Miracle Babies Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors who meet quarterly. The Board was formed in 2009 and originally Chaired by Morris Iemma. Miracle Babies Foundation staff are mostly based at head office in Liverpool NSW, although several staff are based across Australia working in programs with hospitals and families. Our Ambassadors are a passionate and dedicated group, supporting the Foundation with their time to raise awareness and promote the Foundation.
Board, Staff, Ambassadors and Volunteers all work toward our vision of ‘better, healthier outcomes for newborns and their families challenged by prematurity or sickness.’
CEO, Co-Founder, Board Director, & Consumer Representative
Kylie Pussell Co-Founded Miracle Babies Foundation in 2005 and has been a Board Director since 2009. After suffering a miscarriage and losing twin babies at 16 weeks, Kylie gave birth to her daughter Madeline at 30 weeks and was diagnosed with Cervical Incompetence. Madeline was cared for in Liverpool Hospital’s NICU for 6 weeks. Two years later, following a further miscarriage, Kylie delivered twins at just 25 weeks. Both were resuscitated at birth and cared for by the NICU. Sadly Kylie’s son Marcus passed away due to complications from his extreme prematurity. Her daughter Scarlet required ventilation and surgery. Scarlet was cared for in the NICU at Liverpool and Westmead Children’s Hospital and was discharged home just before her due date, 4 months later. Kylie’s son Liam was born at 38 weeks through planned c-section following a transabdominal cerclage. Kylie, a qualified counsellor, has played an integral role in the expansion of the Foundation’s program NurtureTime, the introduction of Miracle Babies Foundation to hospitals nationally and the development of national resources. She developed and implemented Miracle Babies Foundation’s successful volunteer program, designing National Volunteer Induction and Training with TAFE NSW. Kylie was selected in the inaugural The Growth Project in 2015. Kylie delivers presentations and forums on the Foundation to community and corporate, both nationally and internationally and shares her personal journey with her children, delivering parent support and positive change for premature and sick babies. Kylie highlights the needs for parents and families in the NICU and the years ahead. Kylie leads support for our bereaved families and assists families and educational institutions in the learning, social and emotional challenges some of these miracle babies experience in the early years, school aged years and adulthood. Kylie has been an instrumental leader in many new services the Foundation delivers, most recently Nurture ‘E’ – The EEE Impact. This information hub is designed to assist families through different life stages of their growing and developing child beyond the baby, infant and toddler years and supporting families through primary and high school right through to adulthood. Nurture E - The EEE Impact has been created in collaboration with parents and health professionals to provide families with Evidence, Education and Empowerment. She is CEO of the Foundation and is passionate in driving the expansion of services and resources across Australia for all families to be supported, educated and empowered. Kylie was Secretary of the Board from 2009 to 2017 and appointed as CEO by the Board in 2017. In July 2019 Kylie became a Founding Committee member of GLANCE and in December 2019 was appointed to the Chair Committee of GLANCE. During 2019 and 2020 Kylie was a member of the Working Group on the ICHOM Preterm and Hospitalized Neonates Standard Set and in September 2020 was named Western Sydney Women – 2020 Community Woman of the Year. Kylie was also awarded ‘Highly Commended’ in the Western Sydney University Women of the West Awards for Community 2020. In July 2021 Kylie became a member of the World Prematurity Day Parent Advisory Board and the World Prematurity Day Global Planning Group. In September 2021 she joined NSW Health Agency for Clinical Innovation as a consumer representative on Paediatric and Neonatal Clinical Care Task force and the ACI Maternity and Neonatal Executive Committee. Kylie is a parent representative on numerous research projects, a previous member of the PSANZ Perinatal Palliative Care Special Interest Group and current member of the PSANZ Perinatal Ethics Special Interest Group. In April 2022 Kylie was awarded as a Finalist in the NSW Women Of The Year Award – Woman of Excellence. In May 2022 Kylie presented the Nurture ‘E’ – The EEE Impact information hub at the global EFCNI Parent Summit in Germany. In 2022 she was invited to join the Advisory Board of parent organisation Prematuridade in Brazil. 2022 Kylie co-authored the article Impact of current Australian paid parental leave on families of preterm and sick infants published in the Journal of Paediatric and Child Health. Kylie also contributed to the published book Neonatal Nursing: A Global Perspective. Kylie is a consumer representative on the National Preterm Birth Prevention Collaboration and in 2023 was elected to the EFCNI Parent and Patient Advisory Board.
