ABC Life Matters

Send hope not flowers: Dr Barry Kirby


In the developing world, one in twenty women die in childbirth. Australian specialist, Barry Kirby is working to reduce maternal mortality in remote regions of Papua New Guinea.. It’s been a twenty year journey for Barry to transform himself from a carpenter to a doctor. He’s addressing the National Press Club today to highlight the largely preventable deaths in childbirth.

National Press Club

Dr Barry Kirby


Obstetrics and Gynaecology Specialist Dr Barry Kirby addresses the National Press Club about the number of women around the world at risk of dying in pregnancy or childbirth. Dr Kirby is working with the Australian charity Send Hope Not Flowers to address maternal mortality in Papua New Guinea.

The Sydney Morning Herald

The reality of childbirth in PNG


Rose stares at Hesta and the new mother takes in her tiny daughter with a profound sense of relief. Both are lucky to have survived the journey. Hesta’s birth, on a sheet of black plastic, within the stained walls of the Port Moresby General Hospital, is a blue-ribbon maternal experience by Papua New Guinea standards. But it is a world away from the pregnancy and birth experience of an average Australian woman – even though the countries are just 150 kilometres apart.

Trekking to Send Hope


A group of women, from different walks of life, looking for their own personal physical challenge are coming together to walk the Kokoda Track, starting 26 October 2013. We are taking the opportunity to raise money for those less fortunate and learn more about the sacrifices that others, Australian and Papua New Guinean, made for our freedom.


On the arrival of the Royal Baby…


What do you give the new mother who has everything? In the case of the millions of well-wishers wanting to celebrate the safe arrival of the new royal offspring of Princess Kate and Prince William, we have a great idea.

The Weekend Australia Magazine

A Builder’s Labour


It was midnight and Barry Kirby had been at the wheel for almost seven hours, nudging his 4WD 200km down a goat-track of bog, fog and yawning ravines in some of Papua New Guinea’s most inhospitable back country, when he experienced his epiphany.

This marathon may kill me, childbirth shouldn’t.


Distance is often the biggest barrier to a pregnant woman receiving the health care she needs. In developing countries, distance can mean the difference between death and survival.

Canberra Times

‘Model treatment for ACT charity launch’


It plays host to politicians, leading scientists and business people, but it’s not often a super model drops into the National Press Club.

But Christy Turlington Burns made an appearance – via video – at the Barton watering hole last night to help launch a Canberra-based charity dedicated to helping women in the third world give birth safely.


This Mother’s Day – send hope, not flowers


Last year a girl I went to school with died in childbirth. I was in shock when I heard the news. She went into labour in a hospital in Melbourne, there were extreme complications and she died – leaving her baby to be raised by her devastated partner. Everyone I ran into that knew her was dumbfounded. Who dies in childbirth in Australia?

Sydney Morning Herald opinion

‘While I laboured, 639 women died’


As the birth of my second child approached, I found – on top of the behemoth belly with a proper mind of its own – I was again confronting the complex cocktail of emotions many women face as they prepare to bring their child into the world.

ABC 666 program

Mornings program


Canberra obstetrician Steve Robson told the story of the birth of Send Hope Not Flowers, a new charity based here in the national capital. He says he was flying home from a conference reading Time Magazine on the plane when he was drawn to a pictorial essay showing a woman dying as she gave birth to twins in Sierre Leone.

Canberra Times

‘Where childbirth is risky and dangerous business’


Mothers are dying for lack of basic care, JULIE ULBRICHT and EMMA MACDONALD write

There is an African proverb that says ”To be pregnant is to have one foot in the grave”. The same can be said for a 38-year-old mother of four from an island province in Papua New Guinea. On April 17, 2007, in a small room in the village of Miwa in Milne Bay Province, Ruth Emmanual, went into labour.