Board of Directors

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

Dianne Haworth – Treasurer

Ruth O’Donovan

Director – Membership & Regional Liaison
(New Zealand)

Narelle Dwyer

Director – Membership & Regional Liaison

dsc_0006Kelly Rechtin

Director – Communication & Marketing
img_6390Michelle Simmons

Director – Professional Development

img_6400Heather Gale

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.


Dianne Harworth

Dianne has been a midwife since 1989 and an IBCLC since 1996. She became an ABA counsellor in 1994 and was convenor of the ABA International Conference in Hobart in 2005. Dianne has  worked in private and public hospitals, and is currently employed as an LC at the Launceston General Hospital. Dianne has had a private LC practice for 15 years and until recently also ran private childbirth and parenting classes. Her passion for breastfeeding started with feeding her daughters and has grown ever since. Dianne enjoys the banter and passion that is found at national levels and was involved in the CAPEA national committee for over 10 years. She has always thought there was no point complaining if you were not prepared to have a go at making a difference.


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.

Narelle Dwyer – Membership Services & Regional Liaison (Australia)

Bio to come.

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.