Andrew has over 32 years in the banking and financial planning industry. He has vast experience across retail banking, business banking, commercial banking and financial planning. Andrew has held such roles as Head of Bankwest Financial Advice, Head of Private Bank, Head of Strategy and Operations and State Manager. Andrew is presently employed as the Executive General Manager of Police Bank Ltd. He has a Diploma of Financial Planning and is a Certified Financial Planner and has been a responsible manager on Australian Financial Service License’s. Andrew has been a Board Director since 2013 and was appointed Chairman of the Board in 2020.
Chief Financial Officer
Robyn has been with Miracle Babies since 2010 and has many years of accounting and volunteering experience . She is Mum to her Heart child Olivia who was born at 37 weeks with a congenital heart defect Tetralogy of Fallot, which was repaired with surgeries.
Amber Sherlock is a news presenter for the Nine Network, working on a variety of programs including TODAY, Weekend TODAY, Early Morning News, 11am News and evening updates. Amber has been a Miracle Babies Foundation Ambassador since November 2010. She is always ready to lend her support at events such as our Miracle Moon Walk and shared her personal story with guests at the 2011 Annual Ball. "I became involved with Miracle Babies after having my first baby at 34 weeks. She spent over three weeks in a special care nursery. It was a roller coaster journey which you can never prepare for. I jumped at the chance to become an Ambassador for Miracle Babies, having been through the experience first hand. They provide an invaluable resource and support service for mums and families of premature babies, and only wish I had known about them earlier!"
Dr Robert Guaran is the Executive Medical Advisor in Neonatology for the NSW Pregnancy and Newborn Services Network. An advocate for the work of Miracle Babies Foundation and supporter since its inception, Robert is father to two children. Robert has been a Board Director since 2011.
Sam Squiers is an award-winning Sports Presenter with Channel 9 and the founder of the women in sport think tank Sportette. Sam has worked in the media for over a decade and has covered some of the biggest sporting events both nationally and internationally. Sam is also the host of Nine's Women in Sport podcast "In Her Court", Surfing Australia TV, The Isuzu QLD Golf Open, Ocean Thunder Surf Boat Series, has hosted the Kelloggs Nutri-Grain Ironman Series, co-hosted TripleM's Dead Set Legends and has been a guest presenter on Getaway. In 2014, Sam founded Sportette to provide an avenue to tell the incredible stories of our female athletes and it’s grown to be a leading think tank on Women's Sports. Sportette aims to challenge the way you think about women in sport and has created a strong reputation among athletes, brands, stakeholders, sports organisations and fans alike. In addition to her work at Channel 9 and Sportette, Sam runs marathons, plays golf, rows surf boats, is a keen touch football and netball player. In 2017, Sam gave birth to her little girl, Imogen, prematurely at 32 weeks after suffering from severe pre-eclampsia which had caused a placental abruption and started to shut down Sam’s organs. Sam spent three days in ICU and didn’t see Imogen for several days after she was rushed to the NICU where she spent close to the next 7 weeks. Immi suffered chronic lung disease with her little lungs under developed when she was born and when she finally left hospital had to remain on home oxygen for the next four months.
Chief Operating Officer
Danielle is mum to sons Owen and William and joined Miracle Babies in 2017 with a strong marketing background, bringing 9 years experience working in the Corporate sector on Australian leading personal care and baby brands. Today, Danielle leads the day-to-day operations of the fundraising, marketing and communications functions at Miracle Babies Foundation and is responsible for driving the development of marketing and fundraising strategies, along with building and nurturing strong relationships with Corporate Partners, supporters and within the community. Danielle's previous experience, along with compassionate nature and adaptability is well suited to Miracle Babies Foundation. With a passion to continue to raise awareness of prematurity and sickness at birth and it's challenges, increase access to important support for more Australian families, and inspire the Australian community to get behind the cause, Danielle is committed to driving the Foundation's vision.
