20 minutes with Margie Barclay

Given that stories are meant to INSPIRE, to EDUCATE and, where possible, to ACTIVATE, Margie Barclay’s story is a perfect fit.
Currently stationed in midwifery at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Parkville, Margie had a long career as a Nurse Volunteer with MEDICINS SANS FRONTIERES - Doctors without Borders. In 1996, armed with her midwifery, maternity and child-care qualifications, she began that journey, serving with MSF till 2015. Her first appointment was to Tajikistan, a country far removed in every  way from comfortable Melbourne.
Medecins Sans Frontieres was founded in 1971 when a group of French medics branched off from the Red Cross. Their intent was to be totally independent financially, politically, militarily and religion wise. They saw this as giving them the full ability to collect independent data and to speak out nationally and internationally where the suffering have no voice. Today they work in over 70 countries, delivering emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters or exclusion from healthcare. See https://msf.org.au/
Margie described many emergency ‘cases’ in a long list of countries where she has been involved. Most of these were unimaginably life-threatening, physically exhaustive and emotionally draining. Her audience was totally silent! She has worked in Haiti after the earthquake killed over 100,000 persons; in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan; the bloody conflict in North West Yemen; Sudan with its ongoing massacres and child armies. The list continues.
Providing maternity and infant care often times in unsanitary and life-threatening conditions takes its toll. Margie related a strong memory of a woman who came to deliver her seventh child. She was close to delivery when bombing started, close enough to shake the buildings. Anxiety was high for her, the mother and child, and for MSF members. After a few minutes the baby came, healthy and everything was fine after all.
Margie said that returning home was always a significant challenge. This video help us understand the impact of this work on its fieldworkers.
Margie Barclay: Inspired. Inspiring.