Rebekah Stewart

Course Attended: Pre Entry Applied Health Sciences

A chance conversation has taken Rebekah Stewart from a job she disliked to a career she loves.

When her pregnant friend said that Rebekah was everything she was looking for in a midwife, the West Coaster realised this was her way to achieve her goals of working to help other women.

“The penny dropped.  I knew this was what I wanted to do, so I left my job, took a holiday, and then called up to enrol.  I was all guns blazing – until I realised that my art and English focus at high school a few years back wasn’t going to cut it.”

Told that she needed a grounding in science before she could study Midwifery, Rebekah returned home to the Coast and enrolled in the Pre-Health Science course at Tai Poutini Polytech.

“To start with, I was a bit gutted – I was a competent adult, I had a business management diploma, I knew how the world worked.  Since I’ve started my Pre-Health course, though, I’ve realised how much I’ve had to learn!”

Rebekah says her life experience has helped her to settle down and study, even in topics she found challenging at school, such as chemistry.

“I’d encourage people to take time out to figure out what they want to do before committing to something like this.  Life skills make all the difference with discipline and time management, so that you know what you want to achieve and can stay focused.”

While not the main reason that Midwifery appealed as a career, Rebekah says the current shortage of midwives on the West Coast is an added bonus.

“Knowing there are jobs out there, women needing local midwives, is a real motivator too.  I’m looking forward to working for the West Coast DHB for a few years when I’m qualified, and my dream is to eventually open my own concept, a bit of a ‘birthing retreat’, something quite different and special for the West Coast to offer to women from all over. 

In the meantime, Rebekah was chosen from her Pre-Health course for a studentship at the West Coast DHB, a summer job that she says is opening doors of opportunity for her.

“I found out about the studentship through my Tai Poutini course tutor.  It involves a lot of project based work throughout the hospital, and I’m working alongside the people I’ll need to know as a midwife – everyone from the heads of operations and finance to the social workers and medical staff.  I’m loving the learning and enjoying the opportunity to really grow my skills,” she says.

“My experience doing the Pre-Health science course at Tai Poutini has really cemented for me that this is where I want my career to go, as well as opening up opportunities along the way.”