Our Team

The Core Team
Amy Dawes

Amy Dawes

Co-Founder, CEO, Director

In 2017, Amy launched the Australasian Birth Trauma Association (ABTA), she has established a not-for-profit organisation focused on the recognition and understanding of birth-related trauma.

With a multi-disciplinary advisory group of midwives, physiotherapists, obstetricians, gynaecologists, mental health clinicians and clinical researchers, she is working to develop the resources and strategies to prevent and effectively manage birth-related trauma.

Amy’s understanding of the issues many birthing families face, has come from her own experience, and the many people she has listened to and helped to find support. Amy’s vision is to break down the stigma attached to birth trauma, and empower people to feel comfortable speaking out, so to continue driving change in current maternity practices in Australia and New Zealand.

Amy is a proud mother of two young girls.

Christine Pistone portrait

Christine Pistone

Project Manager

Christine is mum to her boisterous son who was born in 2014. As a result of her birth-related injuries, she discovered ABTA and joined the team in 2019 as a volunteer supporting project development. She has recently completed the AICD Company Directors course and was appointed as Company Secretary in 2020. Christine holds a Diploma of Financial Services with over 20 years experience in insurance and management. Christine is passionate about the prevention of birth trauma and her vision is to use her experience to help drive change on how information is delivered to women pre, during and post-childbirth. 
Maria Bradshaw

Maria Bradshaw

Volunteer Manager

Maria is a mum of two girls and wife to her Kiwi husband Mark. After her own experience with post-partum PTSD she wanted to help other families who had experienced something similar and came across the ABTA. After volunteering with the ABTA in various capacities, she has now taken on the role of Volunteer Manager, bringing her experience as a Training Coordinator to the role. Maria is currently studying for a Bachelor in Psychology and Counselling which will make a valuable contribution to this role.

Our Board Members
Kate Waterford portrait

Kate Waterford

Chair

Kate is a lawyer and mother to two young children. She has served as a non-executive director on the Physiotherapy Board of Australia (AHPRA) and as Vice Chair of Amnesty International Australia. Kate herself had a traumatic birth in 2015. She suffered severe, life-threatening postpartum haemorrhages, both at the time of her daughter’s birth, and again two weeks later, due to retained placenta. The experience – which affected her physically for years afterwards – has made her passionate about the importance of support for women who have lived through birth-related trauma.
Prof Bryanne Barnett Am portrait

Professor Bryanne Barnett AM

Founding Director

Professor Barnett is a child and family psychiatrist with a particular interest in early intervention, perinatal and early childhood mental health. Her doctoral thesis studied anxiety and its effects on mothers and their infants. This research included the first attachment study in Australia. Professor Barnett holds a conjoint professorial appointment with the School of Psychiatry at the UNSW. She is also a foundation member and past President of the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health, the Australian Society for Psychosocial Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and both the International and Australasian Marcé Societies. In 2007 she was awarded Membership of the Order of Australia in recognition of her service to families and the profession. In 2016 she received a RANZCP College Citation.
Dr Oliver Daly portrait

Dr Oliver Daly

Director

Oliver is a father of two amazing daughters and married to the wonderful Kathryn. He is a RANZCOG-certified Urogynaecologist and Obstetrician, and clinical lead for Urogynaecology at Western Health in Melbourne. Oliver works directly with women both on the birth suite and postnatally to prevent and reduce the effects of trauma but also acts to increase clinician’s knowledge about the risk factors and prevention strategies, and skills to manage such trauma, also encouraging the empowerment of women to direct their care to reduce the risks of childbirth.

Sam Chadwick

Director

Sam Chadwick is a senior sports executive and commercial lawyer, and father to two beautiful boys. He has expertise across strategic planning, project management, business development, law, governance, operations, media/ communications and organisational development and has held a number of high profile roles and Directorships in the sporting and mental health spaces.

The births of both of Sam’s boys were traumatic. Sam’s children both spent time in the neonatal intensive care ward – which was something he was unprepared for and uneducated about. Sam’s vision is for parents – both mothers and fathers – to receive empathetic, transparent and objective health care education and support – both before and after birth – and for a society which is informed and compassionate with respect to the birthing experience.

Clinical Advisory Committee (CAC)
Dr Jennifer Kruger portrait

Dr Jennifer Kruger

Dr Jennifer is based in New Zealand, she played a vital role in establishing the ABTA in 2016. Jennifer’s research focus is maternal/child health and she leads the Pelvic Floor Research group at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, University of Auckland. Where they use a multi-disciplinary approach to pelvic floor mechanics and its relationship to childbirth and pelvic floor disorders, including pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence. Dr Kruger’s background is in nursing and midwifery, so she is able to recognise the need for evidence based research to better inform women of their choices in childbirth for optimal outcomes.

