Our Team

Olivia Myeza – Chief Executive Officer

Originally from Melbourne, Olivia has been living and working in South Africa for the past ten years, the last six of which she was the CEO of Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust – a non-profit organisation that responds to the HIV/AIDS crisis in a region in which one in three people are HIV positive.  Prior to this her roles in South Africa included  fundraising, marketing and management for not-for-profit organisations. Before leaving Australia, Olivia worked in the corporate public relations space and was the Media Director and a Board Member for The Oaktree Foundation – a youth-run international aid and development organisation. After ten years at a coalface of community development and the fight against HIV/AIDS in South Africa, Olivia has recently relocated back to Melbourne and is delighted to be taking up the reigns at Birth for Humankind.  She is lucky to have had beautiful, natural, doula-assisted births and is passionate about being able to offer that same support to mothers in-need in Melbourne. Her family are bilingual, speaking English and isiZulu in the home, and in her spare time Olivia and her husband love to sing and write songs – which is how they originally met, through a music collaboration.

Annabel Davies – Chief Operations Officer

Annabel joined the team in March 2016 as our first Chief Operations. With a background in communications, and several years of experience as a COO with Ovarian Cancer Australia, Annabel plays a key role in managing the operational activities of the organisation, strategic direction, organisational culture and developing policies and procedures. She is a brilliant copy editor and writer and has two adorable sons. Annabel is currently on parental leave.

Stamatia Venetis – Chief Finance Officer

Stamatia has a background as a CPA with over 15 years’ experience at management level working in diverse and fast‐paced multinationals. She is really passionate about birth and birth support, even more so after supporting her daughter through the birth of her grandchild. Stamatia is responsible for ensuring the implementation and running of our finance and payroll systems, supporting the board with its financial obligations and helps keep us organised.

Kirstan Flannery – Co-Founder and Chair of the Board, volunteer doula

As Co-Founder and Chair of the Board, Kirstan is the heart of the organisation and provides strategic direction and guidance. She continues to be involved in our doula support and education programs, organising many of the professional development sessions for doulas and co-facilitating Mothering 101. Outside of Birth for Humankind, she runs her own private doula business, Birth Wise, and is a Birthing from Within Mentor. With a background in graphic and web design, holistic counselling and philanthropy she is a wearer of many (stylish) hats.

Carmen Hawker – Communications Manager

Carmen joined the team in May 2016 as our first Communications and Marketing Officer and has since taken on a bit more responsibility managing the Communications portfolio. She is a passionate storyteller and has been setting up the organisation’s digital media, image bank and data collection systems since she began, kicking off our monthly e-newsletter and managing all things social media. Her background is in gender and international relations and she is a Founding Member of The Global Women’s Project.

Jen Branscombe – Programs Manager

Jen joined the team in April 2017 in a new role, managing and growing the doula support, education and research programs. Jen has worked all over the world in the past 10 years – in China, Vietnam, Thailand and Australia on migrant rights, women’s rights, community and political engagement projects for organisations like the United Nations, SBS Radio and TV and small NGOs with big hearts including International Women’s Development Agency. She is also a mother of three little ones.

Beccah Bartlett – Doula Coordinator and Supervisor

Beccah is a registered nurse and midwife with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Anthropology. She has a Masters of Public Health from the University of North Carolina and recently founded mAdapt a mobile health intervention designed to improve reproductive health access for refugee populations. She is passionate about reducing health disparities and promoting respectful maternity care. Her hope for birthing women worldwide is that all women are able to experience a dignified and respectful birth that gives them the confidence to be a strong and compassionate mother.

Kester Naismith – Administration Officer

Kester joined the team in January 2016 and is responsible for all day-to-day administrative tasks, providing support to every team member as well as reviewing and improving our administration systems. She is your go-to for all things IT, systems and admin. Kez has a huge passion for birth work and supporting women, with a deep understanding of the role of doula having received support during the birth of her daughter in 2010.

Patrick Croix-Kuah – Finance Officer

Patrick joins Birth for Humankind as a CPA with background in Finance & Programs Management across several sectors. Having had two birthing experiences (not as a mum!) – one good and the other not so good – he is passionate about birthing being a special experience for all mums and mums-to-be and making sure that women are supported to make the experience safe and memorable. Aside from Birth for Humankind, Patrick assists other organisations with structural & operational process-building.

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Volunteers

Candice Chauncy – Communications Volunteer

A student midwife and mother of two little girls, Candice has been volunteering her expertise in marketing and communications since September 2016.

Sue Croke – Graphic Design Volunteer

A talented graphic designer, Sue volunteers her time to support the organisation’s marketing and communications and is responsible for all the beautiful graphics you see.