THE woman who was killed in a head-on smash on The Coast Road south of Suffolk Park on Friday afternoon was Australia's top water-birthing expert.
New Zealand-born Estelle Myers, 75, was a former journalist who travelled to Russia in the early 1980s to learn from the world pioneer in water birthing, Russian scientist Igor Charcovsky.
Natural Birth Education and Research Centre executive committee member Margaret Spainsaid Mrs Myers was an amazing woman who pioneered water birthing in both Australia and New Zealand.
Mrs Spain, who had known Mrs Myers for 20 years, said she had recently arranged with Southern Cross University to begin working with people about water birthing.
"She was very into promoting herself and what she did," she said.
"That in turn promoted water birthing, and that was her aim.
"She promoted water birthing with tenacity and a length of commitment to the cause that should be admired."
Mrs Myers was also an ecofeminist and a dolphin advocate who had lectured and presented around the world on water birthing.
"She swam every day, sometimes with the dolphins in the Richmond River at Ballina.
"She has produced a number of videos and become an international speaker on the dolphin and human connection."
Mrs Spain said Mrs Myers will be sorely missed by midwives and the many friends she made around the world.
"I don't think there is anyone else I know of who has worked so tirelessly to promote water births."
Mrs Myer studied Mr Charcovsky's water birthing philosophies, which were in part aimed at increasing Russia's medal haul in the pool at the Olympics.
"She even managed to get the footage of the water births out of Russia at the time which was amazing," Mrs Spain said.
"That footage has been used in many films about water birthing around the world since."
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