Fiona Reid portrait

Fiona Reid

Fiona is a practising Midwife with over 34 years experience. She has worked in all areas of midwifery practice in New Guinea, India and Australia; in remote, rural, regional and urban settings. In low risk, all risk, high risk and continuity programmes. She is committed to Public Health and believes that care will be appropriate and best when individualised, provided by the right carer in the right setting and at the right time by people who place the woman at the centre of all care.

Dr Oliver Daly portrait

Dr Oliver Daly

Oliver is a father of two amazing daughters and married to the wonderful Kathryn. He is a RANZCOG-certified Urogynaecologist and Obstetrician, and clinical lead for Urogynaecology at Western Health in Melbourne.

Oliver works directly with women both on the birth suite and postnatally to prevent and reduce the effects of trauma but also acts to increase clinician’s knowledge about the risk factors and prevention strategies, and skills to manage such trauma, also encouraging the empowerment of women to direct their care to reduce the risks of childbirth.

Prof Bryanne Barnett Am portrait

Prof Bryanne Barnett AM

Professor Barnett is a child and family psychiatrist with a particular interest in early intervention, perinatal and early childhood mental health. Her doctoral thesis studied anxiety and its effects on mothers and their infants. This research included the first attachment study in Australia.

Professor Barnett holds a conjoint professorial appointment with the School of Psychiatry at the UNSW. She is also a foundation member and past President of the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health, the Australian Society for Psychosocial Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and both the International and Australasian Marcé Societies. In 2007 she was awarded Membership of the Order of Australia in recognition of her service to families and the profession. In 2016 she received a RANZCP College Citation.

Eliza Pike

Eliza Pike

Eliza is a Clinical Social Worker, Owner of Blackbird House and Blackbird Counselling. Blackbird Counselling is a perinatal counselling service that assists new parents with the adjustment to pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. 
Eliza has worked across the mental health sector for the past 20 years.  
Eliza provides supervision and training to health professionals around Social Work Practice, Perinatal and Infant Mental Health and Master & Bachelor of Social Work students at The University of the Sunshine Coast. She provides a training facility for students to provide free counselling to clients through the Counselling, Social Work and Perinatal Peer Support student placement programs. 
Eliza has worked with the Gidget Foundation’s ‘Start Talking Program’ and Mindstar’s partnership with the Queensland Ballet. She is a Member of the Australian Marce Society.
Angela James

Angela James

Angela James is the founder of Sydney Pelvic Clinic and is a pioneer in the treatment of patients with pelvic issues using an evidence-based and patient-centred approach.  Angela is a passionate Pelvic Health Physiotherapist and has developed a team of like-minded, highly trained professionals at Sydney Pelvic Clinic. Her number one goal is to achieve successful outcomes for her patients and improve the profile of pelvic health physiotherapy. In addition to her clinical work, Angela teaches locally and internationally, striving to improve the quality of physiotherapy services beyond her own borders.
She’s an active member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA), Continence Women’s Health Group, Continence Foundation of Australia and she sits on the New South Wales APA Education Sub Advisory Committee. Angela is mum to two boys and understands firsthand the changes a woman’s pelvis undergoes during pregnancy, birth and post birth.
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Robyn Brennen

Robyn Brennen

Robyn is an experienced physiotherapist and midwife who has been working in the field of women’s health and continence for 15 years. A passionate advocate for access to high quality health care for all women, she has worked in public health services in South Australia and Victoria, as well as at a UNHCR-supported refugee clinic in Egypt in 2012-2013. She currently works at Monash Health Community Continence Service and the Digestive Health Centre and is undertaking her PhD in ‘Pelvic floor dysfunction after gynaecological cancer’ at Monash University..

Sascha Callaghan

Sascha Callaghan is a lawyer and bioethicist, and Senior Lecturer in health and technology law and ethics at the University of Sydney. Her research covers a variety of issues in health and technology regulation. She is a specialist in health care decision-making, womens health and mental health.  Sascha is the lawyer member of the Ethics of Clinical Practice Committee for Sydney Local Health District, the Human Research Ethics Committee at the University of Sydney, and a member of a number of research collaboration networks including the Sydney Health Policy Network. 

Amy Daly

Dr Amy Daly

Amy has an Advanced Diploma of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, is a GP obstetrics registrar, medical researcher and mother to two young children. It was during medical school, after the birth of her first child, that she realised her calling to continue her medical career into GP obstetrics. She continued on to win the Obstetrics Award, as well as other academic awards including a Deans Medal. She has presented her research work both domestically and internationally and published in peer reviewed journals.  Amy currently works in regional NSW in both private practice and a hospital setting. She enjoys providing whole person care to women and their families and is passionate about supporting and empowering women during their pregnancy and beyond.

Our Volunteers

ABTA is extremely grateful to the many volunteers that donate their time and expertise to ABTA projects and peer support programs. For information around volunteering for ABTA, visit our volunteer page.

