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.
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.
Venessa has over fifteen years’ experience driving community initiatives in the areas of health promotion, chronic disease, injury and violence prevention, mental health promotion, and disaster prevention, in Australia and overseas.
She has held both board and executive-level roles, and has designed, managed, and evaluated evidence-based local, state and national initiatives.
Venessa is currently a non-executive director with a number of not-for-profit organisations, is a freelance consultant, and is completing a PhD exploring leadership and decision-making.
Venessa is a mother of two young children. She is passionate about empowering women and children, as well as prevention and trauma-informed recovery.
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.
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 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 Sascha Callaghan is a specialist in health law and bioethics at the University of Sydney. Sascha has a special interest in women’s health and mental health, and has researched, written and advocated for better women’s health outcomes for over a decade. Her technical skills are in legal advisory, policy writing, regulation, and corporate and government advisory on a diverse range of health matters issues including medical harm, Clinical ethics, public health ethics and use and access to novel technologies in health care. Sascha has provided specialist advice to public and private organisations across Australia, including NSW Health, the Mental Health Commission, and the Australian Human Rights Commission. Previously she was was a corporate lawyer in Sydney, Canberra and Hong Kong, specialising in technology and health care regulation for clients including Astra Zeneca, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, and the Commonwealth Department of Health.
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.
Associate Professor Alka Kothari is a Senior Staff Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Redcliffe Hospital and a Conjoint Site Co-ordinator for the Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland. She is an Examiner for the Royal Australasian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the University of Queensland. She is also a member of the Prince Charles Human Research and Ethics Committee.
She has significant research experience in the conduct of multiple systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials. She has published multiple papers in the field of perinatal mental health, Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and medical education. She regularly leads multi-disciplinary research collaborations and supervises research projects for RANZCOG and RANZCP trainee registrars and medical students.
She is currently pursuing a PhD on “Forgotten Fathers in pregnancy and childbirth”. This truly unique body of research work attracted recognition as the “Best Oral Presentation in Perinatal Mental Health” at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists World Congress in London 2019. She is regularly invited to speak at national and international conferences including the Australian and New Zealand Colleges of Anaesthetists, Psychiatrists and the Society of Obstetric Medicine Specialists.
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.
Ellie is a Registered Nurse and has a Postgraduate qualification in Special Care of the Newborn. Ellie’s professional work has predominantly involved working as a Neonatal Nurse in Special Care Nurseries in Melbourne and surrounding areas, caring for premature and unwell babies and their families.
Ellie resides in Geelong with her two children James & Mia. In 2018 Ellie gave birth to James and sustained a 3rd degree tear and retained placenta complications. This traumatic experience encouraged Ellie to seek out ABTA for support. Ellie is now at a point in her recovery where she is able to give back, as an active volunteer within the organisation.
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 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.
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.