The LCANZ board has a maximum of nine members. Members are able to nominate for board positions as current terms are completed, at the annual general meeting (see the LCANZ constitution for more information). Of the nine board places, two are dedicated board positions for New Zealand members.
Director – Membership & Regional Liaison
Director – Membership & Regional Liaison
Director – Communication & Marketing
Director – Professional Development
Director – Professional & Political Advocacy
Kate Birchall, Ass Dip Soc Science, IBCLC
Kate has been working in a Melbourne south eastern suburb at Cabrini Hospital Maternity Unit for 30 years (IBCLC for 25 years), in the postnatal ward & Breastfeeding Clinic. During that time she has Cert IV in Assessment & Workplace; facilitated the Cabrini Breastfeeding Chat Nights (professional education session for CERPS); and served on the Victorian ALCA Committee (Australian Lactation Consultants Association). For the past 2 years she has been running the Breastfeeding Clinic and as a lactation specialist on the ward.
Gwen currently works as CMC Postnatal and Infant Feeding, Westmead Hospital. Gwen says that the most exciting thing happening for her is that she is currently involved in research on oral development in infancy and breastfeeding, as there is very little research on it. It will also finally show that dental caries are linked to formula. Having sat the exam again at 25 years, Gwen is happy and excited to be a member of the LCANZ Board and will work hard to further the interests of LCANZ.
Ruth O’Donovan – Membership Services & Regional Liaison (New Zealand)
Ruth has been working as a lactation consultant since 2010 and for the past six years has been working as a DHB funded community lactation consultant for Rural Canterbury Primary Health Organisation. This role involves running daily breastfeeding clinics at different locations in Christchurch as well as providing home visits. Ruth also provides educational sessions for midwives, well child nurses and GP’s as well as speaking at local and regional conferences on breastfeeding topics. She is a member of the Canterbury Breastfeeding Network and has been a member of the working group formatting a clinical pathway for the assessment and management of tongue ties within the Canterbury region. Ruth is excited to be serving her first term on the LCANZ board. She is hoping to increase the communication within the profession throughout New Zealand and build on the strong professional relationships with colleagues in Australia.
Dawn Sheridan – Membership Services & Regional Liaison (Australia)
Dawn currently works as a midwife at the Canberra Hospital for Women & Children. She has been interested in lactation support since working as a NMAA Breastfeeding Counsellor. Becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in 2013 has been extremely useful for her work and she hopes that in becoming a LCANZ board member that she can give back to the community, whilst continuing to develop her skills and knowledge.
Kelly Rechtin – Communication & Marketing – RN, BSN, IBCLC, Grad. Cert. Maternal & Child Health Nursing
Kelly owns and operates her own private lactation practice, MILK SUPPLY, which offers mobile breastfeeding support to families in the Noosa Shire. She has been an IBCLC since 2009, and is serving her first term on the board of directors. Kelly lived in the United States for 14 years, and returned to Australia with her family 3 years ago. She has held several roles over her years including Labour & Delivery Staff Nurse, La Leche League Leader, private practice and inpatient LC, Breastfeeding Educator, and Child Health Regional Coordinator. She enjoys working in partnership with families in order to help them meet their breastfeeding goals, and looks forward to promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding as a LCANZ board member.
Michelle Simmons – Professional Development – RN, RM, IBCLC, Master of Nursing (Clinical Leadership)
Michelle Simmons is a registered Midwife and Nurse and certified as an IBCLC in 2006. Throughout her career, Michelle has worked in midwifery and newborn care in clinical, education, management and consultant roles in both public and private health facilities. Michelle completed her Master of Nursing (Clinical Leadership) at the University of Western Sydney in 2009. Michelle’s current role is CMC Postnatal and infant feeding, Women’s and newborn health, Westmead Hospital and has just taken on the role of Professional Director for LCANZ. Michelle is passionate about provision of breastfeeding support which both empowers the woman and has a positive impact on her parenting experience in the early postpartum period.
Heather Gale – Professional & Political Advocacy – RN, MW, IBCLC, Post Grad. Dip. Nurse Education, Master of Nursing
Heather has been Nursing for 30 years, sharing her career between the Acute and Primary Health Care Sectors. Heather is a Registered Nurse and Midwife who has been qualified as an IBCLC since 1999. Heather has practiced as an Australian Breastfeeding Association Counsellor, and currently works as a Full time, Lactation Consultant and Parent Educator at a Sydney Metropolitan Hospital. She is a member of, and participates in a variety of national and international organisations that share her passion for breastfeeding. These include the LCANZ, ABA, ASTLiT, IBCLC, ILCA, IACP. Heather is honoured and privileged to be working with the LCANZ Board of Directors, and looks forward to her continued service with LCANZ giving it the dedication it deserves
Cheryl Ganly-Lewis – Director
Cheryl works in Private Practice on the outskirts of Wellington and in 2010 and was instrumental in the establishment of Wharekai Pepe, a free breastfeeding drop-in centre at the local Marae. She served on the Board of NZLCA for several years and am a BFHI/BFCI Assessor. She has spoken at local, national and international conferences on a variety of breastfeeding topics.