In order of appearance:
Jodie Matthews is on a mission to connect women back to their hearts. She believes that by connecting with our hearts we can create magic in this world. Jodie is here to remind women of their value, help them create a more harmonious relationship with money and find more peace in their lives through meditation. Jodie has over a decade of experience working in high-level corporate finance roles, is a certified Beautiful You Life Coach, trained meditation teacher and CPA.
Jodie is a mother of two to an angel Hamish and Lucy. After her first child Hamish was stillborn, Jodie has been an advocate for supporting women through grief and baby loss. Jodie’s book “Navigating Baby Loss” and her blog www.iamstillborn.com has been viewed over 10,000 times by parents going through loss.
Leigh joined the Stillbirth Foundation Australia as CEO in September 2019. She holds an MBA(Executive) from the AGSM and a BA in Economics from Yale University. Leigh has built her career as a senior business development leader in the arts, culture, sport and finance sectors, building strong advocacy, partnership and stakeholder management skills.
Beyond ensuring the Foundation’s mission is fulfilled, Leigh’s focus is on ensuring the stillbirth community – from bereaved parents to healthcare workers – feels supported and that parents’ voices are heard and validated.
Fiona brings her experience of working across many areas of HR including diversity, inclusion, talent attraction, employee engagement and HR operations as well as nearly 10 years of working with corporate Australia to develop family friendly programs and workplaces. Fiona is currently the Customer Experience Director at Parent At Work, working with organisations to develop and implement family friendly workplace programs and is a strategic advisor on best practice parental leave policies and transitions.
Deb de Wilde works is an obstetric social worker in three maternity hospitals across Sydney. Whilst working as a midwife her contact with families at times of crisis led her to undertake a degree in social work. After a period as a member of the Counselling Section at the Institute of Forensic Medicine Deborah returned to the obstetric setting.
Deb has cared for families experiencing perinatal loss for forty years. She was an early exponent of documenting the lives of these babies through photography and the provision of other mementos and pioneered the approach where parents are offered the opportunity to see, hold and spend time with their stillborn or dying baby. The approach has become standard practice throughout Australia, though early on it was controversial and at times met with resistance by hospital staff.
Deb de Wilde, Peter Barr, and Julie Dunsmore established SANDS NSW in 1983.
Deb, Peter and Julie’s early work with families was documented in Martin Langdon Down’s award winning documentary film, ‘Some Babies Die.’ Deb and Peter co-authored the booklet ‘Stillbirth and Newborn Death: Death and life are the same mysteries.’
With her colleague Belinda Power, Deb facilitates a monthly support group for bereaved parents as well as a dedicated antenatal support group for parents in a pregnancy that follows the death of a baby. She was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2005 for service to the community as an obstetric social worker providing support to bereaved parents.
Danielle’s previous research background is in psychology and midwifery, specialising in stillbirth and stigma. During her PhD, she developed the Stillbirth Stigma Scale, which measured the prevalence and type of stigma in bereaved parents. Her work highlighted that over half of bereaved mothers faced stigmatising attitudes and beliefs, and these experiences included being discriminated, feelings of contagiousness, isolation and unable to embrace their motherhood identity. Furthermore, Danielle’s work highlighted bereaved parents as advocates in changing the ingrained and fatalistic attitudes towards stillbirth held by clinicians, researchers, and government organisations. Her other research work includes exploring how government, non-government and health care professionals communicate with women about stillbirth.
Danielle is an Early Career Researcher who prides herself on community involvement, such as her role as co-founder of the ASAP (Australian Stillbirth for Awareness and Prevention), member of the Still Aware Consumer Advisory board and International Stillbirth Alliance Advocacy and Bereavement working groups.
Cathy is an experienced Clinical Supervisor, ACA registered counsellor (COS #16575), psychotherapist and workplace trainer. She has gained experience in organisations such as ANZ Bank, Department of Corrective Services (Probation & Parole), public schools and private clinics. Cathy has also lived and worked in Dubai as a school counsellor, child protection consultant, and psychological supervisor. Cathy has returned to her hometown of Dubbo to provide specialist bereavement support counselling, workshop facilitation, volunteer training and support, and clinical supervision. In addition, Cathy is a very experienced and enthusiastic Sandplay therapist.
Joe Williams is a Wiradjuri, 1st Nations Aboriginal man born in Cowra, raised in Wagga NSW having lived a 15 year span as a professional sports person. Joe played in the National Rugby League for South Sydney Rabbitohs, Penrith Panthers and Canterbury Bulldogs before switching to professional Boxing in 2009. As a boxer Joe was a 2x WBF World Jnr Welterweight champion and also won the WBC Asia Continental Title.
Although forging a successful professional sporting career, Joe battled the majority of his life with suicidal ideation and Bi Polar Disorder. After a suicide attempt in 2012, Joe felt his purpose was to help people who struggle with mental health & wellbeing .
Joe is also an author having contributed to multiple books as well as his very own autobiography titled Defying The Enemy Within - which has been purchased in multiple countries around the world.
Joe was also named as finalist for the courage award in the 2017 National Indigenous Human Rights Awards & 2018 was awarded the Suicide Prevention Australia Life Award for his work in communities across the country.
In 2019 Joe was awarded Australia’s highest honour in the Mental Health field, announced as a co winner of the National Mental Health Prize presented by the Australian Prime Minister.
Since founding the organisation The Enemy Within in 2014, Joe has delivered wellbeing programs to over 200 communities across Australia; which aims to alleviate the mental & traumatic distress of individuals from all pockets of community.
Jordein Alvoen is a proud Wakaman woman. Originally raised on Bindal and Wulgurukaba Country, she is now raising her family, living and working on Gubbi Gubbi/ Kabi Kabi Country. Her passions of social justice and human rights led her to complete a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Aboriginal Studies. She is now working for a community legal service to support and advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Through her work she continues to explore how invaluable connection to culture, community and supportive services are for people dealing with trauma.
I am a proud Gamilaraay (Coonabarabran) woman who grew up mainly on Dharawal Country out near Campbelltown. I commenced here in August 2019 and can honestly say that it is the best job I have ever had.
I am here to culturally support and advocate for my patients and their families during what is probably the hardest time in their lives. Depending on the child’s illness I may know them and their families for days, weeks and even years. I am a very empathetic person and am very passionate about my role. What my patients and families go through is extremely hard so if I can support them in any way I can during this time to ease some of the pain then that makes me proud. Having Mob around during these times is very important so advocating for this and being a part of the families support network means a lot to me also.