Rural and Remote Advisory Group

  • Leonie McLaughlin

    Leonie McLaughlin


    I am a RN & RM with a long-standing passion for both midwifery and education. I have worked in many settings of midwifery over my 35 year long career as a midwife, from tertiary settings, family birth units and very small rural maternity units. I have a particular interest in midwifery-led, caseload, and continuity models of maternity care, and the positive impact midwives can have around the perinatal period for women, and their families.

    I also have a special interest in safe, high quality and equitable healthcare provision in the rural and remote setting, and the particular challenges and needs for both the health consumer and health care provider, including -importantly - the vast inequality in health outcomes for indigenous Australians.

    I also hold a Grad Dip Adult Education & Training from the University of Melbourne, Cert IV TAE, & Master of Education from RMIT, and have been a nursing and midwifery educator for many years, in both the clinical and tertiary setting.

    I live in rural northeast Victoria where I love the beautiful environment here, and travel broadly across Australia as part of my role as remote educator for CRANAplus.


    Academic Institute: Remote Clinical Educator for CRANAplus, holding the Maternity Courses Portfolio

    Research Interests: Midwifery led & caseload midwifery, continuity of maternity care, rural and remote midwifery care

    Email address:

  • Professor Vicki Flenady

    Professor Vicki Flenady

    Director; Co-lead Risk Factors; Co-lead Implementation

    Professor Vicki Flenady leads the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre of Research Excellence which aims to reduce stillbirths and improve care for families when a child is stillborn through high quality research and raising community awareness.  Vicki was lead author on The Lancet’s stillbirth series in 2011 and 2016. Vicki’s research currently focused on stillbirth prevention through better understanding of causal pathways and risk factors and is currently leading a large-scale trial on a mobile phone app for women on fetal movements to reduce stillbirth rates. With a clinical background in midwifery and neonatal nursing and masters and PhD in perinatal epidemiology in stillbirth prevention, Vicki has a keen interest in addressing evidence practice gaps in maternity care. Vicki is an active member of the International Stillbirth Alliance. 

  • Ms Marie Hobden

    Ms Marie Hobden

    Research Midwife

    Marie completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours at the University of Hull in the UK with a background in Midwifery. Since then she has worked as a Midwife in a variety of roles in England, Australia and the USA. Her most rewarding role was working with Indigenous families in Tropical North Queensland. Marie has recently joined the Stillbirth CRE team as a Research Midwife and is dedicated to continually improving care for all women and families.

  • Ms Madeline Forbes

    Ms Madeline Forbes

    Research Assistant

    Madeline has completed both a Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Queensland and was awarded the Joan Lawrence AM prize by the University of Queensland for her studies in early 2020. Madeline joined the Stillbirth CRE in 2019 and is working as across several projects. These projects include developing an international classification system for causes of stillbirths and neonatal deaths across data-rich settings, implementing a stillbirth education campaign across Australian populations with a focus on higher-risk populations, and an audit of current hospital practices following perinatal mortality throughout Australia.