Board of Directors and CEO


Margaret Grove

Margaret Grove, President
B.A. (Hons), Dip Ed, M.A., Certificate IV in Breastfeeding Education, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

Margaret Grove has been a breastfeeding counsellor since 1983. She has held a variety of roles in ABA including Group Leader, trainer and assessor. Margaret was a director on the ABA board from 2001 for 7 years, 3 of these as National President. 

Margaret was the community representative on the Advisory Panel for the Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula (APMAIF) for 5 years from 2009. In her paid work, Margaret is the author of HSC maths textbooks and is a retired maths teacher.

Margaret lives in Sydney with her husband Geoff. They have 3 children and 2 grandchildren.


Karin Collinson, Honorary Treasurer
BCom, MAdvTax, CTA

Karin has been a volunteer breastfeeding counsellor since 1992, and has held many group, branch and national volunteer roles in the Association, including Group Leader. Karin is also a Trainer and an Assessor with ABA, focusing predominantly on training new volunteers.  

Before retiring, Karin's paid work positions in the last 15 years were various senior leadership positions within the Australian Taxation Office, with responsibility for strategic litigation, law design and implementation, strategic decision making and responsibility for large teams and budgets. 

Karin holds a Bach of Commerce from UWA, a Masters of Advanced Taxation from UNSW and is a Chartered Tax Adviser with the Tax Institute.

Karin is a passionate advocate of breastfeeding and of the need to provide support to parents and workplaces to encourage and increase breastfeeding rates.

As an ABA member for more than 30 years, Karin is proud to now serve as a Director to ensure breastfeeding is recognised as important and culturally normal in Australia.






Frieda Maher, Director

BSc (Business Information Technology), MBA (Executive)

Frieda runs a strategy and sales consulting firm that uses the best of people and technology to grow our clients’ revenue and improve productivity.  

Her experience includes 20 years in sales and IT leadership roles in global multinationals and ASX100 businesses, before establishing a consulting firm that transforms the sales and service capabilities of clients ranging from sole proprietors to large corporates.  

Frieda joined ABA in 2003, shortly after the birth of her first child and qualified as a Breastfeeding Counsellor and Community Educator in 2009. She has been actively involved as a volunteer at all levels, with a particular interest in supporting ABA through social media, as well training and mentoring new volunteers.



Steve Miller, Director

Bachelor of Computing (Hons) - Monash University, Masters of Business Administration (executive) - University of NSW

Steve is an IT professional with more than 20 years experience implementing marketing and analytics solutions for some of the leading brands across the UK, ANZ and Asia.  He’s passionate about the success of his customers and loves to use his technical skills to solve complex problems.

Steve lives in Melbourne, is the proud father of 4 breastfed children and a strong advocate for breastfeeding.







Adrienne Picone, Director

Adrienne Picone is currently the CEO of Volunteering Australia (VA). She has been in this role for 18 months, and prior to starting at VA, Adrienne was the CEO of Volunteering Tasmania. Adrienne is an advocate for the for-purpose sector, and strives to ensure that volunteering is universally acknowledged as being integral to the social, economic and cultural cohesion of our community.

Adrienne has worked with volunteers for over 15 years as a Volunteer Manager, trainer and management consultant.  She has qualifications in education and extensive experience with Local and State Government as well as for-purpose organisations.  

Adrienne was an ABA Breastfeeding Counsellor and Group Leader in the 1990s, and is delighted to make a contribution to the Organisation in a governance capacity.


Helen Hovenga, Director

Helen has an undergraduate degree in Psychology, a Masters Degree in Human Resources, 20 years of HR experience and 25 years as a people leader. She has worked in multiple industries in large, complex companies including Mars, Toyota, Myer, Coles, Carlton & United Breweries, Cleanaway and Newcrest Mining. She now works as the Executive Director of People & Culture with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

Helen is a skilled and accredited facilitator, coach, change manager and strategist and specialises in culture change, organisational design, people strategy, talent management, high performance teams and leadership development.