NurtureProgram Services Manager
Tina is a mum of 3 children, all of which have spent time in either a SCN or a NICU. Her son Joshua spent a short time in Fairfield Hospital SCN. Son Damen was born at 35 weeks and spent 2 weeks also in Fairfield Hospital, and her daughter Emmason was born at 30 weeks and spent 6 weeks in Liverpool Hospital NICU. Tina has been involved with Miracle Babies Foundation since 2006 as a volunteer and became a staff member in 2018 and is very passionate about our cause.
Scott Cam is one of Australia's most loved television personalities, with a laidback larrikin attitude that millions of Australian’s can relate to. Over the past decade, Scott has become one of Aussie TV’s favourite faces, putting his stamp firmly on programs such as Backyard Blitz, Domestic Blitz, Random Acts of Kindness and Renovation Rescue and The Block. He is also a regular on radio and has written books on renovation and home maintenance. Scott and his wife Anne have been a Miracle Babies Foundation ambassador since 2009 after meeting the team during the filming of Channel 9 Random Acts of Kindness. He has toured the NICU, meeting families and also appeared in our community service announcement in 2009.
Rachel holds a Bachelor of Education with Honours from the University of Sydney and is the proud mother of four young kids. In 2010 after the traumatic birth of her first child, Rachel worked hand in hand with the hospital involved to improve patient outcomes. In 2011 and 2012 Rachel was a featured writer for Midwifery Matters Magazine. In 2016 Rachel gave birth to her fourth and last baby at just 26 weeks gestation. After living in hospital for over a month herself after waking from an induced coma Rachel stayed by her baby’s side in NICU for three months. To give thanks Rachel raised $5,000 to donate three Kangaroo Care chairs knowing they are invaluable to parents in NICU. Later that year Rachel became a featured writer for Miracle Babies Foundation and following this became an advocate for neonatal care with the backing of Miracle Babies Foundation. In 2017 Rachel featured in local newspapers, Baby Love’s Preemie Proud Campaign, the Weekend Today Show and was appointed to the ANZNN Follow Up Committee as part of the first cohort of consumer reps. Following this Rachel became a consumer rep for Western Sydney Health and a guest speaker for Miracle Babies Foundation. In 2018 Rachel appeared alongside Melinda Cruz on ABC Nightlife and filmed a news report with Channel 9 about blood donation and Lifeblood. In April 2018 Rachel featured in That’s Life Magazine and became a guest speaker for Lifeblood for which she continues to do talks for at various events throughout the year. In 2018 Rachel also spoke on Vision Christian Radio as well as being an ambassador for the Coleman Greig Challenge. Rachel has also featured on Kidspot and sat on judging panels and a Clinical Ethics Forum with NSW Health. In 2019 Rachel spoke with Ten News about PTSD and anxiety for parents of premature babies. She then filmed with Waterwipes Australia and later was interviewed by 7 News. Rachel presented at a FICare session at the annual ANZNN Conference and was an ambassador for the Miracle Babies Foundation Moonwalk. Rachel featured on Lifeblood’s docu-series ‘Giving Life’ and in 2020 appeared on a segment for 7.30 Report. Rachel is an advocate for women’s and newborn health and is a firm believer in life-long learning and improving outcomes for patients by working in partnership with medical professionals.
Jo Sheils has worked in Neonatal Intensive Care for over 20 years. She is a project officer with the Agency of Clinical Innovation Maternity and Neonatal Network. As a mother of three, Jo is passionate about involving families in the care of their babies and becoming partners in the NICU care team. She was a site co-ordinator at the Royal Hospital for Women for the multicentre cluster-randomised control trial of Family Integrated Care (FICare) and helped organise the International FICare conference held in Sydney in 2018. Jo has been a Board Director since 2019.