Dana Cross portrait

Dana Cross

Dana found ABTA in 2019 following the birth of her daughter when she was seeking advice and support to engage effectively with the health profession to obtain the specialist support she needed. Dana’s birth had resulted in a 3B tear and subsequent diagnosis of a perianal fistula. Dana’s struggles to obtain timely and accurate diagnosis fuel her desire to support the work of ATBA.

Dana is an Associate Director at Grosvenor Performance Group. Dana is a public sector expert, possessing over a decade of deep experience advising Government organisations on program evaluation, organisational review, optimisation and procurement projects. She supports the sustainability of ATBA through contributions to our fundraising efforts.

Caitlin Davis

Caitlin is a law graduate of the Australian National University. Caitlin has an interest in issues concerning health law and bioethics. She recently completed her Honours thesis which focussed on birth trauma litigation and judicial attitudes towards enhancing patient choice. In 2019, she presented my paper on informed consent in obstetrics at the Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law Conference in New Zealand. Caitlin is passionate about supporting women who have experienced a traumatic birth, and empowering women to be proactive in the decisions concerning their own care.

Meet some of our

Peer2Peer Mentors

Christine Percy

Christine Percy

Christine is a proud mum of two whose interest in maternity services reform was sparked after her own experience of physical birth trauma. Her desire to support women through their motherhood journey is evidenced by her past volunteer work with Friends of the Birth Centre Queensland and her training as a pelvic floor and diastasis recti friendly postnatal trainer. Christine holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a Bachelor of Leisure Management and a Cert IV in Fitness along with a number of courses related to pregnancy and postnatal exercise.

Christine’s focus is to combine her knowledge and experience to create positive change for birthing women. Christine supports ABTA by facilitating the P2P Meets program. 

Rachel Haywood

Rachel has been working with ABTA since January 2018, she has worked in marketing for over 22 years, 14 of those in healthcare communications, and 4 in the Not for profit sector. She has been involved in producing support materials for healthcare professionals and patients across multiple therapy areas and takes huge pride in her work. Her passion lies in health and well-being strategy and communications and she aims to create concrete and meaningful connections between doctors and patients. She understands the complexities of working with CALD communities and advocates for health communications methods to meet the needs of the individual.

ABTA Alumni
Prof Hans Peter Dietz portrait

Prof Hans Peter Dietz

ABTA Co-founder, Prof. Hans Peter Dietz was born in Tuebingen, Germany, in 1963. After Primary and Secondary School he studied Medicine at Heidelberg University, Germany. He graduated in 1988 and obtained an MD at Heidelberg University in 1989. After emigrating to New Zealand in 1990, he arrived in Australia in 1997 and completed his FRANCOG training in 1998 at Royal Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland. Between 1999 and 2002, Dr Dietz undertook urogynaecology subspeciality training in Sydney at the Royal Hospital for Women, St Vincent’s Hospital and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, and obtained a PhD with the University of New South Wales in 2003. Since 2008 he is Professor in Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney. He is active in a number of national and international scientific societies such as RANZCOG, IUGA and ISUOG and has published 351 peer-reviewed papers (H factor 70), and 18 book chapters, the vast majority relating to ultrasound imaging in Urogynaecology. Since 2002 he has organised over 50 imaging workshops at urogynaecological and imaging meetings. In 2016 he was one of the founders of the Australasian Birth Trauma Association. His current research interests include imaging in urogynaecology, pregnancy and childbirth- related pelvic floor trauma, and the ethics of professional conduct, especially as regards informed consent. He is married with two sons and lives in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, Australia.
Elizabeth Skinner portrait

Dr Elizabeth Skinner

ABTA Co-founder, Elizabeth is a mother to two grown up boys. She is a midwife, registered nurse, child and family clinician, lecturer and researcher with over 25 years’ experience working with mothers, babies and their families. She is passionate about raising awareness of birth trauma and its consequences and has completed a PhD on the ‘psychological consequences of somatic vaginal births’. Liz’s research has identified an urgent need for women to find a place where they can feel understood and get the help they need to address the after effects of a traumatic delivery. Her vision is to provide a safe space for affected women and their families to find support whilst also providing a direct source of objective information for clinicians.
Prof Maya Drum portrait

Prof Maya Drum

Associate Professor Maya Drum holds a Bachelor of Health Science (nursing), Masters of Health Science (primary health care) and Masters of Health Services Management, is a Registered Nurse and Midwife, an Associate Lecturer at the Western Sydney University (Australia) School of Nursing and Midwifery and a qualified Mediator and Conciliator. Maya has extensive experience in senior executive managerial and leadership positions in both public and private health services and she is currently the Manager, Raphael Services in Blacktown (New South Wales) for St John of God Health Care. Prof Drum was a foundation Board Member of ABTA and resigned from the board in 2019.