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 at Chipping Norton, 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 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. Kylie is a Co-Investigator on the POD Study, POD 2 and a previous member of the PSANZ Perinatal Palliative Care Special Interest Group. In July 2019 Kylie became a Founding Committee member of GLANCE and in December 2019 was appointed to the Chair Committee for 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 ACI as a consumer representative on the ACI Maternity and Neonatal Taskforce and the ACI Paediatric and Neonatal Clinical Taskforce. 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 also joined the PSANZ Special Interest Group on Perinatal Ethics and 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.

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Melinda Cruz Turner

Founder, Researcher, Consumer Representative, Advocacy & Secretary of the Board

Miracle Babies Foundation was initiated and founded by Melinda in 2005. Due to a bicornuate (heart shaped) uterus, Melinda’s first son, Elijah, was born at 34 weeks, spending 2 1/2 weeks in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. Her second son Dillon was born at 27 weeks and resuscitated at birth. He spent 9 weeks in hospital before being allowed to go home. Melinda's third son Jasper was born at 37 weeks and also spent time in the NICU. Having had all 3 babies cared for by the NICU, Melinda wanted to remain linked to other mothers of premature babies. She also wanted to give back to the NICU and thank the wonderful staff she credits for saving her babies’ lives. It was from those experiences that the Miracle Babies Foundation was born and has since helped and supported thousands of families. The Foundation has established a major global impact, and the incredible difference it has made supporting families through the birth of a premature or sick baby has seen Melinda win numerous awards including the 2011 EY Social Entrepreneur of the Year and be a regular guest on radio, TV, podcasts and at conferences. In 2015, she was a NSW Woman of the Year - Premiers Award finalist. Melinda has a Bachelor of Science in Genetics and Nutritional Biochemistry. She is a trusted consumer expert to medical professionals seeking to improve treatments and understanding of the impact a preterm birth has on the family unit. In 2012, she was appointed an Honorary Research Associate at the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Clinical Trials Centre (University of Sydney, School of Medicine) and was the first parent to be an Associate Investigator (2012) and Chief Investigator (2019) on neonatal trials. In 2014, Melinda joined the Perinatal Society of Australia and NZ (PSANZ) Consumer Advisory Panel and the PSANZ Clinical Trials executive committee. In 2015, she joined the Australian Red Cross Blood Service Milk Bank Advisory Committee. Melinda has been instrumental in a number of other trials such as assisting in obtaining waiver of consent for the TORPIDO 30/60 Trial and facilitating the support of Australian parents during the FiCare Trial. To date, Melinda has co-authored 11 medical publications. Melinda is also a contributor to THRIVE Global in which she has published six articles to date. In 2014, she ran the New York Marathon with a group of 18 raising over $230K for the Foundation. For three years in a row, she was an EY Australian Entrepreneur of the Year Judge and she is currently working on releasing her first book. Melinda has been a Board Director since 2009.

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Robyn Sheen

National Accounts Manager

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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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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Karen Pritchard

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.

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Tina Parker

NurtureProgram Officer - Programs & Services

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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Madeline Pussell

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!

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Megan Norbury

NurtureProgram Support Worker, WA

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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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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Natalie Merida

NurtureProgram Support Worker, NT & Consumer Representative

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.

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Olivia Markis

Volunteer and Office Coordinator

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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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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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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Philippa Grimston

NurtureProgram Support Worker, WA

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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Amy Ziade

Social Media Coordinator

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Jamie-Lee Lelliott

Digital 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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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.