pure human goodness at its best, with each nomination demonstrating the amount of empathy, creativity, and willingness to do anything for their patient that our Healthcare Professionals attain. Each and every one of the incredible Healthcare Professionals featured in these nominations deserves to be celebrated.”
If you are a Healthcare Professional and would like to find out more about WaterWipes, please visit
About the WaterWipes Pure Foundation Fund
WaterWipes, the word’s purest baby wipes, launched the Pure Foundation Fund in 2020 to celebrate and recognise the incredible work of all the Healthcare Professionals involved maternity and neonatal care.
WaterWipes encouraged both Healthcare Professionals and expectant and new parents to nominate individuals specifically involved in neonatal and maternity care, who had gone above and beyond to make a difference to the lives of parents and babies. We had a significant number of entries detailing the remarkable work of many healthcare professionals. A panel of WaterWipes representatives and judges reviewed the entries and selected the winners.
WaterWipes, the world’s purest baby wipes, are a pure baby wipe that contains minimal ingredients. They have been specifically developed to be purer than cotton wool and water while offering the convenience of a wipe. Containing 99.9% high purity water and a drop of fruit extract, they provide safe cleansing for the most delicate newborn skin and are so gentle they can also be used on premature babies. www.waterwipes.com/au/en