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, MCN, IBCLC
Kate Birchall working as a Lactation consultant in a Melbourne suburban hospital. As President I oversee LCANZ operations, mentor LCANZ Board members, Chair Board meetings, liaise with ILCA and work collaboratively with other likeminded organisations, and with our company secretary to prepare the agenda and a written annual report to the LCANZ members for the Annual General Meeting.
Bio to come.
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 Rechtin, RN, BSN, MCFHN, IBCLC works in private practice. She owns and operates a mobile breastfeeding business, MILK SUPPLY, which services families within the Noosa area. As the Director for Communications and Marketing, she attends and reports activities at monthly board meetings via Skype, collaborates and composes a monthly electronic newsletter exclusive to LCANZ members, moderates and updates LCANZ’s social media sites, and liaises between the Secretariat and the webmaster with any website issues or updates.
She loves to cuddle her kids & nuzzle her hubby, surf the Noosa National Park points on her longboard, practice yoga, volunteer with her local surf club, 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.
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 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.
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.