Amanda is a kidney transplant recipient, mother of two and a former Embryologist turned small business owner.
After obtaining her Medical Science degree, Amanda worked as a lab scientist before moving into the field of fertility as an embryologist, working both in the lab and directly with patients. Obtaining her Masters in Reproductive Medicine, Amanda’s formal qualifications then matched her experience in the field.
After 13 years of helping other people become pregnant, Amanda herself became a mother after battling fertility issues for many years, stemming from her Lupus Nephritis. Her daughter was born prematurely at 29 weeks (1100 grams) and 18 months later Amanda and her husband would have their second miracle child, this time a boy born at 27 weeks and 680 grams.
Both children went through NICU and are now well, with Amanda now being part of the Miracle Babies nurture group.
The high-risk pregnancies took a toll on Amanda’s kidneys and after going into renal failure, she received a transplant using a live-donor organ from her cousin. Amanda volunteers her time to be a subject for physician and student exams at the hospital, as well as speaking at breastfeeding week to help others learn more.
Having hung up her lab coat, Amanda is now a full-time mum and runs a small recycled women’s fashion business from home.
Natalie is a mum of twin premature boys.
Due to her sons' prematurity, the twins experienced various medical challenges during their early years. It was from those experiences that Natalie decided to help other families with high-risk babies and the health professionals that care for these families.
She works part time for the Miracle Babies Foundation, providing support to families of premature and sick newborns and sits on several health advisory committees (local and national) as a health consumer representative. In 2018 she ran the New York City marathon and fundraised over $11,000 for the Miracle Babies Foundation.
Claire Foord is a mother, artist, educator and advocate. Claire learned of the leading cause of death in children in Australia, in what some would consider the hardest possible way, through the term stillbirth of her healthy baby girl. Claire discovered very simply that her daughters death was likely entirely preventable, with awareness of simple and straight forward measures, communication and education. She became a passionate advocate for change and founded Still Aware; an Australian charity dedicated to awareness and education of stillbirth and prevention of adverse outcomes. Claire’s efforts have been recognised when she was awarded South Australia’s Local Hero in the 2016 Australian of The Year Awards. Claire’s background is in Sales and Marketing, Visual Art and Graphic Design. A qualified educator she has taught students of all ages and backgrounds in schools, tertiary institutions and career based learning. Claire currently sits on the Consumer Advisory Board for the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute and is part of the International Stillbirth Advocacy Working Group.
Natasha has extensive experience on a range of local, state and national committees and Boards and has been involved in consumer representation and advocacy in maternal and perinatal health since 2003 and is a founding member of the PSANZ Consumer Advisory Panel. Among many other current positions, Natasha is the Co-Chair of the NSW Maternal and Newborn Advisory Group for NSW Kids and Families. Natasha is a Certified Health Information Manager currently working in maternal and perinatal epidemiology at UNSW, Sydney.
Associate Professor Julie Green is Executive Director and Board Member of the Raising Children Network (raisingchildren.net.au), Australia’s premier evidence-based and multi-award-winning parenting website that is funded by the Australian government. Julie is an accomplished senior leader in child and family well-being and parenting and holds appointments as Principal Research Fellow, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute; Principal Fellow, Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne; and Director, Parenting Research Centre. Julie has lead roles in Raising Children Network’s collaborations with the Australian and state governments, business and community organisations and regularly contributes to the media on issues of raising children in Australia.
Kelly is a mum of 3 children….two that walk with her hand in hand and one that lives within her heart. In 2013 Kelly completed her post-graduate studies in Counselling, specialising in trauma, grief and loss, complimenting her undergraduate degree in Psychology. Kelly has over 10 years experience working with bereaved families through her private practice and bereavement charities. In 2012 she commenced working with Bears of Hope Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support as their support services coordinator. Kelly spends her time equally between supporting bereaved families and advocating for bereavement care within hospitals through education talks and in-services.
Hi everyone, my name is Melanie Tarrant. I am 39 and live in Hokitika in New Zealand. I am a mum to 4 girls ranging in age from 4-11.
I become aware of Sands after I lost my daughter Kate just before 20 weeks in 2011 and my son Zac at 27 weeks in 2012. I set up our local Sands group when we moved to Hokitika 3 years ago. I am the chairperson of Sands Hokitika/Greymouth and provide one on one and phone support to bereaved parents in our area and run support meetings. I have been on the Sands New Zealand board for almost a year and currently hold the position of secretary.
I have been a trustee on my girl’s school Board of Trustees for two and a half years and this year am board chairperson. I have also been treasurer for our local Toy Library and Playcentre when we lived in Nelson.
My background is in education. I was a high school economics teacher before having the girls. Now my husband and I own and operate Hokitika New World supermarket.
Kate is a stay at home mum of two girls aged 2 and 4 years, and step-mother to a 10-year-old.
After experiencing Continuity of Midwifery Care throughout both of her pregnancies, Kate became an advocate for best practice maternity care and raising awareness of care model options. She became involved with the Maternity Consumer Network in 2016 and is the current Treasurer and an active committee member. She is also passionate about women’s rights both inside and outside of the maternity care setting.
Kate has a background in Project Management and Administration and worked in the commercial construction industry until the birth of her first child in 2014. She has a great love for design and construction and intends to return to her career once both of her children are in full-time schooling.
Vicki Culling, PhD, is a bereaved parent, experiencing the stillbirth of her first daughter over 20 years ago, and has been actively involved in Sands New Zealand for 17 years. Vicki was a founding committee member of the NZ Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee (PMMRC); she currently sits on two government committees in relation to perinatal and infant mortality (Maternal Fetal Medicine Governance Committee and the National Perinatal Pathology Service Clinical Network); and is involved in a national project addressing the need for structured support for bereaved parents following the death of a child. Vicki also works for the NZ Medical Council and NZ Dental Council as a lay reviewer for their competency assessment programmes. Her business, Vicki Culling Associates, was established in 2011 with the goal of providing quality information and training about perinatal and infant loss to NZ health and caring professionals through in-person workshops and online modules.
Kate Lynch joined Stillbirth Foundation Australia as CEO in September 2018, where she is working to reduce the incidence of stillbirth, improve support where it does occur and ensure more healthy births through research, education and advocacy.
Six children are born still every day in Australia and more needs to be done to save these lives and support the families who experience stillbirth.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Kate served as the Chief Executive Officer of the industry association for generic medicines for almost six years.
Over a twenty-five year career in the pharmaceutical and healthcare technology industry, Kate has worked with products spanning pre-clinical through to off-patent status. Her industry experience is with major pharmaceutical, biotechnology, a local start-up, device and consultancy.
Kate has led many highly coordinated campaigns, successfully delivering funded access to healthcare products in the ANZ market, by developing value propositions supported by robust clinical and economic outcomes research, statistically pooled data and informed by local expert advice.
She values strong relationships and believes that through collaboration positive and lasting change can be achieved.
Kate has a Masters of Economics, Graduate Diploma in Health Economics and a Bachelor of Economics with Honours. She has four teenage children and in addition to motherhood, enjoys skiing and sailing.