Jacqui is a Partner in the Corporate and Commercial team at Hall & Wilcox. She has over 15 years’ experience in corporate and commercial law. With an extensive client base, Jacqui assists clients ranging from start-up and scale-up entities, not for profits, through to large private and public companies and small listed entities across multiple industries. Jacqui has extensive experience in advising and assisting clients with M&As, corporate structuring, corporate compliance and governance, capital raisings and managed investment schemes. She also advises clients with day-to-day legal issues affecting their business including supply arrangements, licensing arrangements, protection and commercialisation of intellectual property, manufacturing and distribution arrangements consultancy arrangements, terms and conditions and privacy and confidentiality issues. Jacqui is a Fellow of the Australian Governance Institute, a member of the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association, the Licensing Executive Society of Australia and New Zealand and the Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand. Additionally, she has a Master of Laws majoring in corporate law and governance, and is qualified as a company secretary. Jacqui has been a Board Director since 2020.
Laura is the primary driver of the Shamrock Racing team. Behind the wheel of the #4 Sigma in Production Sedans, she is a pint sized pocket rocket determined to break down the stereotype of women in motorsport.
Olivia is mum to Miracle twins, Ethan and Mary. Ethan and Mary were born at 27 weeks. It was so sad and an emotional time not knowing what was happening with little understanding of why and how this happened. With the support of Miracle Babies, Olivia and her family were able to stay strong. The twins are now 7 years old and thriving. Olivia is passionate about her position with Miracle Babies as the Office and Volunteer Coordinator. Olivia is proud to be a part of the team and supporting other families.
Board Director & Ambassador
Deborah Knight, is a well-known Australian journalist and news presenter. She is host of Afternoons on 2GB and 4BC Radio and presents A Current Affair Saturday edition on Channel 9. Deborah has been a Miracle Babies Foundation ambassador since 2011. She is always ready to lend her support to events such as our Miracle Moon Walk and awareness campaigns. Deborah has been a Miracle Babies Board Director since 2009.
Felicity is a proud mum to Poppy, Connor and Georgia. She has a strong background in administration, and a passion for writing. After leaving the corporate world to study communications and raise her children, Felicity joined Miracle Babies as Grants Officer in 2022. She is excited to work in the not-for-profit space for such a wonderful organisation.
NurtureProgram & Community Officer
I was born in 2001 prematurely at just 30 weeks, weighing 1585 grams. I spent 6 weeks in the NICU at Liverpool Hospital and my family built many wonderful relationships with the amazing NICU staff which still continue to do this day. I am studying Primary School Teaching at University. I have grown up with Miracle Babies Foundation and am very passionate about helping and supporting not only just the parents but also those born early or sick as they grow and develop. My role is supporting the community with events and fundraising and providing resources to hospitals and families. I am very thankful to be able to be part of such a positive impact on many families and sharing my story can give hope to others. I have been attending and volunteering at Miracle Babies events since its inception and have made so many amazing connections. My brother Marcus was born at 25 weeks and passed away at 2 days old from his extreme prematurity. I was only 2 years old when I got to briefly meet him and hold him in Liverpool Hospital NICU, and each day I have a brother that I don’t get to grow up with. Marcus’ surviving twin Scarlet is a joy in our family. I am blessed to have such a caring and fabulous sister as well as a gorgeous brother who was born at 38 weeks, Liam. I am so proud to be part of Miracle Babies and support the organisation’s vision of ‘better, healthier outcomes’ – I am living that vision!
Geoff is currently the news director of 2SER FM and mentors journalism students at the University of Technology Sydney. Geoff was the newsreader for The Kyle & Jackie O Show from 2004 to 2010. And from 2010 to 2015, Geoff presented Drive news on 2DAY-FM, including the Hamish & Andy Show, and the Fifi & Jules drive show. Geoff has been a Miracle Babies Foundation ambassador since 2010. He is an active participant each year in our Sun-Herald City2Surf team and always lends his support to events such as our Annual Ball and Miracle Moon Walk.
