Our People

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.’ 

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Kylie Pussell

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.

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Robyn Sheen

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.

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Amber Sherlock

Ambassador

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!"

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Alistair Beasley

Board Chairman

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.

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Dr Robert Guaran

Board Director

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.

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Sam Squiers

Ambassador

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.

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Danielle Hodgson

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.

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Tina Parker

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.

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Scott & Ann Cam

Ambassador

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.

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Rachel Taufer

Consumer Representative

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.

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Jo Sheils

Board Director

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.

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Jacqui Barrett

Board Director

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.

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Laura Byrnes

Ambassador

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.

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Olivia Markis

Office Manager

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.

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Amber Laidler

Ambassador

Amber is a journalist at 7 News Sydney, Producer and Former Miss World Australia. Amber is a mum to Will who is now 2 years old. Will was born at 32 weeks and spent a total of 6 weeks in the Special Care Nursery. Amber joined Miracle Babies Foundation as an Ambassador in 2024. She is always ready to show her support and attended Miracle Moon Walk for the first time in honour of becoming an ambassador. "We were introduced to Miracle Babies within days of Will's arrival through the hospital, but our most valuable resource was the foundation’s Instagram page, website and other Miracle Babies’ ambassadors such as Sam Squiers. Being able to see other premature babies and read stories of how they’ve gone on to thrive plus the advice and words of encouragement from another mum who had experienced it all before, offered immeasurable comfort in those early days of uncertainty. I feel incredibly honoured to have the chance to extend the same support to someone else through the Miracles Babies Foundation."

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Deborah Knight

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.

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Felicity Mcdonald

Grants Officer

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.

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Geoff Field

Ambassador

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.

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Ashleigh Evans

Consumer Representative

Ashleigh is mum to Charlie and George. Charlie was born in 2022 at 23 weeks and 3 days gestation weighing 572g, after Ashleigh went into labour spontaneously at 21 weeks and 5 days gestation. Charlie spent 138 days in NICU and SCN initially across Liverpool Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Women, Randwick. After multiple surgeries, the first at just under 1kg in weight, 80 days on a ventilator, sepsis scares, prolonged jaundice, Charlie went home on oxygen after his 20 week hospital stay. He is now a thriving almost two year old and big brother to George, born in 2023 at 36 weeks and 2 days gestation, after a threatened premature birth at 34 weeks and 2 days. Luckily, he did not need any time in the SCN. Ashleigh has been interviewed on 2GB radio by Miracle Babies ambassador and board member Deborah Knight in 2023. Ashleigh is excited to use the knowledge she gained across five different hospitals, three NICUs, dozens of doctors and months in the NICU to help improve the experience of NICU families wherever possible. Ashleigh and her family would like to thank Dr Shakil Ahmed, without whom they would not have two living miracle babies.

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Kim Harris

Consumer Representative

My story is one of navigating the unexpected twists and turns that life throws our way, from grappling with surgery, endometriosis and infertility to embracing the chaotic beauty of raising premature twins. My journey began with a sudden detour when I was faced with needing ovarian surgery. The experience was a profound test of my strength and resilience as I dealt with fear and uncertainty. Little did I know this was just the beginning of a series of trials that would shape the course of my life. As my partner and I dreamt of starting a family, we were confronted with the harsh reality of infertility. Our journey through IVF was marked by a rollercoaster of emotions, yet through it all, we persevered to realise our dream of parenthood in 2001. Just when we thought our journey was on course, we went for an ultrasound at 26 weeks that would turn our world on its head. Twin A (Madison) had reverse blood flow and was significantly smaller than Twin B (Tallara). We spent 4 weeks attending Liverpool Hospital for monitoring and testing of Madison, Tallara was just cruising along. At 30 weeks the doctors decided our twins would be delivered via c-section. We were blessed with the arrival of our girls, welcoming them into the world was a whirlwind of emotions – joy, fear, and overwhelming love. They both spent 6 weeks in Liverpool Hospital NICU and SCN, fortunately they only ever had minor setbacks, although at the time these setbacks were terrifying. We brought our girls home with Madison still only weighing 1.5kg and Tallara 2.5kg. Navigating the complexities of raising our premature girls tested every fibre of our being, but it also brought profound moments of grace and gratitude. Today, almost 23 years later our next challenge with our beautiful daughters will be letting them go as they are both getting married next year. For me, a self proclaimed “helicopter mum” it is now time to finally land so they can fly on their own. I am looking forward to using my lived in experience to help improve the experience of other NICU families.

