A SPLITTERS Creek mum-of-four is most happy empowering women.
Mariclair Edwards, who has four children under seven with husband Andrew, said a career change to midwifery in her early thirties was only a natural choice.
She said not long after having twins Kai and India, now 5, in Wodonga she knew what she was meant to do.
“When I had the twins it sparked in me a desire to become a midwife,” she said.
“It was like a calling: I had brilliant midwives help me through and I wanted to give back and I was interested in learning everything about it.”
With a background in teaching and as a flight attendant, Mrs Edwards enrolled in a Bachelor of Midwifery through Charles Darwin University three years ago.
She spent two weeks this month in Indonesia volunteering in private and public midwifery clinics as part of the final year of her degree.
Only 11 students were sponsored under the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s New Colombo Plan scholarship.
“It was a big eye-opener,” she said.
“They were very similar in antenatal care but very different in delivery.
“A lot of women are still birthing at home because they can’t afford to go to hospital and the mortality rate is quite high.
“The resilience of women was the highlight – it doesn’t matter if you are here or Indonesia – they rally with empowerment behind them.”
Mrs Edwards’ life was at risk after a complicated birth of her youngest son, Remy, now 9 months.
“I feel like I’ve been given a second chance at life,” she said.
“I want to take every opportunity I can to be the best midwife I can.
“The experience in Indonesia really brought it home to me how lucky we are.”
While Mrs Edwards will finish her degree in the spring, she has already helped deliver 26 babies at Albury Wodonga Health Maternity Unit in Wodonga as part of her work placement.
With support from her mum Jennifer Brent living nearby and husband Andrew, Mrs Edwards said she was very grateful to find her calling.
“It doesn’t matter how old you are if you’ve got the passion and desire to do it.
“I just took it one semester at a time and here I am in the last semester and will be qualified at the end of the year.”