Traffic reporter Alf (Alfie P) is a familiar voice and face to hundreds of thousands of listeners and viewers on Mix1065, WSFM, The Edge, 2SM, 2GO, Sea FM, New FM, 2HD and Sunrise as the eye in the sky reporting on Sydney's roads. Alf has been a Miracle Babies Foundation ambassador since 2010. He is an active participant each year in our Sun-Herald City2Surf team. Alf has toured the NICU, meeting families and always lends his support to events such as our Annual Ball and Golf Day.
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Jamie-Lee joins Miracle Babies with extensive experience in Marketing, Events, Sales and Administration and after becoming a new mum with a threatened early delivery, she understands how vital the role Miracle Babies plays in the mental health of parents with premature or sick newborns. Jamie-Lee was diagnosed with an incompetent and dynamic cervix at 19 weeks gestation which meant there was no knowing how long her baby would hold on for. After an emergency cervical cerclage was placed, she did 4 months of bed rest wishing everyday the outcome would be positive. The doctors didn't expect her baby would make it past 22 weeks gestation but against all odds, Olivia made her safe entry into the world at 38 weeks. The first few weeks of her life were daunting and with jaundice and IUGR complications, there were frequent visits to the hospital. Jamie-Lee has such an appreciation for parents who have no choice but to leave their children in the care of the NICU or SCN. Jamie-Lee loves being part of the Miracle Babies journey and the support they provide to families in their most trying time.
Community Activities Coordinator
Nicole is a proud mother of 3 beautiful children Max, Lexi and Lily. Nicole has a strong background in Corporate Events and Business Development but was looking for a more rewarding role where she could give back and help others in the community. She joined Miracle Babies Foundation in 2022 as the Community Activities Coordinator and is excited to part of such a wonderful organisation.
Workplace Giving Coordinator
Karen has a genuine and passionate drive to help others. It's with an abundance of positive energy she takes on even the largest challenge and reinvents collaboration and engagement to somehow get an extra hour out of each and every day. Rumour has it Karen listens to heaps of audio books and enjoys camping and glamping around our beautiful country. Having lived experience with disability, the NDIS and an abundance of allied health service providers, no mountain is high enough to keep this lady down. Supporting and connecting people with life enriching resources is one of the things that feeds her energy and motivation to make good in this world.
Bryce and Melissa met on Season 8 of Reality TV Show ‘Married At First Sight’ in 2020 and are based in Melbourne, VIC. Melissa works as a public servant for the Victorian Government and Bryce is a radio host and sports enthusiast. They are now engaged to wed early in 2023 and have since welcomed twin boys. Twins Levi and Tate were born premature at 29 weeks and spent almost eight weeks in the NICU and Special Care Nursery. Melissa and Bryce know all too well what it’s like to spend time in the NICU ward without having contact with their babies. Melissa and Bryce joined as Ambassadors to show support for Miracle Babies Foundation, following the support received for their family throughout their NICU journey, and hope to continue to build awareness around the challenges of having babies born premature.
Megan and Jess met in 2012, when Megan was just starting out with Cricket Australia. At that time, Jess had just started working for Cricket Australia. It wasn't until 2015 that they got to know each other, with Megan being known for "wooing" the receptionist. In 2017, after an extravagant "Amazing Race" themed day, Megan proposed to Jess. Megan and Jess have been long term advocates for LGBTQ+ rights. The pair wed in March of 2019, after waiting for same-sex marriage to be legalised. They spent two years together in Brisbane before moving to Adelaide and buying their first home. From there the family grew, with dog, Eddie, and cat, Whitney, being added. This only cemented how much they wanted a little human to join their family and in early 2021, they began their IVF journey. In 2022 they welcomed Rylee via emergency c-section due to extreme intrauterine growth restriction, at 28 weeks gestation and weighing 858 grams.
