|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
Establishment and Function
The Midwives Board was established on 1st December 1915 with the proclamation of the Midwives Act 1915 (No 2773). The Board was established as a policy-making body, responsible for the regulation of Midwifery. It was responsible for the establishment of standards, the co-ordination of education and registration of Midwives. Prior to the establishment of the Board, Victorian midwives were not subject to registration.
To be eligible for registration, women (men were explicitly prohibited) were required to complete training courses managed by the Board and to pass the prescribed examinations. With the advent of registration only Registered Midwives were allowed to deliver babies for profit (medical practitioners were excluded from this Act).
Specifically the Board:
- regulated the issuing of certificates, and formulated the regulations for registration.
- managed training courses and examinations, setting fees for certificates and registration.
- regulated midwifery, defined crisis situations where the services of a medical practitioner was warranted and determined their appropriate fees.
- published annually a list of registered midwives in the Government Gazette.
Membership of the Board
The original Act required the Governor in Council to appoint from within the Public Service, a board of three persons (with one as chairman). A subsequent Act in 1916 increased membership to five.
With the proclamation of the Midwives Act 1928 (No 3587) on 1 March 1929 responsibility for the registration of midwives was transferred to the Nurses Board (VA 3144).
Location of Records
No records of this agency have been transferred to Public Record Office Victoria.