Next week, I’m told there’s a meeting of the committee within my university School in which they decide whether people like me can be trusted to spend the grown ups’ money wisely. Let’s not forget, I do (allegedly) receive an annual budget towards conferences and study leave. Generally speaking, however, and as I’ve mentioned before, the grown ups don’t extend that budget to being allowed to take a poster presentation to a conference. Papers yes, posters no. However… I happen to know someone lovely who sits on that committee, and she has suggested that if I put a strong application together, there’s a chance they may look favourably on my begging and take pity on me.
With that in mind, I’ve been considering what else I might get up to in Australia. I’ve been looking at midwifery leadership and identity over there, and happily I’ve discovered three significant things that might strengthen my case:
- Like the English NHS, Australian policy makers currently have a mild obsession with the need to develop clinical leadership capacity in their healthcare organisations. This is good, because it demonstrates a great deal of similarity in policy imperative – and that’s always a great driver for research;
- From a midwifery perspective, the Australians seem to be continually scratching their heads about how to establish a strong professional identity – much like us, really. This is also good, because much of what I’ve got to say relates as much to identity construction in the profession as it does to leadership;
- Finally, there is an utter dearth of midwifery leadership-specific literature coming from Oz – again, much like here. And this is the best thing, because in my tiny brain, I hold an awful lot of relevant information: about leadership generally, about midwifery leadership specifically, and about how the professional identity impacts on leaders’ ability to lead, in the context of clinical leadership.
So I’ll be putting the relevant paperwork together over the next couple of days, and then it’s fingers crossed. If I get a favourable response from my School, I’ll be a happy bunny. If I don’t, it’s all going to get much more difficult. And it will involve a lot more baking.