Matteo Zamboni is a culinary consultant based in Sydney and the Executive Chef of Civico47, a neighborhood gem located in Paddington. Matteo was born and raised in the north of Italy and after completing five years at the hospitality school, he worked in the top Michelin star restaurants in Italy gaining experience in the fine dining sector. In 2009 Matteo had the honor to cook for the royal family of Qatar where he returned several times over the years. Matteo has also worked in one of the best restaurants in Tokyo alongside the legendary chef Seiji Yamamoto, an experience that heavily influenced his style of cooking. At the end of 2009 Matteo moved to Australia where he immediately fell in love with the culture and the lifestyle to the point that he now calls Sydney ‘home’. While settling down under, he worked at the two hatted Ormeggio at the Spit and soon after he took the position of head chef at the iconic Pilu at Freshwater. After successfully running his own pop up restaurant Zambo, Matteo became the Executive Chef at the prestigious Jonah's at Whale Beach. At the beginning of 2022, Matteo and his team opened Civico 47, a casual fine dining restaurant in Paddington, a point of reference for the Italian food scene in Australia. Matteo is also a consultant and ambassador for some of the best brands in the kitchen appliances and food industry. Matteo was featured in several publications such as the Good Food, Gourmet Traveller, Broadsheet, Qantas Travel Insider, Delicious magazine, R&C magazine, Escape and many more. He has also joined various interviews and talks on SBS radio and has been multiple times a chef guest in the Cook up on SBS with Adam Liaw.
Alistair is a senior executive and economist. He currently works in the Senior Executive Service of the Australian Public Service. Alistair has also worked in private sector, economic consulting, and political advisory roles. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Master of Economics, and graduate diplomas in economics and philosophy. He is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and recently completed the Public Sector Leaders Colloquium at the Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership. Alistair lives in Canberra with his wife and daughter. His personal interest in the Foundation relates to the loss of his older sister, after being born premature. Alistair joined the Board in 2022.
Jackie O is co-host of Australia's number 1 breakfast show - The Kyle and Jackie O Show. A household name, Jackie is an award-winning radio and television host who is famous for her style, both on-air, and off. Jackie was a proud Miracle Babies Foundation ambassador since September 2006. She helped launched our parent support program, NurtureTime at Liverpool Hospital, touring the NICU and meeting families. Jackie has attended many of our functions, including our first cocktail party whilst pregnant with baby Kitty. When you call our head office or parent support line, you may be greeted by Jackie O who lent her voice for our recorded messages and on hold information.
Marketing & Admin Assistant
Thalia recently graduated with her Marketing degree from Western Sydney University. She has a strong background in Customer Service but always had a passion for Marketing. She has a partner who was born prematurely and suffers from breathing difficulties in his adult life, and she understands the real issues that happen beyond the NICU. Thalia has recently joined us in April 2023 and is very passionate about making a difference and supporting the values here at Miracle Babies Foundation. She will contribute to raising awareness through her marketing initiatives and providing support in all areas of the foundation.
I was born in 2001, weighing 2,535 grams at 36+5 weeks. I went blue as soon as I was born and was taken to the SCN. After a week or so I was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot. I had open heart surgery at 6 weeks old and again at 14 months old. It was a very scary time for my family, who had to lean on each other for support. I have volunteered at Miracle Babies fundraising events since 2010, when my mum started working at the Foundation as the National Accounts Manager. My role at Miracle Babies is Accounts Assistant, where I help out with compliance at the Foundation. I am in my first year of University studying Secondary Teaching. It is so wonderful to work with such an amazing bunch of dedicated people, helping babies who are born sick or premature, as well as their families, and watching them grow up to become healthy young adults like me.
