NMBI National Student Midwife Debate 2023
Pictured (L to R): Dr Louise Kavanagh McBride, NMBI President; Shannon McHugh, winner of the Best Speaker award and Sheila McClelland, NMBI CEOPictured (L to R): Dr Louise Kavanagh McBride, NMBI President; Shannon McHugh, winner of the Best Speaker award and Sheila McClelland, NMBI CEO
Shannon McHugh wins Best Speaker at NMBI National Student Midwife Debate 2023
Our annual National Student Midwife Debate was held on 10 November at University College Dublin. The event was hosted by the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Sciences. The debate was organised in conjunction with the six education bodies that provide midwifery education.
The motion for debate was ‘This house believes that midwives will meet all needs of women’s reproductive health within Irish society.’ Six student midwives, one from each of the six education bodies, competed in two teams to debate the motion with one student midwife voted Best Speaker.
The speakers debating for the motion were Clodagh Vaughan, representing Dundalk Institute of Technology; Ann Nwagwu, representing University College Dublin and Andrea Pasztor representing University of Limerick. The speakers debating against the motion Aryth Stryker, representing University College Cork; Suzanne O’Toole representing Trinity College Dublin and Shannon McHugh representing University of Galway.
Pictured (Top row L to R): Shannon McHugh, UG; Suzanne O’Toole, TCD and Aryth Stryker, UCC
(Bottom row L to R): Andrea Pasztor, UL; Clodagh Vaughan, DkIT and Ann Nwagwu, UCD
Shannon McHugh, studying midwifery at University of Galway won the prize for Best Speaker at the debate, while the team who spoke against the motion were judged to be the Winning Team.
Pictured: Shannon McHugh, Best Speaker 2023
Opening the debate, NMBI President, Dr Louise Kavanagh McBride, said: “This NMBI National Student Midwife Debate takes place annually to allow students to engage and collaborate whilst practise their debating skills on topical issues of relevance to midwifery. Student midwives have a unique opportunity to broaden their knowledge and understanding of the profession of midwifery as they research the topic in preparation for the debate. While we often talk about care, compassion, and competence in midwifery - communications is also key. The speakers this afternoon showcased their exceptional communication and presentation skills. I am confident that these future midwives will go on to make an important meaningful contribution in advocating for women and delivering excellent care in their chosen careers ahead. Well done again to all six student midwives today.”
“I would particularly like to congratulate Shannon McHugh on winning the award for Best Speaker. Shannon spoke with such conviction and passion against the motion,” she said.
Pictured (L to R): Shannon McHugh, Best Speaker 2023 and Khayla Timothy, Best Speaker 2022
The prizes to the winning team and the best speaker were presented by Dr Margaret Murphy, Chair of the NMBI Midwives Committee and Khayla Timothy, a student midwife at University of Limerick and winner of the best speaker award at last year’s NMBI National Student Midwife Debate 2022.
The judging panel was comprised of Loraine Mulligan, Member of the Midwives Committee, NMBI; Georgina Farren, Barrister-at-Law, formerly NMBI; Sinéad Heaney, Midwife Advisor, The Chief Nursing Officer and Professional Regulation Division and Angela Dunne, National Lead Midwife, HSE’s National Women and Infant’s Health Programme.
Pictured (L to R): Angela Dunne; Loraine Mulligan; Shannon McHugh; Sinéad Heaney and Georgina Farren
Speaking at the event, Barrister and midwife, Georgina Farren outlined how midwives can be armed with a better sense of professional security. While Dr Caroline Munyi, Migrant Women’s Health Co-ordinator, AkiDwA, spoke on the care of women with Female Genital Mutilation within maternity services.
Those in attendance also heard from Sheila McClelland, NMBI CEO; Dr Karn Cliffe, NMBI Midwife Project Lead; Associate Professor Barbara Coughlan, Head of Subject Midwifery, at the UCD School of Nursing and Health Science, UCD; Katie White, a student currently studying on the Higher Diploma in Midwifery programme at UCD and Angela Dunne, National Lead Midwife, HSE’s National Women and Infant’s Health Programme.
Pictured (Back row L to R): Barbara Coughlan; Angela Dunne and Dr Margaret Murphy
(Font row L to R): Sheila McClelland; Dr Louise Kavanagh McBride; Georgina Farren; Katie White; Dr Caroline Munyi and Dr Karn Cliffe
This year’s debate was held at the Fitzgerald Debating Theatre, UCD and streamed online.