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Vhairi Todd

Consumer Representative

With a background as a paediatric dietitian, and experience working in various clinical settings, including NICU, the premature birth of Vhairi’s first daughter at 31+2 weeks following preterm premature rupture of membranes, was a world familiar clinically but not emotionally. Throughout the 6 ½ challenging weeks spent on NICU, numerous health complications such as a brain bleed, heart defects, jaundice, gut infection, reflux, growth issues and feeding problems were all encountered. However, whilst knowledge is power through clinical experience, when it comes to your child, sometimes ignorance may be bliss. Living within the space between clinician and new parent, attempting to understand and come to terms with what motherhood looks like to a premature child, whilst also suffering herself with postnatal depression and PTSD, this difficult but enlightening journey ultimately changed the trajectory of Vhairi’s clinical role, understanding and future. Now a mum of 3, encountering further monitoring, premature birth and medical interventions, alongside a life-changing move from the UK to Australia, Vhairi has since completed a Master’s degree, with researched focused upon supporting parents within NICU, and is now a registered Creative Arts Therapist. Utilising previous clinical knowledge and through a trauma informed, strengths-based approach to her therapeutic work with children and their families, Vhairi draws on her own experiences to provide strength, support, resilience, and hope. As a consumer representative, Vhairi aims to bring together her lived experience and clinical knowledge to help others navigate their own journeys of prematurity.

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Alf Paranihi

Ambassador

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.

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Jamie-Lee Lelliott

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.

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Michelle DiBiasi

Fundraising Coordinator

Michelle is a proud mother to her son, Luca and soon to be second time mum to her son in August 2024. Michelle has a strong background in Marketing, Events and Administration, working in local clubs, retail centre management and local government. In 2023, she joined Miracle Babies Foundation as the Fundraising Coordinator. She will use her knowledge and skills to actively communicate with the fundraising community who work hard at raising funds and awareness for Miracle Babies Foundation. Michelle enjoys being part of the Miracle Babies Team and is amazed by the generosity of the community so that as a team, we can help to improve, support, and enhance all lives impacted by a premature or sick birth.

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Nicole Carey

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.

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Prue Martawidjaja

Consumer Representative

Prue is a proud mother of two miracle babies, both of whom have spent time in special care. She and her husband were first introduced to Miracle Babies Foundation when their eldest son was born prematurely. This experience led her to pursue postgraduate studies in perinatal and infant mental health. Prue is committed to utilizing these skills to champion the Miracle Babies Foundation's mission, focusing on prevention and early intervention in parental mental health and advocating for families in rural and remote communities. When she isn't being a mom, Prue works as a social worker and academic in remote Western Australia, dedicating her efforts to supporting families and young people.

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Bryce Ruthven & Melissa Rawson

Ambassadors

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.

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Megan Schutt and Jess Holyoake

Ambassadors

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.

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Matteo Zamboni

Ambassador

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.

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Chloe Wallin

Consumer Representative

Chloe is proud mum of one, Darcy, who was born at 33 weeks due to severe preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome and IUGR. Together with husband Carl and Darcy, spending 3 weeks in SCN. Being surrounded by family and friends all having full term low risk pregnancies and births, it was a scary unknown when things quickly took a turn 28 weeks into pregnancy. Chloe has a career background in design and after spending many years in the corporate realm, is loving the transition into motherhood and having the opportunity to volunteer for such an important organisation. Darcy is now a cheeky and thriving toddler, who loves her food and managed to catch up in no time. 

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Chantelle Ahmed

Resources and Campaigns Officer

Chantelle is a mum to 3 beautiful children Elijah, Zayn and Zahra. 2019 when pregnant with Zahra she was told she had placenta accreta. Due to the high risk the doctors decided to bring Zahra into this world early to prevent any major complications later. Zahra came into the world at 35 weeks and was admitted to Liverpool NICU for two weeks due to oxygen levels and feeding difficulties. Chantelle knows how isolating NICU can be and is so proud to be part of Miracle Babies Foundation team and to help support all the families going through this journey with all the amazing resources.

