QUEENSLAND'S largest union will today be renamed the Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union (QNMU).
QNMU Secretary Beth Mohle said the 57,000-strong union was formerly known as the Queensland Nurses' Union (QNU) - however today's name change reflected and celebrated the important work of midwives.
Ms Mohle said the union had long represented both nurses and midwives as well as those in their care.
"Queensland's nurses and midwives spend their working lives protecting those in their care,'' Ms Mohle said.
"The Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union has been protecting the rights of nurses, midwives and their patients since November 1982 when the QNU was formed.
"Today's name change properly reflects the important roles and work of our members in communities between Cairns, Cloncurry and Coolangatta.
"Today we'd like to celebrate the midwives who keep women and babies safe during what is one of life's major events.''
Assistant QNMU Secretary and midwife of 30 years Sandra Eales said the role was a privilege.
"Childbirth is a profound event in the life of a woman, her child and her whole family. How she passes through that gateway experience will impact the rest of their lives,' Ms Eales said.
"It is a time of extreme vulnerability both physically and psychologically and a midwife's work is to ensure the safe passage of mother and baby through this important phase of life.
"The important role of midwives is often unseen as they work in an intimate space with a woman and her family. This name change is significant recognition of the valuable, powerful and unique role of midwives in our society.''