We are very proud to have our ambassadors who play a crucial role in helping us raise awareness of our organisation throughout Australia. With their amazing support, we can generate greater awareness in the community of the issues that these babies and their families face.
Parool Shah – Co-Founder of LLTF
Parool co-founded LLTF in 2005 as a result of the personal experience of her son being born 3 months premature. She is committed to providing families with the support they need at such a critical and emotional time in their lives. She is outcome driven with over 15 years experience in the corporate sector including running her own business. Since founding LLTF, her interest in philanthropy continues with her involvement in other Not for Profit organisations. She is currently the Business Development and Relationship Manager at Trinity College, the University of Melbourne. Parool is passionate about the work of the Foundation, life and making a difference for others.
Angela Jacobsen – Oz Super Nanny
Oz Super Nanny Angela Jacobsen has over fifteen years of experience working with infants, babies, and toddlers all over the world, (including Madonna’s son David), from Australia to England and Hong Kong, she has accumulated a wealth of information along the way. She is also a respected book author and has published two books Baby Love and Baby Food, in which she shares her vast knowledge with mothers everywhere.
Angela is a huge supporter of the Foundation and currently donates a % of her book sales to the Foundation. Where ever she is in the world, Angela is always raising awareness of premature births and the work of the Foundation.
“When I was searching for the right charity to donate to for my Baby Books a friend told me about LLTF and how wonderful they are. Rach had given birth to a premature and sick baby and couldn’t speak highly enough about the help she received from LLTF. Rach also explained that LLTF is not for profit and a small charity so I felt this the perfect match. May they continue to grow and
help sick and premature babies and their families.”
Matt Levy – OAM
Australian Paralympian swimmer and bronze medallist at Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Matt has vision impairment and cerebral palsy due to being born 15 weeks premature. He competed in his first Paralympic Games at Athens in 2004, and is a world champion individual medley swimmer.
Brooke Hanson O.A.M. – Olympic Swimmer
Swimming star Brooke Hanson OAM, Olympic gold and silver medallist, remains one of Australia’s most recognised Olympians. Brooke is a proud ambassador of the Life’s Little Treasures Foundation; she is passionate about spreading the message to all parents of premature babies that they are not alone.
Brooke along with husband Jared Clarke experienced nine months in the NICU after the birth of their son Jack Hanson Clarke. Jack was born at 28 weeks 5 days, 12 weeks premature, weighing just 663grams, severely growth restricted and only 32cm long. Sadly, after a nine-month battle in the NICU Jack passed away. Despite her loss, Brooke wants to continue to bring a greater awareness to the birth of premature babies and the importance Life’s Little Treasures Foundation can have on parents, family and friends through the journey of their “Little Treasure”.
Since retiring from swimming Brooke has gone on to enjoy a successful career for herself as a television personality on shows such as “What’s Good for You” and is currently the female presenter on the Nine Network’s “Discover Downunder”. She continues to balance her blooming professional media career with, motherhood, sponsorship appearances, motivational speaking, charity events, swim clinics and her commitment to promoting a healthy and active lifestyle for all Australians.They have since gone on to add 2 more beautiful treasures to the family to join brother Cooper.
“The Life’s Little Treasures Foundation is a valuable organisation established to help you on your journey.
Whether you’re a parent, relative or friend, I encourage you to get in contact and make use of their resources, friendship and support”.
Leigh & Stacey Harding
Leigh Harding, North Kangaroos Footy Legend played 141 games with the Kangaroos and retired in 2010, shortly after joining VFL club Werribee Tigers as a player and back line coach while completing his Degree in Exercise Science.
Their daughter Milla was born on the 12thOctober 2011 at 26.5 weeks via emergency c-section, due to sudden onset of severe pre – eclampsia, she weighed a tiny 638g and was 13 weeks early.
Mum Stacey said
“No one could have prepared us for the journey we were about to embark, We feel so very lucky to have such a beautiful little girl and that she has gone from strength to strength, we want to do what we can do to help support other families and raise awareness of premature birth and the ‘Life’s Little Treasures Foundation’, who do a wonderful job supporting families with premature and sick babies like Milla”.
On completing his degree in 2012, Leigh and Stacey moved to Brisbane where Leigh was appointed as the Development & Reserves Coach with the Brisbane Lions. They have also since their move added a beautiful baby boy to the family.
“We are absolutely honoured to be a part of the Foundation as ambassadors, and are really passionate about raising the importance of Life’s Little Treasures Foundation. Having the support, friendship and information for any family going through the heartache of having a premature or sick baby really does make a difference, we know!!”
Read the rest of the Harding’s story
Anastasia Salamastrakis – National Senior Media Advisor for Slater and Gordon.
Anastasia has been a journalist for 20 years and until recently was health and medical reporter for Channel Seven in Melbourne. Anastasia has now moved into the corporate sector and is National Senior Media Advisor for Slater and Gordon.
In January 2010, she experienced her own medical drama. She gave birth to her second son Samuel at 33 weeks after developing a rare and potentially fatal condition called Acute Fatty Liver of Pregnancy. Samuel was born breathing but 23 hours later he was transferred from special care to NICU. He suffered bilateral pneumothorax. He spent 6 days in NICU and another 3 weeks in special care. Anastasia spent 10 days in hospital but it took 4 weeks for her liver to fully recover. Thankfully, neither Anastasia nor Samuel has suffered any long term health problem. Since returning to work, Anastasia has reported on other families of premature babies and issues relating to premature birth.
