Meet the team
Introducing some of the extraordinary people who make up our 1000 strong qualified volunteer workforce
Amanda, ACT/NSW Branch
Breastfeeding Counsellor, Breastfeeding Education Live (BELs) Presenter
My name is Amanda and I have been a volunteer breastfeeding counsellor for 23 years. I have three children and live in NSW with my husband. I have held many volunteer roles during my time as an ABA volunteer and most recently I have been presenting ABA’s online Breastfeeding Education Live classes. I love debunking any myths that the participants of these classes have heard and providing them with evidence-based, genuine information that gives them the power to make informed decisions to succeed with breastfeeding and cope with parenting a newborn.
My learning and volunteering with ABA has not stopped 23 years on. I am currently completing my Cert IV in Training and Assessment with ABA and will always value the many friendships that I have made with women all around Australia through my role as an ABA volunteer.
Chrissy, SA Branch
Breastfeeding Counsellor, Local Group volunteer
I've been a breastfeeding counsellor since May 2020, and I'm mum to 2 daughters, aged 3 and 5. Being part of our local community as a counsellor is such a privilege. The unique thing about ABA volunteers is that although we have the same training, we are also all parents or family members and have our own experiences to share. It takes a village to raise a child and support a family, and local groups are a wonderful part of that village for the mums in our area. Regular group meetings are an opportunity for families to get together, share experiences, and everyone adds value to the group - from brand new mums to mums of grown children and even grandmas! Mums leave our group meetings feeling like they’ve found their tribe, and many lifelong friendships (both mums & babies!) have been formed.
Jessica, SA/NT Branch
Breastfeeding Counsellor, Breastfeeding Education Live (BEL) Presenter
I have been training and volunteering with the ABA for the past 2 years and have recently become qualified as a breastfeeding counsellor. One of the volunteer roles I enjoy the most is presenting at our Breastfeeding Education Live (BEL) session, online. Often when counselling women on the National Breastfeeding Helpline, I am supporting mums who have already encountered a challenge. BELs give me to the opportunity to empower women before their breastfeeding journey has begun and that is why I love facilitating them. It is so rewarding to hear BEL participants talk about how much more confident they feel, and that if they do encounter an obstacle, at least now they are armed with the knowledge and support to succeed.
Karen, VIC Branch
Breastfeeding Educator, LiveChat volunteer
I've been volunteering with the ABA for around 5 years now, with just over a year as an ABA breastfeeding educator. Although I don't have children of my own, I decided to train with the ABA because I wanted to be able to do more to support breastfeeding mums both as a volunteer and as a pharmacist.
What I love about LiveChat is that I'm able to reach out and support so many parents and carers across Australia; to offer them evidence-based information so that they can make the most informed decisions, no matter where they're at on their breastfeeding journey.
Linda, TAS Branch
I started training with ABA in 2013 after my second son was born. I kept meeting women who hadn’t received the support they needed to successfully breastfeed when they needed it – I wanted to help give that support.
I love my role as our local Breast Pump Hire Officer. I’ve now supported many Tasmanian families including mothers who need to express short-term to increase their supply, women with premature babies still in hospital, and women exclusively expressing breastmilk for a toddler who was never able to latch at the breast. It’s a privilege to be there for these women.
Lisa, QLD Branch
Breastfeeding Educator, Local Group Leader, Breastfeeding Education Class Presenter
I’m Lisa and I’ve been an ABA member since 2009. I qualified as an ABA breastfeeding educator in 2017. I was later asked by my group (Sherwood and Surrounds) to step into the role as a co-group leader alongside Kay who has been with the group for over 20 years!
I enjoy my role and supporting new mums to navigate their own breastfeeding journey by providing them with the information they need to make their own decisions. My role also includes facilitating group discussion meetings and Breastfeeding Education Classes, organising Feed & Change Tents at community events and talking with our local MPs about breastfeeding issues.
Lorraine, VIC Branch
Breastfeeding Counsellor, Helpline volunteer
My time as a breastfeeding counsellor has been in two parts; six years in the late 1980’s early ‘90’s and now again since qualifying in 2019. I am 59 years old and a Nana to seven under 10. Being a volunteer on the Breastfeeding Helpline gives me the opportunity to help mums, on the spot, when they are unsure or feeling vulnerable and need a safe place to ask questions.
The Breastfeeding Helpline supports mums with information they can trust and reassurance when they doubt themselves. I love that moment when I can connect with their experience and further their understanding of it. ABA is more than a Helpline, it's a community of women and families getting together, on Zoom or in person, and supporting each other.
Louisa, WA Branch
Breastfeeding Counsellor, Helpline volunteer, LiveChat volunteer
I’m Louisa, and I live in semi-rural WA. I have been counselling mums by email since 2009. I love being able to spend time with the mum, exploring different angles, and giving her links to information, which she can read in her own time. Mums can respond later with their own observations, and tell me which strategies they came up with – it really shows our counselling process in action!
I also do shifts on Helpline and LiveChat – I know how hard it is for mums to get the information and support they need. All of these roles fit around my work and family. My kids are now 20, 22 and 25, and have many extra “aunties” thanks to ABA.
Lu, ACT/NSW Branch
Breastfeeding Educator, Breastfeeding Counsellor, LiveChat volunteer
I’m Lu, mum of 4 kids and I live in regional NSW. I moved to Australia from the UK in January 2010 and then upon noting in 2011 when I had my first child, the real lack of resources for breastfeeding mums and their families, I decided to train with ABA and qualified as a breastfeeding educator in 2014 and as a counsellor in 2017.
I now take regular shifts on our LiveChat service as, even with the hearing loss that I have encountered thanks to chronic ear infections it allows me to still volunteer and assist mums to achieve their goals. Volunteering on LiveChat allows me the time to relate to a mum, read the queries and think of the best responses. I like that is it easily accessible, wherever I am.
