Renee Adair is the founder and director of the Australian Doula College, the Groundwork Program and the ADC’s charity-arm Doula Heart Network. She first began working with women and babies in 1994 as a massage and Aromatherapist and Reiki Practitioner and in1998 after the home births of her two biological children she began studying and working as a Doula and Childbirth and Early Parenting Educator. In 2019 Renee proudly partnered with Charles Darwin University to co-facilitate Accredited Doula training for Indigenous women in the remote First Nations community of Galiwin’ku. She now sits on the official Galiwin’ku steering committee to restore Birthing on Country.
Renee has worked to change the way we think about Doula support launching an End of Life Doula Training for the College in 2021 with a view for the wider community to see Doula support though a broader lens, supporting all major life transitions, not just in the birthing space. Renee has contributed through radio, conference and seminar presentations, and has sat on the Consumer Advisory Board of the Australian College of Midwives. She has trained thousands of Doulas and supported hundreds of women, their partners and families through pregnancy, birth, early parenting and end of life over the course of her career.
Holding a Degree in Psychology (Dean’s Honour Roll), Ella completed her research internship at The Marcs Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development: Babylab.
She then commenced her international experience and worked in Copenhagen, Denmark, studying at the Institute of Psychology, Copenhagen University gaining an international perspective on disability psychology.
Prior to commencing with Transform Life, Ella has worked in a wide variety of projects establishing a successful private practice as well as consulting on special education program development for the NSW Department of Education and has lectured on Human Development at Western Sydney University.
Ella has a passion for empowering caregivers and parents to feel confident in supporting their neurodivergent kids. Her areas of clinical special interest are in the PDA profile of Autism and gender diversity support. Ella has supported families to overcome screen addiction, reduce aggression and behaviours of concern and to liaise with schools to create inclusive learning environments for children.
Rohan is a good-looking, hard-working, retired man, who likes to spend time with his family and being a good uncle. Now he has more time, he enjoys keeping fit and healthy and enjoys playing more 10 pin bowling. Rohan also enjoys traveling the world.
Since becoming a Health Ambassador with Down Syndrome Australia, Rohan has been achieving his goals of helping people with Down syndrome especially as they start to get older and educating health professionals to make sure that people with Down syndrome are listened to and understand what is happening in their own health.
Natalie leads the Health Project for Down Syndrome Australia. Natalie holds a Master’s degree in Public Health, has an extensive experience in health and has worked as an ICU Nurse and Hospital Coordinator in Melbourne’s Hospitals for over 25 years and is a 2022 Churchill Fellow. Natalie brings with her knowledge and experience of Down syndrome from firsthand experience, as a mother of an adult daughter with Down syndrome and also as a board member and later Chair of Down Syndrome Victoria. Natalie has a strong belief that everyone has the right to be able to advocate for themselves (with or without support, as they choose) and should be listened to and communicated with.
Eliza Hull is an award-winning musician, writer and disability advocate. She is also a proud disabled woman, with a physical disability ‘Charcot Marie Tooth.’
Eliza is the creator of the ABC Radio National podcast ‘We’ve Got This’ about disabled parents which has now been turned into a book with the same name. She is the editor and creator of this book ‘We’ve Got This, essays by disabled parents’ which features parents who identify as disabled, Deaf or Chronically Ill. The book has been released in Australia and now internationally in the UK and US. She has spoken about the book on The Today Show, The BBC, The Drum, ABC News Breakfast, ABC’S Q&A and ABC Radio. She is also a contributor in the anthology ‘Growing up Disabled in Australia.’
Eliza is also a regular writer for Mamamia and ABC and wrote the ABC Kids show ‘And Then Something Changed’ about a child with disability. She recently released the children’s book ‘Come Over To My House’ internationally which authentically represents various families with disability.
In 2017 Steven Kennedy embarked on a journey of post traumatic growth and transformation after the life threatening birth of his son. Leaving behind a senior public service role in renewable energy and risk management , he took a leap of faith and founded the registered charity, the PREPARE Foundation. Simultaneously, Steven nurtured the establishment of Birthing Dads, a progressive and globally unique social enterprise.
Both organizations share a common mission: to revolutionize how men approach the momentous occasion of their first child’s birth. Guided by extensive personal research and a steadfast belief, Steven is certain that by providing targeted resources, specifically tailored to first-time fathers, we can greatly improve childbirth outcomes and therefore early family life for billions of people.
Alicia is an educator and counsellor specialising in relationships and sexuality support for people with disability. She is a passionate advocate for ensuring that people with disability have access to relationships and sexuality education and support. Alicia has been working with people with disability for over 11 years, with the last 7 years in relationships and sexuality support.
Olivia is a polite, loving, and independent, young advocate who loves to keep busy. The most important thing in Olivia’s life is family and Sunday Roast Nights. Olivia loves to go shopping with friends, spending time with family and working at SJB Architecture. Olivia likes to keep fit and healthy and plays netball and dances and is a big Rabbitohs fan.
Since becoming a Health Ambassador with Down Syndrome Australia, Olivia has been achieving her goal of being an advocate for people with Down syndrome and making a difference in their lives. Olivia has been educating healthcare professionals about inclusive communication with all people with Down syndrome to improve their health outcomes.
Renae is an experienced NDIS approved Positive Behaviour Support Practitioner and is passionate about removing negative patterns, behaviours, emotions and trauma in children, teenagers and adults that cause challenging behaviours and stop people from reaching their full potential.
Specialised in supporting individual’s and their families dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorders, developmental delays and ADHD, Renae’s helped hundreds of families overcome challenges and achieve their goals towards living their best life.
Renae has also worked with individuals around Australia, US, UK and Canada to overcome a range of issues including anxiety, depression, anger, addictions, PTSD, emotional disorders and mood disorders.
Renae’s qualifications include, Proficient Behaviour Support Practitioner, BA Communications, Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy, Behavioural Support, Certificate in Engaging in Positive Behaviour Support, Certified Life Coach & NLP Practitioner and completing post graduate studies in Psychology.
Kate Toholka is a disabled mum of two children. Kate has navigated living with a disability since being a child and losing her hearing due to meningitis. Her life experiences have drawn her to working within the disability sector. As an NDIS participant herself, a passionate disability advocate and an OT, Kate brings her experiences, together with her role as previous Chair of the Surf Coast Shire’s All-Abilities Advisory Committee to her current organisation Primrose Family Support Services which provide supports for disabled parents.
My name is Nell. I’ve been living with chronic and mental illness since childhood and disability since my early adulthood, and I have experienced firsthand the frustrating and at times saddening differences in the way the world treats those with disabilities and impairments. I have become passionate about advocating for myself and others, making sure people with disabilities know their worth and what they’re allowed to expect from the world, and letting those who work with disabilities know how they can improve their approach to care.
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