March 10, 2020

Gary Lloyd, our only male midwife retires

Gary Lloyd, the only male midwife at Northern Health, retired last Friday after three years of working at Northern Health.

Many of our staff, patients and families will remember him for his hard work, passion for midwifery and the willingness to make a real difference in his role.

One colleague, Dr Sita Murugappan, has a special connection to Gary – he was the midwife at her birth and was present when Sita was born.

Dr Murugappan began to connect the dots when she read an article about Gary and saw he worked at the Western at 1992.

“My mum has been telling me for years that she had a male midwife at delivery. Then I asked Gary if he was the only male midwife and he said yes. That is how I found out,” she said.

“My parents were migrants at the time and had just moved to Australia from India. For my mum back in those days, it was a cultural shock to have males in delivery suite. That is why she automatically thought he was a doctor, because that was what would be expected in India,” she added.

Dr Murugappan has been at Northern Health for the last three years. She is an OMG HMO and currently going away for six months for rotation, but will be coming back as a Registrar.

“I came to Northern Health as an intern. One day, I came to the registration session and that is how I found out about Northern,” she said.

Gary added he wasn’t surprised when he heard that it was him who delivered Dr Murugappan.

“I have delivered babies who are now students at Northern. I always feel like a parent to them,” he said.

Sita confirmed this, adding that he always checks up if she had dinner or not and that they always have a chat when they are on the ward at the same time.

“When I started as a male midwife, I was a bit of an oddity. Not many men last in this job. Some come for a couple of years, decide it’s not for them and then leave. For me, it’s a job that I enjoy doing and now the time has come to finish it up,” he said.

Gary left Sunshine Hospital in about 2014 and went back to nursing. He didn’t particularly like it so he went back to what he loves – obstetrics.

“I loved working here at Northern as this is the most culturally diverse hospital and it just felt right for me. And the people were always nice,” he said.

“I think I will miss the job – but I won’t miss getting up at 5.30 am,” he added.

Michelle Morrow, the Nurse Unit Manager of Maternity, proudly said she was the one to employ Gary.

“Gary first came to Northern as an agency midwife. I was so impressed with his work ethic, with his empathy, humour and sense of team that I nagged him to accept some permanent hours. He has been an absolute delight to work with,” she said.

Featured Image (left to right): Gary Lloyd and Dr Sita Murugappan