Experts in the Baby Loss Project

In order of appearance:

Wade Imrie

Detective NSW Police, Bereaved Father

Debbie Hoang

Senior Commercial Manager, Founder of Zoe Hope Active, Bereaved mother

Jodie Matthews

Finance Manager, Meditation Teacher, Bereaved mother

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.

Angie Elder

State Manager, Canteen Australia

Kate Obst

Provisional Psychologist | PhD Candidate, School of Psychology | FHMS, University of Adelaide

Kate Obst is a Provisional Psychologist and PhD Candidate at the University of Adelaide in South Australia. Combining her postgraduate training in both psychology and public health, Kate's research and practice interests lie broadly in the area of health psychology, including loss and grief and perinatal mental health. Her PhD research investigated men's experiences of grief and support after pregnancy loss and neonatal death, including experiences of returning to work after loss.

Leigh Brezler

CEO, Stillbirth Foundation Australia

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 Hitchiner

Customer Experience Director, Parents at Work

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

Obstetric Social Worker

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.

Dr Danielle Pollock

Research Fellow, Transfer Science, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Bereaved Mother

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.

Cathy Banks

Senior Grief Counsellor, NALAG

Grad.Dip Couns & Psychotherapy, B.Bus Psych/Mktg, Dip Mgt

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

Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Founder of The Enemy Within

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.

Jordein Alvoen

Wakaman Woman

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. 

Cherisse Buzzacott

Midwife, Bereaved mother

Tanya Quinn

Aboriginal Health Worker, Palliative Care & Chronic and Complex Needs, The Sydney Children’s Hospital Network

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.

 

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