Hi, I’m Shelly!

I am a Birthworker passionate about women and their families reclaiming the birth experience and being in control of the choices and decisions needed to achieve a safe and healthy outcome.


I am dedicated to helping bring excitement, joy, love, confidence and empowerment to the pregnancy and birth journey into parenthood.

I am also a permaculturist, and director of a not-for-profit company whose purpose is to help vulnerable communities experiencing poverty or illness. We are currently working in remote villages in PNG to make positive changes for the future. But more about that later!

At the heart of my work is a passion to help others, which has been made possible with the continuous support of my husband and family.

At one stage, we had a total of nine children living with us.

The three most important things for my family were happiness, health and education.

With this as our focus we spent many years traveling and living in some of the most incredible remote places in Australia, home educated our children following a natural learning philosophy, and everywhere we went we designed gardens and grew fruit and vegetables using sustainable systems.

My clients have described me as a genuine, compassionate and caring woman. And a significant part of my growth was the life my husband and I created and becoming a mother to my two biological sons as well as the many children placed in our care over the years as foster parents.

I’m often asked “How did you get into birthwork?”

As my children were nearing the end of their learning journey and preparing to leave the family home to follow their passions and dreams, I started to wonder what I was going to do with the next chapter of my life.

I had always told my children all I wanted for them was to do something they loved and looked forward to getting out of bed for…..but what did I love?

I knew I was always at my happiest when helping others
I was thirsty for more knowledge and understanding about birth after my first son was born. I knew there was so much more to birth than I had read or learnt from others. I found Ina May Gaskin’s book Spiritual Midwifery and my interest in empowered birth evolved from there.
I had lots of experience with caring for children and enjoyed helping parents over the years in many different ways.
I had always loved gardening and building sustainable permaculture systems.
I had just completed my PDC in Permaculture and had become even more passionate about helping people, caring for the Earth and sharing knowledge and surplus.
Our remote living also emphasised the importance of being self sustaining especially for our health.

I was torn and having trouble deciding what to do, when my calling came...

I received a call from a Queensland inidigenous friend who asked if I could be with her at the birth of her third child. She had no idea I was considering birthwork or becoming a Doula. All of a sudden I had a strange feeling come over me – I had never experienced anything like it before.

The feeling was deep inside and I actually couldn’t speak for a moment. I shared with her what I had just felt and she believed it was a calling. I had just been chosen to work with women and their families during this sacred time. My journey to become a professional birth doula had begun and I started my studies straight away.

My experience supports informed and empowered pregnancy and birth…

Over the years I have gained diverse experience supporting families in hospital births, homebirths and even bush births when I travel to the remote villages of Papua New Guinea.

I have witnessed magical births unfold naturally when mothers are supported to birth their baby in an environment where they feel safe, uninhibited and uninterrupted.

This has given me insight into the best ways to help make pregnancy and birth more comfortable, joyful and safe for both mother and baby, and it’s not what most of society thinks!

I am often told I have an AMAZING job. I do. I am honored to be welcomed into such sacred and private spaces to nurture and support a mother and her family during one of the most memorable moments of their lives.

What I do differently...

Unfortunately, I’ve witnessed the worst of the ‘business of being born’, and disrespectful and non-consensual behaviour of some medical professionals in the birth field.

I strongly believe the mainstream maternity system has a long way to go in facilitating and supporting natural, physiological birth and positive pregnancy and postpartum care.

While I am thankful for the medical support our hospitals can provide when it’s needed, all too often I see unnecessary interventions and fear-based decision making which can increase the risk of complications, surgical or instrumental birth, birth trauma and postnatal depression.

As a doula, I support you to become fully informed and empowered in your own birthing journey and I also act as your advocate to ensure your wishes are respected regardless of the setting.

I provide doula services for homebirth, freebirth, hospital and birth centre births in Cairns and throughout Far North Queensland including Kuranda, the Atherton Tablelands, Port Douglas and Mission Beach.

I also provide ongoing support throughout pregnancy and postpartum, as well as NurtureLife pregnancy massage, Optimal Maternal Positioning and breastfeeding support.

