Midwifery worker gets sports camp call-up

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Midwifery Navigation advanced health worker Genavie Tabuai.

Midwifery Navigation advanced health worker Genavie Tabuai.

Advanced health worker, sports star, partner, mum - Genavie Tabuai is a woman wearing many hats.

The 31-year-old is an integral member of the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service's Midwifery Navigation Service in Cairns. She has been able to juggle being a mum of three with a booming rugby league career.

And she is now part of the National Rugby League Indigenous Women's Academy to take part in a five-week training camp in Canberra.

The camp is part of an athlete research project run by the Australian Institute of Sport and Australian Catholic University.

The squad will work with leading research experts to look at the impacts of a woman's menstrual cycle on elite sport. It could be a crucial breakthrough for elite female sport training programs.

They will also work with the local Aboriginal community. They will learn about local traditional owners and take part in workshops to develop strong sense of self and cultural identity.

The camp may also be a possible pathway into the NRLW which Genavie is setting her sights on.

“Rugby league is such a male dominated sport and it is so empowering that it is evolving,” she said. “It's a pretty big deal for me to have this opportunity at this age.

“The chance we get out of it is selection in national and state teams. We will improve skills, game tactical, technical knowledge and physical abilities required for a successful move into NRLW.”

The former Bentley Park College student has lived in Cairns all her life. She has blood connections to Daly River in the Northern Territory and the Torres Strait. This includes the Meuram clan of Mer Island and Masig of the Kulkagal nation.

Genavie plays centre for reigning premiers the Cairns Kangaroos in the local Cairns District Rugby League. She won best back in the CDRL last year.

Workwise, her role is to give remote support to women in the Torres Strait and Cape York during and after pregnancy.

TCHHS Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery Kim Veiwasenavanua said health care workers like Genavie were critical to the health service.

“They are a vital link between culture and healthcare, that is so vital for women during their pregnancy journey,” she said.

“We are so proud of Genavie for her achievements, both at work and on the sports field. We congratulate her for her selection in this program.”

Genavie said she grew up playing sport, but took long break to raise her family. She has since returned to footy and her family were now her biggest fans.

“They're pretty excited,” she said. “My son told me: 'mum if you ever make the NRLW you'll be my biggest flex'. They're pretty proud!”

The camp will run from 23 August to 23 September.