Barbara Vernon

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Barbara Vernon, PhD., is an Australian maternity activist and a government lobbyist[1] who seeks to improve provisions for maternity services, and in particular she advocates for the use of midwives.Born in New South Wales she moved to Canberra in the mid-1970s. She earned an Honours Degree in Political Science at the Australian National University and in 1997 was awarded a PhD. in public policy from Griffith University in Brisbane, Queensland.

Vernon worked in the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Commonwealth Department of the Environment, before becoming the President of the Maternity Coalition, a position she held for two years. While President, she and Dr Tracy Reibel drafted the National Maternity Action Plan. In 2003, she was appointed Executive Officer of the Australian College of Midwives, a position which she held from 2002 to 2010. In 2008, she was appointed by Nicola Roxon, the Minister of Health, to the External Reference Group developing the National Primary Health Care Strategy.[2]


  • Midwifery in Australia - emerging from the shadows with Jenny Gamble in "Midwifery - freedom to practise?", ed Lindsay Reid, Churchill Livingston Elsevier, 2007, ISBN 978-0-443-10312-4


  1. ^ Australian Birth and Postnatal Services Conference Speech by Senator Lyn Allison, 28 April 2007 [1]
  2. ^ National Primary Health Care Strategy, Press Release, Nicola Roxon