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Kara Blackburn

Research Midwife
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Kara is a Registered Midwife and Nurse with a Master of International Public Health. She is part of the Global Women's and Newborn's Health group as a research midwife. Her background is a combination of tertiary level clinical maternity care in Australia, and in global sexual and reproductive health, having worked with the international humanitarian aid agency Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) for over a decade.

After working in complex women's health projects as a field midwife in Darfur, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea, Kara worked as a women's health advisor with MSF. This involved developing and implementing programs and providing technical support to reduce very high rates of maternal and perinatal mortality. It also involved addressing sexual and reproductive health issues such as sexual violence, safe abortion care and cervical cancer in countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Philippines, Laos, Bougainville, Ivory Coast, South Sudan and Chad. She has been a contributor to the revision of MSFs women's health protocols and has developed an extensive in-service education program for midwives in Ivory Coast and Cambodia. Kara also currently practices as a clinical midwife at the Royal Women's Hospital.

Her interests are in strategies to reduce maternal and perinatal mortality in settings where mortality remains high, particularly in supporting midwives and midwifery education.

  • 2010: MIPH, University of Queensland, Brisbane Australia
  • 1998: GradDip Nurs (Mid) Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Australia
  • 1995: BNurs (pre-reg) Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Australia

May 2021: Research Midwife, Burnet Institute

March–November 2020: Research Assistant, Burnet Institute

2018–present: Registered Midwife, Royal Womens Hospital, Melbourne

2011–2017: Medical Advisor-Women’s Health, Médecins Sans Frontières Medical Unit, Sydney