The National Premmie Foundation committee are all connected through our member groups and work tirelessly together in running the Foundation.
Carolyn Lindsey – President
Carolyn is mother to two children, Danielle born at 26 weeks in March 2007 due to oligohydramnios and spontaneous labour and Matthew who was born full term in June 2009. Carolyn has been a member of Lil Aussie Prems since late 2007 and has recently joined the committee as their fundraising volunteer. Carolyn joined the National Premmie Foundation in 2011.
Carolyn has a Bachelor of Civil Engineering with Honours and has worked in the Traffic and Transport field for almost 10 years. Carolyn currently works part time as a Senior Transport Integration Engineer for VicRoads.
Rebecca Aziz – Vice President
Rebecca gave birth to her first child at 41 weeks following a text book pregnancy. Her second child Yasminah was stillborn at 37 weeks and 4 days on the 26th March 2009 following a long and complicated pregnancy after being informed that her daughter had congenital abnormalities at their 21 week morphology scan. Aisha and and Aaliyah were born at 31 weeks and 5 days due to twin to twin transfusion syndrome. They spent 4 weeks in neonatal intensive care before coming home on Rebecca’s 29th birthday.
Rebecca is the Founder and President of Yasminaha’s Gift Of Hope which was founded in 2010 and is now a member group of the National Premmie Foundation. Rebecca became the Vice President of Operations for the National Premmie Foundation in 2012.
Rebecca has been recognised for her work within the premmie and bereavement community and has been nominated for awards such as Australian of The Year, Bernardo’s Mother of The Year, Telstra Business Women’s Award, Premmie Hero Volunteer Awards and won the International Women’s Day Certificate and CHILD Raising Awareness Limb Deficiency.
Rebecca has over 12 years of experience in customer service, inventory management and retail management. Rebecca has worked for high profile Australian companies such as Telstra, Australian Geographic and The Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
Trish Campbell – Secretary
In 2010, Trish established the Facebook group ‘Our Lil Fighters‘ after the early arrival of her son Daniel, who was born at 32 weeks weighing 800 grams. Trish felt that there were limited services in her local area of Blacktown so she set out to make a difference and give families a place to talk and share stories.
Trish has been a great supporter of many charities including L’il Aussie Prems Foundation and Yasminah’s Gift of Hope to name a few over the years, raising money to help support their causes. Trish is passionate about supporting families and never losing sight of how far our little miracles have come. She has gained years of experience in running social media through her Facebook page and supports the Foundation through our social media on Facebook & Twitter.
Eileen Cooke – Treasurer
Eileen gave birth to her first son, William who was born 11 weeks early 16 years ago. Eileen has been an integral part of the National Premmie Foundation since its formation in 2007 as a founding committee member and played a key role in setting up the Foundation.
Eileen is the current Treasurer and Parent Support Officer of Preterm Infants Parent Association (PIPA) and joined the PIPA committee 16 years ago. Over the years she has worked tirelessly with regular visits to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH), organising and attending Ronald McDonald House monthly afternoon teas, hosting parent support coffee mornings in Brisbane and responding to individual requests from prem parents for information or assistance. Eileen organises PIPA’s annual prem in the park picnic and the Celebrating Queenslands Prems function. She also coordinates PIPA’s special day gifts program for Mothers Day, Fathers Day and Christmas for all the Brisbane and Queensland country hospitals, which can be over 350 gifts to individually wrap.
Eileen is active in PIPA’s community education program as well as its fundraising activities. She sits on a number of Queensland Health or hospital based committee as either a consumer representative or PIPA representative. These include the Statewide Maternity and Neonatal Clinical Network (SMNCH) Forum, the Queensland Neonatal Services Advisory Group, the RBWH Birthing Consumer Forum and the Gold Coast Hospital Neonatal Management Committee.
By profession, Eileen is an accountant holding a Bachelor of Business and a Master of Business Administration. She worked for many years in the taxation field including the not for profit sector. Since having to retire from work early due to ill health, she dedicates much of her time to supporting premmie families throughout Queensland.
Eileen has been recognised for her work within the premmie community and has been nominated for both the Pride of Australia and Premmie Hero Volunteer Awards.
Julia Toivonen – Media Relations
Julia gave birth to her first son at 27 weeks due to placental abruption in March 2006. She has been an integral part of the National Premmie Foundation since its formation in 2007 as a founding committee member. It was through the kind gesture of Life’s Little Treasures Foundation, of which she was a committee member for several years, that Julia was given the opportunity to attend the first (NPF) meeting in Sydney. Julia is the President & Founder of L’il Aussie Prems Foundation, an interactive online community & forum offering support & inspiration to families after the premature birth of a child which she created in 2007.
Julia held the position of website manager for the National Premmie Foundation for four years. In 2011 she became the Vice President of Communications and was re-elected onto the committee for a 6th year in 2013 happily taking on the position of Media Relations. Julia continues to volunteer her time working on our website & has recently completed the addition of our online store whilst redesigning our entire website to reflect our new branding. Julia plays a key role in our social media on Facebook & Twitter alongside our other committee members & designs much of our marketing material.
Recognised for the support she provides to families, Julia won the `Local Hero` award from her local council of Knox, Victoria in 2008 & just recently, she won the 2013 Pride of Australia Medal in the ‘Community Spirit’ category in Victoria.
Bess Gairns – World Prematurity Network Representative
Bess Gairns began her journey to motherhood in 2008 when she, began trying to start a family. They lost their first three babies to miscarriages, as well as two years of infertility before falling pregnant for the 4th time. This pregnancy was routine until the day Bess went into unexplained, spontaneous labour at 26 weeks and 5 days. Bess delivered her son, Eddison, in a tiny country hospital. They were then airlifted by the NSW NETS and NSW Air Ambulance teams, to Brisbane where Ed spent 80 days in hospital.
Following many years working in administration and farming, Bess has been working as a Social Media Consultant and Blogger for the past 3 years. Her experience includes writing a blog for Cotton Australia and working with several agricultural organisations on Social Media strategies.
Trish Horsman – General Member
Cassy Beames – General Member