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Jackie O

Former Ambassador

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.

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Meghan Billinghurst

Consumer Representative

Meghan is the proud mum of two miracle babies, both born prematurely due to cervical issues within her pregnancies. Aubree was born at 24 weeks in 2020 at Liverpool Hospital during the height of COVID lockdowns. Throughout her extended stay, Aubree became seriously ill with Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC). Aubree was transferred to Royal Women's Hospital where she had lifesaving surgery to remove and repair a complete bowel obstruction. Aubree spent 117 days between Liverpool and Royal Women's hospitals before she was discharged home on oxygen and with a NG tube. With the help of an emergency cerclage at 19 weeks, Meghan was able to make it to 34 weeks in her second pregnancy. Tommy was born in 2023 and spent 5 days in special care before he was discharged home. After being home for 4 days Tommy contracted meningitis which meant he returned to special care for a further 7 days. Outside of being a mum Meghan holds a Bachelor of Education and is a passionate educator.

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Nellie Lewis

Volunteer Coordinator

Nellie is a proud mum to 2 beautiful girls, 13 year old Layla and 8 year old Lily. After spending 20 years in law, Nellie really felt like she wanted to do something that gave back to the community and families that are going through really tough times. "I am so blessed to be a part of this amazing foundation. As volunteer coordinator, I get to meet new people and listen to their amazing stories of courage and help them become part of the team at Miracle Babies Foundation."

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Thalia Del Castillo

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.

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Andrea Hendry

Consumer Representative

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.

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Olivia Sheen

Accounts Assistant

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.

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Vic Lorusso

Former Ambassador

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."

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Philippa Grimston

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.

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Anne Marie Kennedy

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.

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Megan Norbury

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.

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Alyce Farrugia

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.

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Sophia Parslow

NurtureProgram Support Worker, NT

Sophia is mum to two premmie babies - Aria who is now 8 and Ezra, now 4 and delivers our NurtureTime and NurtureGroup services in Darwin. Sophia and her husband embarked on IVF to start a family, after several failed attempts their family was blessed with two beautiful children. Aria was born at 37 weeks and required the care of the Special Care Nursery. Sophia’s youngest, Ezra, was born at 33 weeks, spending time in the NICU. “The time spent at the NICU and SCN were hard and scary and I am so thankful to the staff at Royal Darwin Hospital for their compassion and care.” Sophia is passionate about providing support and building a connection with families through on her own personal experience.

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Nikita Jones

Consumer Representative

My Partner and I have dreamt of starting a family for such a long time, however we, as with so many others out there have struggled with infertility.  After years of fertility treatment we were overjoyed to fall pregnant with our first daughter Lilly. Unfortunately, this joy turned to shock and unimaginable sadness when we were informed that our baby girl wasn’t developing as expected. After many tests and appointments, we were told that our baby had no chance of survival and likely wouldn’t make it to delivery, and if she did she would pass soon after. It was recommended that we end the pregnancy for medical reasons (TFMR). We agonised over the decision, although above all else we didn’t want our daughter to suffer, and so we made the heartbreakingly difficult decision to have the TFMR.   After this devastating loss, we weren’t sure we could keep going with trying for a family. However, we were lucky enough to fall pregnant the following year with our daughter Mabel. The pregnancy was a difficult one and I ended up being transported by air ambulance to The Mercy Hospital for Women in Melbourne at 26 weeks with severe preeclampsia.  Mabel was then born at 28 weeks weighing 972g. She required intubation and within days of birth she had an early onset sepsis infection which required multiple rounds of antibiotics and a platelet transfusion. Mabel had ongoing high oxygen requirements throughout her NICU journey, and it was found that she had pulmonary hypertension.  Mabel was born in 2020 at the height of the Covid19 pandemic. During this time hospitals had strict visitation rules which meant my partner and I were unable to visit the hospital at the same time.  This made the NICU journey even more difficult, and Mabel was 3 months old before we could be together as a family in the same room. Finally, after 109 days in the NICU and SCU Mabel was able to come home on oxygen support. We then had several additional hospital admissions and in turn sleep studies at the Monash Children’s Hospital which determined that Mabel also had Central Sleep Apnea. She then required oxygen support until she was 18 months old.  Mabel is now a cheeky 3 years old, who is full of energy and just as much attitude, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.  I hope to be able to use my experience to help assist in ways to best support NICU families during this difficult time in their lives. 

