Our Team

Our Co-Founders
Amy Dawes portrait

Amy Dawes

Co-Founder

Amy is the mother of two young girls. She had her first child in 2013 and like many women, she did not identify that she was suffering from birth-related trauma until she was 16 months postpartum. It was then she was diagnosed with a bilateral levator ani avulsion (major pelvic floor muscle trauma) that eventually resulted in pelvic organ prolapse.

As a result, Amy understands first-hand how it feels to have a compromised quality of life and this fuels her desire to help other women. She is passionate about raising awareness of birth trauma by speaking out about her life altering injuries sustained through childbirth. (#breakthesilence).

Elizabeth Skinner portrait

Dr Elizabeth Skinner

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.

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
A Clinical Advisory Committee has been established by the Board.
A Clinical Advisory Committee has been established by the Board.
Dr Jennifer Kruger portrait

Dr Jennifer Kruger

Dr Jennifer Kruger’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.

Sally Ely portrait

Sally Ely

Sally is a masters-educated physiotherapist with extensive training and experience in the management of pelvic floor dysfunction and chronic pain. Sally has a graduate certificate in Health Policy and is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney. Owing to her strong interest in birth trauma and informed decision making, Sally decided to undertake research which explores themes such as risk communication, antenatal education and informed consent in vaginal birth.
ABTA Alumni
Prof Hans Peter Dietz portrait

Prof Hans Peter Dietz

Sally is a masters-educated physiotherapist with extensive training and experience in the management of pelvic floor dysfunction and chronic pain. Sally has a graduate certificate in Health Policy and is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney. Owing to her strong interest in birth trauma and informed decision making, Sally decided to undertake research which explores themes such as risk communication, antenatal education and informed consent in vaginal birth.
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.
Our Staff
Christine Percy portrait

Christine Percy

Volunteer Manager

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 Pistone portrait

Christine Pistone

Company Secretary

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. 

Our Volunteers
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.

Meet some of our

Peer2Peer Mentors

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.