On this International Day of the Midwife, Iana McLellan shared her story of working as a midwife at the Katherine Hospital for more than three decades. After moving to the Territory in 1986 looking for work with her family, including her newborn baby, Ms McLellan found herself "entrenched within the community of Katherine." "From that time on we were both involved in sports and it just happened to be that we fell in love with the place I suppose," she said. "We were only going to stay for two years, but it was a very typical story of people that come to the Northern Territory." Ms McLellan started working at the Katherine Hospital as a nurse and a midwife in 1988 and has stayed ever since - in between taking time off to have her own five children. In her thirty-four years as a midwife in Katherine, Ms McLellan has become an integral member of staff, with women often requesting she be there at their births. She said one of the most special parts of her job has been watching two generations of mothers coming through the hospital. "I have birthed children that are having children now," she said. "And that second generation of people, that's probably what I felt cemented me as a part of the community more than anything else. "In birthing women, it hasn't been until that second generation, birthing that specific woman's child, that you sense the absolute gratefulness and the need for you to really look after their child having their baby. "It's like a sisterhood, really." She fondly recalled a time when she was able to provide comfort to a young woman who had travelled to Katherine from a remote community to give birth and was struggling with loneliness and isolation. "I looked at the back of her chart and saw she had been born in Katherine. I wasn't her midwife, but on exactly the same day, at the same time, 16 years before, I was giving her mother breastfeeding advice," Ms McLellan said. "And I actually had the joy to tell that girl that and put a smile on her face." She now has the pleasure of training her own daughter, Rebecca, as she completes her midwifery studies and completes her placement in Katherine. Ms McLellan loves her job, and has no plans to retire anytime soon. "While I can still get the joy out of my job that I do and I can actually participate and do a good job, I'll be there forever," she said. "It is the most important time for a woman when they become a mother or a family now because the father is included. "It is a huge honour and I love it." If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Mudgee Guardian, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling your stories. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great area.