Andrea Hendry Co-Founded Miracle Babies Foundation in 2005. Whilst working at the Liverpool Public Hospital in NSW Haemodialysis unit as a Registered Nurse, Andrea went into early labour at 28 weeks and delivered her first son Steven at Liverpool Hospital. This hospital became more than a work place, it became home for the next 10 ½ weeks. Her premature labour was thought to be Polyhydramnios (the production of too much amniotic fluid and she has a family history of premature births). Three years later she became pregnant with her second child and was able to deliver Aiden at 30 weeks. He was discharged home after a 6 week stay. Liverpool Public Hospital was a significant place in Andrea’s life, it was a valued work place for her nursing career and also as volunteer in Newborn Care. Andrea worked in the development of the NurtureProgram while helping to develop NurtureTime and piloting the first NurtureGroup - helping to set the stage to what is now a national program. Her position of Practical Support Coordinator gave her the opportunity to plan and implement all things practical. For example: while working with the Nursing Unit manager and Paediatric Occupational and Physio Therapist she helped to customise items and develop new sewing and knitting items used in the Newborn Care Unit. Andrea is an ardent voice for awareness of the ongoing needs and problems of premature and sick newborns. She spoke at the NSW Association of Neonatal Nurses Annual Conference in Sydney October 2009 with her speech “Taking my Premature Baby Home”. She has presented at Sydney’s College of Nursing in Burwood, NSW as well as the Annual Development Conference at Liverpool Public Hospital on the Sensory Processing Problems of these children. She has spoken at other venues with the purpose of community awareness or to gain support. In 2010, Andrea was voted Volunteer of the Year for City of Liverpool, NSW. After a short break Andrea returned to the role of NurtureProgram Support Worker, running the NurtureGroup Brisbane in Paddington and NurtureTime at the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital in Brisbane QLD from May 2019 to May 2021. Andrea is passionate about support and better, healthier long term outcomes for families.
NurtureProgram WA Services Team Leader & Community Engagement
After many years of travelling around the country with my Navy husband, we have now settled in Perth to be close to family. For years I have wanted to 'give back' and support families who are walking a similar journey to the one I did (twice). After discovering the work that Miracle Babies do, I started as a volunteer at NurtureTime and now delighted to take on the role of NurtureProgram Support Worker. After caring for other people's children as an Early Childhood Teacher, I decided the time was right to have one of my own. After what I thought was an uneventful pregnancy, Angus was born via emergency C section at 28+2 weeks due to severe IUGR. After the ups and downs of the NICU he came home, only to return to the PICU where he required a tracheostomy which he had for 11 months. After many years trying to conceive again and many miscarriages (including an angel at 19 weeks), I became pregnant with a baby that was not expected to survive. After a very stressful pregnancy and weeks in hospital I had Saxon at 28+4 weeks due to severe IUGR. Another roller coaster journey and he eventually came home after 16 weeks, continuing on oxygen for 6 months.
Traffic reporter Vic Lorusso is one of Sydney’s most recognised TV and Radio personalities. He pioneered airborne traffic reporting in Australia for the TEN Network in 2002. Vic was a Miracle Babies Foundation ambassador from May 2007. As an emcee and auctioner Vic's ability to engage large crowds, was pivitol to the fundraising success of our events. Vic has toured the NICU, meeting families and also appeared in our community service announcement in 2009. "I had the pleasure of visiting the premature and sick babies at Liverpool Hospital. To see these babies was a life changing experience I will never forget. It breaks my heart to see these precious little babies and their families go through so much heartache. I’m very proud to have been an ambassador for Miracle Babies Foundation."
NurtureProgram Support Worker WA, Information and Consumer Representative
Philippa is Mum to three children, two of which have spent time in either a SCN or NICU. Her son Tristan was born at 37 weeks with Strep B and spent a short time in the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital SCN. At 6 weeks of age, Tristan contracted Bacterial Meningitis and spent time at The Prince Charles Hospital before being transferred to RBWH NICU, where he spent 6 weeks. Tristan has contracted Meningitis 5 times in total and suffers from an immune deficiency. Tristan has experienced many life long hurdles with the after affects of Meningitis including Epilepsy, Language and Motor delays, ADHD, Dyslexia, Cordial Dysplasia and Optic Nerve hypoplasia. Matteo was born at 39 weeks with Mast Cell disease and Inflammation Bowel Disease and has spent a week in Perth Children’s Hospital SCN. Philippa has been involved with Miracle Babies Foundation for the past 7 years as a volunteer and became a staff member in 2015 and again returning back in 2021. Philippa is very passionate about supporting families who have been in NICU and SCN.