She brings breadth and depth of skills across all aspects of HR and has partnered with Executives, CEOs and Boards in developing and delivering the People Strategy. 

Helen completed her breastfeeding journey in 2015 after 10 years of ongoing feeding through the births of her three children. She is a strong advocate of breastfeeding to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for children.


Mary Peterson

BA Public Relations/ Advertising, Cert IV Breastfeeding Education, Diploma Childbirth Education 

Mary’s background is in public relations with experience across a range of industries including politics, international tourism, secondary and early childhood education. 

She is a skilled event coordinator, having delivered a national writer’s workshop, University fundraisers, a health professional seminar, awards nights, a triathlon fundraiser and several events at her local community garden.

Mary currently works as an editorial officer, carefully crafting correspondence, proofreading legislation and producing resources for preschools and other early childhood education and care settings. She has also used her research and writing skills as a member of the Core Group for World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative - Australia, which recently completed an assessment of the policies and programs in place in Australia to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

She has been involved with ABA since 2014, qualifying as a Breastfeeding Counsellor and is currently serving as Group Leader for Darwin/Palmerston/Rural and the SA/NT Branch President. 



Alexandra Smith

Alexandra has 15 years’ experience in research, tertiary teaching, program and project management, and capability and organisational development across the public service and the university sector in Queensland and NSW. She holds a PhD in Medical Anthropology and maintains ongoing involvement in research, writing and advocacy on issues around breastfeeding and women’s health, and currently also works in clinical research focused on geriatric oncology.  

An ABA member since before the birth of her first child in 2011, and qualifying as a breastfeeding counsellor in 2013, Alexandra has undertaken ABA work at local, state and national levels, including as a Group Leader currently. 

Alexandra believes ABA occupies a critical role in supporting women and children to achieve their fundamental right to optimal, lifelong health, and she is keen to support the work of our volunteers in making breastfeeding and ABA continued, integral parts of the health landscape in Australia, and in the lives of Australian families. 


Keith Anderson

Now retired, Keith has previously taught in Western Australian government schools and most recently as Deputy Principal at a major Perth private girls’ school. He has always been passionate about individualised education for the benefit of the students. He has been involved with curriculum changes, reporting, timetable, and implementation of major programmes. He has always had a passion for the benefits of using computers in education and was selected to be an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2004. During his teaching career he has presented many papers at international and national conferences in many parts of the world. He has also been involved with several not-for-profit groups in a voluntary capacity, including president, editor and committee member.

Keith started his involvement in breastfeeding in 1975 when teaching reproduction topics to senior students. This stressed the importance of breastfeeding and he willingly encouraged and supported his wife Joy to breastfeed their two children. He has been involved for over 30 years helping Joy (ABA former director and life member) in her ABA roles. This included initiating and hosting the first email discussion group (bcnet), giving talks at ABA branch conferences, and helping Joy with design, layout and formatting of ABA publications (booklet series, The Newsletter [now Essence], Breastfeeding… naturally and Breastfeeding Management).

Now being retired, he is delighted to be able to help ABA in a more formal way, and support all the great work carried out by the volunteers.






For more information about the ABA Board of Directors, see the information guide and the ABA Director position description. 


Alison Boughey, CEO

Alison’s professional background spans 20+ years in the areas of physiotherapy and public health. Throughout her career Alison has gained a wealth of experience, including 10 years as a healthcare consultant and, most recently, three years as a CEO.  

Alison has spent an extensive amount of time working in women’s health – notably in the parent education department at the Mercy Hospital for women in Melbourne, where she taught breastfeeding classes to expectant mothers and fathers. Since then Alison has worked as a Management Consultant in the healthcare sector, which involved improving organisational systems, processes and strategies. Her most recent role was CEO of Positive Women Victoria, a state-based organisation whose role is to provide support and advocacy for Victorian women living with HIV. 

In her current position with the Australian Breastfeeding Association Alison hopes to provide leadership and guidance as ABA moves through the next exciting phase of its journey in supporting Australian families with breastfeeding.