Allan is one of Australia’s most highly decorated citizens, being one of only 5 Australians in the past 44 years to be awarded the Cross of Valour (CV) Australia’s highest bravery decoration. He is also the only Australian to be awarded the Cross of Valour and a subsequent National bravery decoration, the Commendation for Brave Conduct, along with other significant awards for bravery and service including the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to Mental Health Organisations and the Community, and one of only 10 Australians to receive the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Having lived experience of trauma related mental illnesses and recovery, Allan is a passionate advocate for proactive approaches and greater education relating to the physiological risks being faced by people of all ages in today’s society. He is Deputy Commissioner of the Mental Health Commission of NSW, a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW, the Chairman of the National Police Bravery Awards Committee, a member of the NSW Police Mental Health Intervention Team, Patron of the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation and an Ambassador for Australia Day, Beyond Blue and Kookaburra Kids. He is a renowned keynote speaker, a best-selling author with Penguin Random House Australia and a self-confessed rugby tragic.
Dr. Kathryn Austin is an Obstetrician Gynaecologist who completed her specialty training in 2017 and further completed Maternal Fetal Medicine subspecialist training in 2019. Prior to embarking upon a career in medicine she worked in hospital and community pharmacy and as a counsellor with Mothersafe.
Kathryn has been a director of the Board for the state and federal Australian Medical Association (AMA). She is currently on the AMA NSW Council and the AMA NSW Charitable Foundation Advisory Board. Kathryn has been involved with various government and professional body committees that oversee quality healthcare, medical leadership and women’s health. Kathryn completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course in 2014.
Nicki joined the Gidget Foundation as its Hospital Program Manager, leading the expansion of our Gidget Emotional Wellbeing Screening Program.
Nicki has a wealth of experience having been on the hospital side of the launch of the original Emotional Wellbeing Screening Program, firstly at North Shore Private Hospital as Maternity Services Manager and later at The Mater where she was also the Maternity Services Manager.
Prior to moving into maternity management, Nicki worked as a delivery suite midwife and midwifery educator. She has a Bachelor of Health Science and Master of Nursing in Advanced Clinical Education.
Away from work Nicki is learning Spanish with a group of friends.
Lena joined the Gidget Foundation in 2019 as the Foundation Administration Manager, responsible for implementing and managing a range of administrative functions to support the delivery of all Gidget Foundation Australia’s programs, services and organisational operations.
Previously at Universal Magazines, Lena managed the subscriptions and customer service for all subscriptions across 25 titles.
Away from work, Lena’s teenage daughter and son keep her busy, especially with their sporting activities.
In addition to her family, she is actively involved with the Armenian Community group – volunteering her time with fundraising and volunteer co-ordination programs.
Lisa joined Gidget Foundation Australia as the Digital Manager in 2019, taking care of the website, social media and driving growth digitally.
As a member of the Gidget Founding Committee, Lisa previously managed the Foundation’s social media on a voluntary basis.
Lisa is a passionate mother, fundraiser, lover of all things digital and blogger.
Lisa’s personal experiences of mental ill health led her to support and inspire others through sharing her own story and through her work in the charity sector.
In her spare time she loves spending time with her son, taking and sharing beautiful photos, volunteering, reading and using social media for good.
Eliza is a Clinical Social Worker and the Founder of Blackbird Counselling, an organisation that provides counselling and support to assist women with the emotional adjustment to pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. Eliza has spent her professional life pursuing her passion of supporting women through one of the most significant transitions of their life. Eliza uses a variety of evidence based approaches to underpin her framework including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; Systems and Attachment Theory. Eliza has a specialised interest in developing Postnatal Recovery Plans with women and using mindfulness approaches to developing Self Care Plans. Eliza brings compassion and a non-judgemental attitude to her work at all times.
In 2018, Eliza developed ‘The Women’s Series’ facilitating four workshops addressing issues that impact upon women across the lifespan including Adjustment to Motherhood and Settling Babies Workshops. She also developed the Blackbird Mother Mentor Program, an 8 week pilot program linking new and experienced mothers in an effort to reduce social isolation. She is a registered Circle of Security Parenting Program Provider and has recently completed the Excellence in Supervisory Practice Certificate through Amovita International. She has also completed her Perinatal Non-Directive Counselling Training Certification through the Australian Psychological Society.
Eliza has appeared on ABC radio and is a regular contributor to Kids on The Coast magazine speaking about infertility, postnatal depression and maternal mental health.
Eliza is currently studying a Graduate Certificate in Perinatal and Infant Mental Health from the NSW Institute of Psychiatry.