YOU and I TOGETHER can create positive change for your birth, and the ripple effect from your empowered birth will touch many more.

Why I LOVE what I do…

Aside from all the beautiful babies and magical births, one of the most rewarding parts of my work is seeing such a positive difference in pregnancy and birth outcomes among mothers who are empowered, supported and nurtured during their pregnancy, birth and postpartum.

Seeing the mothers, couples and families I have supported reaching out to publicly share their stories, and passionately inform others of their options and alternatives in pregnancy and birth, has encouraged me to keep working hard at what I believe in.

I am passionate to remind humanity that birth can be full of pleasure and delight and should be an empowering journey as we grow and move into parenthood

I truly believe that together we can make a change and I am dedicated to reaching mothers and their families around the world to enhance humanity and care for our Earth.

More about my not-for-profit company

Our Mother Earth is struggling with many environmental concerns that affect every human, animal and nation.

With my love for helping others, passion for sustainable systems, dedication to improving birth outcomes and the continued support of my husband, I’m proud to have developed GULAGBI – Collaborative Sustainable Developments Ltd, which aims to relieve the distress and suffering of communities experiencing poverty or illness.

It all started in 2010 when two of our foster children arrived. Their father was an Australian Torres Strait Islander and their mother was from a remote village in Papua New Guinea. Through their families we learnt what life was like in the villages and started helping them, which evolved into helping the school in the village and any patients flown from the surrounding villages into Australia for emergency and life threatening situations.

My husband and I started visiting these villages, experiencing their lifestyle, supporting women birthing on country, and holding meetings with village leaders and elders to gain more understanding of what was most needed. As a result, GULAGBI continues to grow and evolve and I am excited for the possibilities and opportunities our little organisation can co-create.

Now you know a little about me I look forward to getting to know YOU!

My business has been founded on my:

  • love of supporting and nurturing others
  • passion for physiological and ecstatic birth
  • knowledge of your rights in pregnancy, birth and parenting
  • commitment to help you TRUST your maternal instincts and innate knowledge.

Through my online presence or face to face support, I will support you to have the empowered and informed birth you want, and hold space as you become the parent you want to be.
Importantly, this support extends to the birthing mother and partners, companions, and other family members. I acknowledge each birth as a life changing moment for everyone involved.

My promise to you…

Whether you’re on your Maiden to Mother journey for the first time, or becoming a mother again, every pregnancy is unique and brilliantly designed to help prepare you to grow and expand, physically, spiritually and emotionally, and be ready to care for and nurture your little one.

I will help you to:

gain a deeper understanding of your body and the physiological birth process
understand how to avoid unnecessary interventions
feel confident and prepared for your birth and parenting journey
reach your body’s highest birth potential
tap into your innate wisdom and
be in control of your choices and decisions

I am grateful for the connection we have already made and I am excited for our journey together!

Hugs, Shelly xo

Certifications & Qualifications
  • Professional Birthing Doula
  • NurtureLife Pregnancy Massage Practitioner
  • Certified Childbirth Educator (student)
  • Advanced skills for complex pregnancies
  • Issues of the breech presentation
  • Breastfeeding for professionals – Dr Robyn Thompson
  • Registered with Doula Network Australia
  • Member of Homebirth Australia
Workshops & Short Courses
  • Pain to Power in Childbirth by Debra Pascalli Bonaro
  • 2 x Optimal Maternal Positioning workshops by Ginny Phang
  • Optimising the ecstasy – supporting Mother Nature’s superb design by Dr Sarah Buckley
  • Postnatal Depletion – Mastrescence and the science of Motherhood by Dr Oscar Serrallach
  • Modern Breastfeeding – Keeping it simple in a complex world by Robyn Thompson
  • When a Baby Dies by Denise Love
  • Moving beyond a distressing birth by Rhea Dempsey
  • Working with LGBTIQ+ by Jess Permezel
  • Shamanic Dimensions of Pregnancy by Jane Hardwicke Collings
  • Birthwork – It’s birth, love it up, loosen up, let go! By Jenny Blyth

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