Dr Andrea Gilkison

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Associate Head Postgraduate School of Clinical Sciences
Senior Lecturer midwifery

Phone: +64 9 9219999 ext. 7720

Email: andrea.gilkison@aut.ac.nz

Physical Address:
Room ME106B
South Campus
640 Great South Road


Doctor of Philosophy
Master of Education (Distinction)
Bachelor of Social Sciences
Registered Midwife
Registered Comprehensive Nurse

Memberships and Affiliations:

Co-director Centre for Midwifery and Women’s Health Research
Co-editor New Zealand College of Midwives Journal


I have been a midwife in New Zealand since 1985, and have practiced in various areas of midwifery, but have been particularly passionate about supporting women who choose to birth at home or in primary birthing units.

Since 2001, I have been lucky enough to combine midwifery with education, when I commenced teaching in the undergraduate midwifery programme at AUT. I led the implementation of a narrative centred curriculum for the midwifery programme in 2005, and completed my PhD alongside this which explored the experience of teachers and students of implementing a narrative-centred curriculum in an undergraduate midwifery programme. A narrative pedagogical approach still underpins the curriculum today.

I have held the role of undergraduate programme leader, and now Associate Head of Postgraduate studies and co-director of the Centre for Midwifery and Women’s Health Research at AUT. I have been the co-editor of the New Zealand College of midwives’ journal for the last 7 years, and am on the editorial board of several international journals. Research is another passion with research interests focusing on health professional education, sustainable midwifery practice and rural midwifery.

Teaching Areas:

Health Professional education
Developing competence midwifery practice
Sustaining midwifery practice

Research Areas:

  • Midwifery education
  • Narrative pedagogy
  • Sustainable midwifery practice
  • Rural midwifery

Research Summary:

My research interests have been focused on midwifery education, specifically implementing a narrative centred curriculum at AUT. Sustainable midwifery practice and preparation for rural midwifery are other areas of interest. Currently I am involved in a project collaborative project which I am leading alongside researchers from 2 Universities in Scotland, and one other New Zealand tertiary provider. The research stemmed from a desire to understand what skills, qualities and attributes are needed for rural midwives in New Zealand and Scotland. The findings of the study will inform educational programmes (both undergraduate and postgraduate) and midwifery practice.

Sustainable community and hospital midwifery practice is an ongoing study which explores the important question of midwives can be sustained in practice long term.  

Current Research Projects:

Co-principal researcher: Sustainable midwifery (LMC and core) practice in New Zealand

Co principle researcher: Rural midwifery in New Zealand and Scotland (in collaboration with University of West Scotland, Robert Gordon University, Ara Polytechnic)

Co principle researcher: AUT Midwifery students’ experience of using a practice development tool

Researcher: Finding Reproductive Health Information in Pregnancy


I will be attending the International Confederation of Midwives Triennial conference in Toronto in June 2017. I have three papers to present based on current research projects



Gilkison, A., McAra Couper, J., Fielder, A., Hunter, M., & Austin, D. (2017 in press). The Core of the core: What is at the heart of core hospital midwifery practice in New Zealand? New Zealand College of Midwives Journal.

McAra-Couper, J., Gilkison, A., Fielder, A., & Donald, H. (2017). A mixed-method evaluation of a New Zealand based midwifery education development unit. Nurse Education in Practice. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nepr.2017.05.002

Dixon, L., Guilliland, K., Pallant, J., Sidebotham, M., Fenwick, J., McAra-Couper, J., & Gilkison, A. (2017). The emotional wellbeing of New Zealand midwives: Comparing responses for midwives in caseloading

Crowther, S., Hunter, B., McAra-Couper, J., Warren, L., Gilkison, A., Hunter, M. . . . Kirkham, M. (2016). Sustainability and Resilience in Midwifery: A discussion paper. Midwifery. doi:10.1016/j.midw.2016.06.005

Gilkison, A., Giddings, L., & Smythe, L. (2016). Real life narratives enhance learning about the ‘art and science’ of midwifery practice. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 21(1), 19-32. doi:10.1007/s10459-015-9607-z

Gilkison, A., Pairman, S., McAra-Couper, J., Kensington, M., & James, L. (2016). Midwifery education in New Zealand: Education, practice and autonomy. Midwifery, 33, 31-33. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2015.12.001

Hunter, M, Crowther, S, McAra-Couper, J., Gilkison, A., Macgregor, D, Gunn, J. (2016). Generosity of spirit sustains caseloading LMC midwives in New Zealand.  New Zealand College of Midwives Journal, 52, 50-55, http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/10.12784/nzcomjnl52.2016.8.50-55

Gilkison, A. (2016). Goodson I and Gill S: Critical Narrative as Pedagogy [journal article]. New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 1-3. doi:10.1007/s40841-016-0051-2

Gilkison, A., McAra-Couper, J., Gunn, J., Crowther, S., Hunter, M., Macgregor, M., & Hotchin, C. (2015). Midwifery practice arrangements which sustain caseloading Lead Maternity Carer midwives in New Zealand. New Zealand College of Midwives Journal (51), 11-16. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/10.12784/nzcomjnl51.2015.2.11-16