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Labour of Love: Examining Birthing and Health Care



Event Status

Unpick the ways Australia’s healthcare system could better serve pregnant and birthing people with a panel of perinatal health writers and experts. 

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Last year, more than 300,000 children were born in Australia, yet systems in place for childbirth remain opaque and often discriminatory.

For M/OTHER, the Wheeler Centre brings together a panel of perinatal health experts and creatives to explore the disparity between birthing expectations and reality, the birthing body, structural healthcare barriers faced by First Nations communities, and why mental health care for new parents so often falls short.

Combining their personal experience with years of research and expertise in the fields of perinatal health, this panel features author of The Cost of Labour, Natalie Kon-Yu; nurse and Vice Chancellor’s Fellow at RMIT, Dr Ruth De Souza; and Karinda Taylor, CEO at First Peoples’ Health and Wellbeing.

Together with feminist writer and organiser Karen Pickering, they will navigate the intersections between pregnancy, birthing and healthcare for a multi-faceted discussion of the contemporary birthing experience.


Conversations in M/OTHER may include references to topics such as mental health, reproductive rights, and childbirth. If you need assistance with any of these issues, you can learn more and seek advice via the Centre of Perinatal Excellence (COPE)Perintal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA) and Beyond Blue.


Wheelchair accessible

Accessible toilets available

Please notify us of all access requirements when booking online so we can assist you with your visit. If you require further information, please contact reception on 03 9094 7800 or

Official Bookseller

The official bookseller for M/OTHER is Neighbourhood Books.

About M/Other

M/OTHER is a weekend of fearless conversation about the ways ‘motherhood’ is experienced, portrayed and labelled by those who mother, have been mothered, wish they were mothers, do not identify as mothers, cannot or do not want to mother, and by society at-large.




Natalie Kon-yu

Natalie Kon-yu is a writer, academic and editor whose work has been published nationally and internationally. She is the co-commissioning editor of #Me Too: Stories from the Australian Women’s Movement (Picador, 2019), Mothers and Others: Why Not All Women are Mothers and All Mothers are Not the S... Read more

Ruth De Souza

Dr Ruth De Souza is a 2020 RMIT Vice Chancellor’s Fellow, based in the School of Art. A highly experienced multidisciplinary educator, researcher and consultant, specialising in birth, cultural safety and the interface of digital technologies within CALD communities. Ruth has a background in nursi... Read more

Karinda Taylor

Karinda Taylor is a Wamba Wamba woman from North West of Victoria where she was born and raised. Karinda is the Chief Executive Officer at First Peoples’ Health and Wellbeing, a trauma informed, culturally safe Aboriginal health service, made up of comprehensive primary care, mental health and tra... Read more

Karen Pickering

Karen Pickering is a feminist writer and organiser. Her previous work includes running the events Cherchez La Femme and Girls On Film Festival, writing the books About Bloody Time and Doing It, and her next book on motherhood shock and the resulting trauma will be published by Pantera Press. She is ... Read more


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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.