Home' The Mt Barker Courier : The Courier - 2016-01-26 Contents PAGE 14 – The Courier Tuesday, January 26, 2016
By Melissa Keogh
Building safer walking trails
and establishing a community
centre in Nairne are just two
ambitions of the Mt Barker
member, Debs Buchmann.
The Nairne woman will fill an
empty seat in the North Ward
after winning the council’s
supplementary election by 183
votes at the end of last year.
Ms Buchmann, who also works
in education, has lived in Nairne
for the past eight years after
relocating with her family from
the Blue Mountains in NSW.
She said she would use her
position on the council to push for
safer walking and cycling tracks
for Nairne families, the elderly
and those with disabilities.
Ms Buchmann will also advocate
for the development of a Nairne
community centre and a shake
up of the Nairne Community
Sustainable Market, currently
held at the primary school grounds.
“This year we would like to
relocate the market into the
main street to involve the local
businesses,” she said.
“I’m interested in bringing people
together to build community
“As the co-ordinator of the
market this has been possible by
supporting local artisans, local
fruit and veg growers and bringing
together the community.”
Ms Buchmann’s new role is her
first with the council and she
said listening, lots of reading,
researching and knowing the
subject were the keys to first-time
“I believe Mt Barker District
Council has a positive outlook for
the future,” she said.
Ms Buchmann took the most
votes among four other candidates
in the supplementary election
following the early retirement of
former Councillor Trevor Corbell.
Goal is building community
The Mt Barker Council’s new North Ward Councillor is Nairne woman
By Judy Richards-Norris
RECENTLY retired midwife
Dzintra Hockley deserves
a rest after her long and
The Mylor resident has cared
for more than 50,000 newborn
babies since becoming a midwife
in 1964 at the former Queen
Victoria Hospital as an 18-year-
The number of newborns she
has cared for is equivalent
to twice the population of Mt
“That’s an average of five babies
a day, four days a week,” she
Mrs Hockley has nursed at
Ashford Hospital for the past 30
years and before that worked in
the Flinders Medical Centre’s
post natal ward.
She also spent time at Torrens
House, a centre that helps new
mothers with their babies, and
at Child and Youth Health.
And despite the hardships of
on-call and night shifts, she said
she wouldn’t change her initial
decision to become a midwife for
“It was always a pleasure and
privilege to be with women in
their most intimate moment,”
“It’s been a great joy for me to
help babies come safely into
the world and to experience the
parents’ elation when they share
that precious time.
“Of course, sadly some births do
not go as they should and when
that happened, I too grieved
with a sadness that stays, but
thankfully these times were
“We often become very close to
the parents of neo-natal babies
in our care.
“When they finally leave, it’s a
wonderful feeling to know you
have made a difference to their
“I have looked after two
generations in one family,
having cared for a colleague’s
son when he was born at
Flinders and then many years
later, his two grandchildren at
“These are the reasons why I
have always loved my work.”
Mrs Hockley said she saw
great social changes during her
“In the early days nurses had
to resign when they married so
many good nurses had to leave
their careers,” she said.
“As well, there was a room full
of babies who were being put up
for adoption, sometimes 30 or
more with just two staff to look
“We certainly learned quickly to
get better at settling them down.
“New technologies have made
huge improvements in all areas,
especially neo-natal care.
“There are now more choices for
mothers, which has decreased
adoption numbers and nurses
and midwives now have more
flexibility in their careers.
“One thing that never changes
is the pleasure midwives receive
when being able to make a
difference to a new baby’s life.
Mrs Hockley was born in
Germany in 1946, the fourth
daughter to Latvian parents
Hugo, a marine engineer, and
his wife Anna.
The family arrived in Australia
in 1949 to begin a new life,
living in Bathurst for a time
and then rural Victoria, before
deciding to settle in Adelaide.
After completing her education
at Cowandilla Primary and
Adelaide Girls High schools,
Mrs Hockley began her career in
nursing in 1964.
She and her family enjoyed life
in the SA Latvian culture, folk-
dancing and socialising with
the Latvian church community
while making new friends.
After meeting her future
husband, a chief electrician with
the merchant navy, she and
Keith moved to a rural Mylor
property in 1977. In 1984 they
welcomed their daughter Alana.
Now settling into her
retirement, Mrs Hockley has
joined the local book club and is
planning to “have a good rest”,
before becoming more involved
with the Mylor community.
“The locals are so friendly –
Mylor is the perfect place for
me,” she said.
She is also planning to celebrate
her coming 70th birthday at the
Mylor Hall with her family and
“Many of the guests are from
the Latvian community and a
large number are my nursing
colleagues,” she said.
“I have everything I need here
in the Hills, a lovely property to
live on, shopping, cafés, banks,
parks, friends and a community
“I really don’t have to go down
the hill for anything apart from
socialising with my Adelaide
friends and family.”
Midwife cared for 52,000 babies in 50-years
to get better at
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