NurtureProgram Support Worker, Western Sydney NSW
Anne Marie is mum to Seamus 5 and Ella 3. Ella was born with Down Syndrome at 36 weeks and spent 3 weeks in the Grace Ward at The Children's Hospital, Westmead, as she required surgery on her intestine. Ella was also born with 2 holes in her heart but thankfully they closed naturally before she was 2. Anne Marie was very grateful for all the love and support she received from volunteers and staff while she was at the Grace Ward and is passionate about helping others on their NICU journey as she is very aware of how overwhelming the experience can be.
NurtureProgram Support Worker, VIC
Alyce gave birth to identical twin girls at 24+1 weeks gestation due to TTTS. Maddison, born at 667g, spent 118 days in NICU and Paige, born at 495g, passed away shortly after the birth. Maddison had a very tumultuous time in hospital and Alyce regularly attended the support groups that were run for current NICU families. She found talking to experienced premmie mums and dads so valuable. After Maddison was discharged, Alyce found the only Melbourne Miracle Babies NurtureGroup and began attending. After 2 years she started coordinating the group and volunteering for the Miracle Babies PBC expo. Maddison has experienced many life long hurdles from her premature birth, including being deaf, and Alyce has found that her range of experience in the premature birth journey really helps her to connect with other prem parents and support them in their own journey. Alyce has since gone on to have two full term daughters.
NurtureProgram Support Worker, SA
My introduction to parenthood began in early 2005, with the stillbirth of my angel Liam. I didn’t know at the time, but an undiagnosed neurological disease meant pregnancy was very high risk. Liam was born at 23 weeks weighing 446g. November 2005 saw the birth of my daughter Jorja, a feisty little microprem born at 26 weeks weighing 545g. Jorja is now nearly 17 and just as feisty. She’s hoping to become a Neonatal Nurse starting her Uni studies in 2024. I’m proud to represent Miracle Babies Foundation in SA and look forward to supporting families here in South Australia, in any way I can.
Nurture Program Support Worker, WA
Rachael has been a NurtureTime volunteer for Miracle Babies since 2019 and became a staff member in 2023. As an advocate for mental health recovery, Rachael is passionate about using her lived experience to provide information empathy, and support to families and individuals. In between raising her two boys, Rachael works part-time for Miracle Babies Foundation, holds a role as a guest speaker at Wanneroo Community Mental Health, and runs wellbeing and life skills workshops as an educator for WA Recovery College Alliance. When Rachael’s first son was in neonates 13 years ago, there wasn’t anything like Miracle Babies Foundation available to provide her the support she needed. This is the main reason she is eager to provide parent-to-parent support to families now.
NurtureProgram Support Worker, NT
Natalie is passionate about ensuring voices of families are heard and considered in the research and the delivery and delivery of health services. She believes that research into premature and sick babies is key to helping: - understand the short to long term effects of prematurity; and - how we can improve outcomes for these babies and their families. Natalie is mum to ex 29 weeker twins and lives in Darwin. The twins, now 6 (and wild) experienced various medical challenges due to their prematurity and were in and out of hospital during their early years. As a result of her family’s experience, she is now dedicated to helping other families with high risk babies and the health professionals that care for these families. Since 2015 she has worked part-time for the Miracle Babies Foundation providing peer to peer support to families of premature and sick newborns. She sits on several health advisory committees (local and national) as a consumer representative on the ANZNN, Co-Chair of the PSANZ Consumer Advisory Committee, and consumer representative on Top End Health Services (TEHS) Health Advisory Committee and TEHS Clinical Innovation and Research Committee. To complement her consumer work, she is studying part time a graduate diploma in Health Research at Charles Darwin University. She also works as Snr Executive Officer, Policy and Governance in the NT Public Service and prior to that worked as an Exhibition Coordinator for an national art exhibition.