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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.