Michelle, SA/NT Branch
Breastfeeding Counsellor, Helpline volunteer
My name is Michelle and I’ve been a breastfeeding counsellor with ABA since June 2021. I managed to complete my training and take on my counselling role while travelling full time around Australia in a caravan. I love taking calls on the National Breastfeeding Helpline, supporting mothers and families across the country… while I trek across it! Although my life may look a little different, it’s quite amazing that I can fulfil this role no matter where I am. Creating memories with my family; my husband, Master 6 and Miss 3, while engaging with the ABA community, supporting mums and babies, is a privilege and something I’m proud of.
Naomi, SA/NT Branch
Breastfeeding Educator, Regional Representative, LiveChat moderator
I’m Naomi, Regional Representative for Flinders & Eyre region in rural SA and moderator on LiveChat. I decided to train as an ABA volunteer about 17 years ago as there was so little help for mums in remote areas. My personal mantra has been to meet mums where they are and where they are, in today’s world, is online. LiveChat is such a great way to reach mums who don’t have an in-person village, but spend time online. I love being able put a mum’s mind at ease and encouraging them to trust that little voice from inside of them.
Nermin, ACT/NSW Branch
Breastfeeding Counsellor, Helpline volunteer
My name is Nermin and I am a mum of 2 ( Lianna 6) ( Daniel 3). I was born in Egypt and moved to Australia in 2012. I am working as a French teacher and decided to train to become an ABA volunteer to be able to encourage and help other mums in their breastfeeding journeys. Being through many common breastfeeding and early days challenges myself has allowed me to empathise with and reassure the mums who call our Breastfeeding Helpline. Volunteering is such a rewarding experience. Hearing a mum say at the end of a call that they feel reassured and that they feel glad because they called us means a lot to me. It is good to know that I can make a difference in someone’s life and help them to manage any challenges and reach their goals. I look forward to helping many other mums through ABA.
Rebekka, WA Branch
Breastfeeding Counsellor, Local Group Leader, Breast pump Hire Officer
I’ve been volunteering with ABA since 2018. I’m a kiwi mum living in beautiful WA but have no family here, so ABA has become my village. I’m working on becoming an IBCLC as I love helping families along their breastfeeding journey. One of my favourite roles in ABA is that of Breast Pump Hire Officer (BPHO). The most rewarding part of this role is being there for families, helping them reach their breastfeeding goals. Being independent of time constraints I can assist mums at any time that works for me; being local means no travelling. BPHO means continuity of care for the mums, making sure the breast pump is efficient, signing up new members and inviting them to local group. I love meeting new parents and helping them directly as part of my local community.
Sally, QLD Branch
Breastfeeding Counsellor, Breast pump Hire Officer, Breastfeeding Education Class Presenter
My name is Sally Higgs and I have three beautiful boys and a wonderful husband. I have been a member with ABA for over ten years and a breastfeeding counsellor for over five years. I work full time now and manage to fit in my volunteer roles in my spare time.
I am one of the breast pump hire officers for North Brisbane Group and also enjoy taking calls when I can on the Breastfeeding Helpline each month. One of my favourite voluntary roles is presenting at the local Breastfeeding Education Classes. I love the interaction with new parents and it’s so much fun presenting with another fabulous volunteer. It certainly fills your bucket when parents walk away from these classes feeling informed and empowered with the information and support the need to help achieve their breastfeeding goals.
Sarah, TAS Branch
Breastfeeding Counsellor, Helpline volunteer, Local Group Leader
I became a breastfeeding counsellor so I could give back to other mums as ABA had done for me when I was a new mum. Plus the confidence the training has given me has helped me to be able to run group meetings and take talks, which was something I would have never done. Plus the friendships I have made will be there for life.
I find it rewarding being able to help the people on the other end of the phone when I'm on my Helpline shift, and even now it's still nice to know you're not the only one that had that problem.
Shira Cheryl, VIC Branch
Breastfeeding Counsellor, Local Group volunteer, Helpline volunteer
18 years ago I chose to train as a breastfeeding counsellor after I became an active member of my local ABA Group in south-eastern Melbourne, when my first child was 4 months old. As a migrant from South Africa, I missed my mother and sisters and these women became my second family. I am an observant Orthodox Jew. I have enjoyed being able to support my community with quite specific concerns, such as how to use an electric breast pump on the Sabbath. My favourite aspect of being on Helpline is hearing relief from parents at the end of a call.
Taylene, SA/NT Branch
Breastfeeding Counsellor, Helpline volunteer
My name is Taylene and I am a 26 year old enrolled nurse and a mum to two girls, 5 and 4 in regional SA. I am also a part of the LGBTQI+ community. I decided to train as a breastfeeding counsellor because I'm very passionate about breastfeeding and I love helping others. I really enjoy volunteering my time on the Breastfeeding Helpline every week and hearing the difference in the voices of the mothers I speak to from the beginning of the conversation to the end. It's very heart-warming knowing that I'm making a difference to their breastfeeding journey.
Yulia, ACT/NSW Branch
Breastfeeding Counsellor, Helpline volunteer, Local Group Co-Leader
My name is Yulia. My discovery of the ABA was somewhat accidental. A friend pointed out that I speak passionately about breastfeeding and then a couple of people I know talked about their experience as a volunteer with the ABA. That prompted me to start training as a breastfeeding counsellor when my second child was a few months old. Over the past couple of years, I have found it rewarding helping mums and their support people on the National Breastfeeding Helpline. I’m also now co-group leader of my local group. I’m loving this new role where I get to meet new mums and bubs and help them through their breastfeeding journeys, while bringing a community of friendships together.