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Madelaine Hart

Consumer Representative

Madelaine is a mum to one boy, Sebastian. Madelaine went into unexpected labour at home at 35 weeks on a remote island in the Northern Territory. She was required to be transported by Care Flight off the island to Darwin. Madelaine and her husband landed in Darwin where Sebastian was born very shortly after at the Darwin Private Hospital. Sebastian spent time in the special care nursery before going home. Outside of being a mum, Madelaine holds a Bachelor of Law. She hopes to use her lived experience to assist other families navigating similar paths.

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Rachael Shiell

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.

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Paula Ward

NurtureProgram Support Worker, Western Sydney NSW

Paula is a proud mum to her twins who were born at 30 weeks gestation. "I was diagnosed with endometriosis at the age of 19. After laparoscopic surgery at 24 I was told I should try and have children now. I was extremely lucky to fall pregnant with twins 6 months later. I went into labour at 30 weeks. There wasn’t enough humidicrib’s at Liverpool hospital at the time so we had to get transported to RPA. Liliola and Elanor were born and they spent 6 weeks at RPA and then another 3 weeks at Liverpool. I feel extremely lucky that both girls are healthy teenagers now with an amazing future in front of them". Paula joined Miracle Babies after the experience of having premature twins and supports families through our NurtureProgram services. She is very happy to be able to support families who are in the same position she was in.

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Belinda Owen

NurtureProgram Support Worker, NSW

Belinda is a proud mother to her beautiful Step-Daughter, her Angel Baby, and her Rainbow / Miracle Baby. Both boys were born very premature with severe growth restriction, and both were very traumatic births. Belinda’s first Baby Boy was stillborn at 26 weeks (410g). And her second Baby Boy was born at 29 weeks (920g) and spent a few months in NICU until he was strong enough to come home. Along her journey to motherhood Belinda has had to overcome many complex health issues; and she did so with the support of her family and friends. Belinda describes her journey to motherhood as 'far from typical'. Belinda has spent her career working in the disability field, and continues to do so in the corporate world. Belinda is also a Pregnancy Loss & Trauma Informed Practitioner and is passionate about supporting women who are Parenting After Loss. Belinda started working as a Nurture Program Support Worker with Miracle Babies Foundation at the beginning of 2024. Belinda describes returning to the NICU at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital as ‘returning home’. Belinda feels very privileged to be able to offer support to families who are on a similar NICU journey.

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Florence Sward

Consumer Representative

Florence is mum to two boys, Oscar who was born in 2019 and Felix born in 2022. Felix is her miracle baby, born via classical caesarean at 27 weeks gestation due to premature rupture of membranes in week 23. When he was born the doctors weren’t sure he would make it through the night. Felix required ventilation and then CPAP until 38 weeks gestation. He also suffered from pneumothorax, bilateral bleeds to the brain and a host of other ‘premmie’ issues. Despite this, Felix came home after 96 days in hospital without any oxygen and meeting all milestones. The time spent in hospital was hard. Felix was born during COIVD and specifically when the Tasmanian borders were opening, which meant there were many restrictions in place that made the journey tough. Miracle Babies was a great support over this period. The first 18 months at home meant different challenges and stresses. Felix had slow weight gain and a higher work of breathing than what is expected from non-prem babies. There was also the difficult juggle of frequent medical appointments and many hospital admissions. Now, however, Felix is a clever, cheeky little toddler who is doing so much better than anyone expected! Other than being a mum, Florence works on a large public health project and is studying a Master of Public Health. She is committed to health equity and wants to use her platform within Miracle Babies to advocate for parents and preterm babies around Australia.