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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.

Kate Birchall

President - Ass Dip. Social Science, MCN, IBCLC

As President, Kate oversees LCANZ operations, mentors LCANZ Board members, chairs board meetings, liaises with ILCA and works collaboratively with other likeminded organisations. Along with our company secretary, Kate prepares the agenda and submits a written annual report to the LCANZ members for the Annual General Meeting.

Kate operates the Breastfeeding Clinic in a large Melbourne hospital and is involved with the ongoing education to the midwifery staff.

She has been a dedicated IBCLC since 1990.She is passionate about breastfeeding, and strives for best practise in education for all who work with breastfeeding mothers and their families.

Michelle Simmons

Director of Events - RN, RM, IBCLC, Master of Nursing (Clinical Leadership)

Michelle Simmons is a registered Midwife and Nurse and certified as an IBCLC in 2006. Michelle’s current role is CMC Postnatal and infant feeding, Women’s and newborn health, Westmead Hospital. Throughout her career, she has worked in midwifery and newborn care in clinical, education, management and consultant roles in both public and private health facilities. Michelle is passionate about the provision of breastfeeding support which both empowers the woman and has a positive impact on her parenting experience in the early postpartum period.

Kelly Rechtin

Communication & Marketing - RN, BSN, IBCLC, Grad. Cert. Maternal & Child Health Nursing

Kelly owns and operates her own private practice, MILK SUPPLY, in which she offers mobile lactation support services to families within the Noosa area. As the Director for Communications and Marketing, she attends and reports activities at monthly board meetings, and has recently been working with a new website developer to build a shiny new website for LCANZ! In the past her role also included composing a monthly electronic newsletter exclusive to LCANZ members, as well as moderated and updated LCANZ’s social media sites.

She loves to embarrass and cuddle her teenage kids (they love it, I swear!) & spend time with her family, surf the Noosa National Park points on her longboard, practice yoga, and serve on the LCANZ board where she is surrounded by supportive & passionate board members who strive to promote, protect and support breastfeeding in Australia and New Zealand.

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 a variety of organisations that promote, protect and support breastfeeding, and participates on committees on behalf of LCANZ – such as the BFHI Advisory Committee – where LCANZ advocates for the high value of breastfeeding for the mother, the baby and society as a whole, and for the contribution IBCLCs make to this end.

Jeni Stevens

Director of Education

RN, RN (Hons Class 1), RM, IBCLC, PhD Director of Professional Development LCANZ Clinical Midwifery Consultant in Infant Feeding Adjunct Fellow Western Sydney University NBMLHD Ethics Board Committee Member

Wife and mum of 4 young men.
Wonder woman fan!

Ruth O’Donovan

Membership Services & Regional Liaison (New Zealand)

Ruth has been working as a lactation consultant since 2010 and for the past eight years has been working as a DHB funded community lactation consultant for Rural Canterbury Primary Health Organisation (now known as Waitaha Primary Health). 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 Infant and Young Child Feeding 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.

Narelle Dwyer

Narelle is a registered nurse and midwife and has been an IBCLC since 1994. During this time Narelle has worked in public maternity hospitals in Melbourne and in private practice.
A passion in supporting mothers to breastfeed, Narelle coordinated a federally funded breastfeeding project in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne. The positive effects of providing breastfeeding support and care resulted in the Councils of Melton and Brimbank employing lactation consultants for ongoing support.

Narelle has also been a breastfeeding counsellor with the Australian Breastfeeding Association since 1991 and currently works as a lactation consultant at the Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Sunshine.
Educating mothers, fellow health professionals and the community is an important part of the IBCLC role to ensure the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding. Joining the Board of Directors of LCANZ in the Australian Membership and Regional Liaison role is an important means of empowering all lactation consultants with Knowledge, strength and passion to achieve a Baby Friendly Australia.
Narelle has three beautiful children and loves to sing (in the shower), dance and row!

Dianne Haworth

RM, BN, Grad Dip Adv Nursing (Child Health), M Clin Mid, IBCLC.

Daughter, wife, mother of 2 health professional daughters. Joined the LCANZ board in Oct 2019 as Treasurer.
I have been a midwife since 1989 and an IBCLC since 1996, I became an ABA counsellor in 1994 and was convenor of the ABA International Conference in 2005 and the CAPEA national conference in 2014. I have been employed as a Lactation Consultant at the Launceston General Hospital for over 10 years and have had a private LC practice in the North/ North west of Tasmania for over 15 years. Had a private childbirth and parenting education practice for nearly 13 years (until my work/ life balance was totally out of balance and something had to go…). I am involved in the Tasmanian BFHI Committee and Tasmanian Breastfeeding Coalition and was very involved in CAPEA until recently when I swapped one national board (CAPEA) for another (LCANZ). I have been an assessor for BFHI hospital and community accreditation for many years. My passions within lactation include antenatal expressing and known donor human milk sharing, and have spoken at national conference on both topics. Next challenge is the care of babies of women with diabetes.


Find a Lactation Consultant near you

Search here for qualified lactation consultants by postcode or map search.

Most consultants will travel outside their own suburb, particularly in regional areas, to assist mothers/families with babies & toddlers. All listed consultants are members of LCANZ and have qualified as International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC®).