“Having a premature baby is daunting and emotional. LLTF provides vital support, understanding and information. I am honoured to be involved with such a wonderful organisation”.
Audrey and Grace Styman-Lane
Audrey and Grace Lane are identical twins, born at 26 and a half weeks on the 30th November 1994 at the Royal Womans Hospital Paddington Sydney, where they spent 3 and a half months.
It was a difficult time but their struggle to survive as premature babies has made them strong independent young woman who are fun, kind and loving. Their goal is to become professional surfers on the World Tour. Their passion for surfing & to succeed reflects on how strong they had to be, to survive.
They are also passionate about giving back and are thrilled tobecome the Foundations’s first youth Ambassadors, they are a testiment to how amazing our Little Treasures really are. They aim to help the Foundation raise the profile of prematurity in the community & show the world that premature babies can have such successful outcomes.
Friends of Life’s Little Treasures
Clare Bowditch – Singer and Songwriter
Clare Bowditch’s gutsy lyrics, fascinating instrumentation and left-field humour have enraptured her fans Australia wide. She’s made four amazing albums, won many awards, including Best Female ARIA 2006, was crowned Rolling Stone Magazine’s ‘Woman of the Year 2010. She was also handpicked by the legendary Leonard Cohen to open shows on his 2010 Australian tour. She frequently co-hosted the Channel 10 morning show – The Circle and more recently had a role in the Australian smash hit TV show “Offspring”. Most importantly, she is absolutely cherished by her fans, who are involved in just about every step of her creative process.
“Thank goodness for the Life’s Little Treasures Foundation, who offer practical loving support and advice where it’s dearly needed. LLTF have gained the respect and loyalty of all they work with – families and health-care professionals alike – yet they currently receive no government funding. If you or your family have been touched by the life of a “Little Treasure”, please give where you can”.
We are delighted to have three very prominent professionals in the health industry come on board as our health ambassadors. Their support is vital to us in ensuring that the advice we provide to families is accurate, up to date and evidence based.
Director, Victorian Infant Brain Study (VIBeS), Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital
Dr Peter Anderson is a CR Roper Fellow in the School of Behavioural Science at The University of Melbourne and Senior Research Fellow at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. In addition to being Director of the Victorian Infant Brain Studies (VIBeS) team, he is co-director of the Australian Centre for Child Neuropsychological Studies (ACCNS), which is the leading centre for paediatric neuropsychological research in Australia. Dr Anderson’s research over the past 10 years has been primarily based at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying cognitive and learning problems in children born very premature. He is involved in observational outcome studies, longitudinal neuroimaging studies, and numerous randomised controlled trials assessing the long-term benefits and consequences of a range of obstetric, perinatal and developmental interventions.
“My association with Life’s Little Treasures (LLTF) dates back 8 years. As a researcher who specialises in understanding and minimising the long term consequences of prematurity, it has been incredibly valuable to meet with and learn from members of the foundation who have a unique insight into the problems faced by children born preterm and their families.I strongly support the LLTF Foundation because it offers families of preterm children important resources that are difficult to access in the community, in particular support and information. I recently accepted an offer to become a “health ambassador” for LLT, and in this role I hope to provide advice and guidance in relation to the programmes offered and the information distributed to families from the foundation.I am very proud to be associated with LLTF as it a very well managed organisation that supports many high risk families and individuals”
Dr Peter Anderson
Victorian Infant Brain Study (VIBeS)
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Professor Sandra Rees
Neuroscientist (retired), University of Melbourne
Sandra Rees is an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology at the University of Melbourne. She undertook her PhD in the Physiology Department at Monash University and held a research position there for several years. She joined the academic staff of the University of Melbourne in 1992 and was promoted to Professor in 2007. Her major research interests over the past 28 years have been directed towards understanding the pathogenesis of brain injury resulting from fetal hypoxia, infection, alcohol exposure and prematurity. Her laboratory has collaborated with research groups at Monash University, INSERM U676 Paris, France and Washington, Harvard and Oxford Universities.
She has given plenary lectures at international meetings, regularly reviews papers for neuroscience journals and grants for national and international bodies. She has been the Victorian representative on the Council of the Australian Neuroscience Society (1992-95), an examiner for the Royal Australian College of Ophthalmologists (1997-2003), the Royal Australian and NZ College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (1999-2001) and is currently Research Secretary on the Council of the Royal Society of Victoria. She has authored 130 papers in international journals, written 5 reviews and 8 book chapters and supervised 13 PhD students. She was a founding member of the Faculty of MDHS Equity and Staff Development committee and has a long-standing interest in mentoring young scientists.
In 2007 she won the Nina Kondelos Prize awarded by the Australian Neuroscience Society for her contribution to neuroscience research and in 2011 was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science by the University of Melbourne. She is a passionate Ambassador for LLTF.
Developmental-Behavioural Paediatrician, RCH
Dr Gehan Roberts is a Developmental-Behavioural paediatrician, based at the Centre for Community Child Health at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, and a NHMRC post-doctoral fellow at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. He completed his clinical fellowship in child development at the Boston Children’s Hospital. He has a Masters in Public Health from Harvard University and a PhD in the field of child development from the University of Melbourne. Gehan coordinates the Victorian training program in Community Child Health and his research interests include the long term outcomes of preterm birth, intervention trials for children at risk of learning and developmental difficulties and health services research in the secondary care sector.
“I am very happy to support the important work that LLTF carries on behalf of the families of preterm and high risk infants and children. It is my pleasure to be invited to be a health ambassador for LLTF and I look forward to continuing to be involved over time.”