Our Board

Meet our Board!

Real people doing really great things, for the love of it…

Established in June 2015, our Board of Directors is made up of passionate and experienced individuals who bring a raft of practice, business, and non-profit knowledge to govern and steer Birth for Humankind – towards a better future for our mothers, children and families.

We warmly introduce you to:

Kirstan Flannery – Chairperson & Co-Founder

Kirstan is the Co-Founder of Birth for Humankind and a certified doula working in private practise as Birth Wise. She believes ‘mothering the mother’ and nurturing babies within thriving environments is a significant key to creating healthy communities. Motivated by and committed to social change in action, Kirstan has provided mentoring and philanthropic support to various non-profit enterprises. She ensures projects are designed with sustainable foundations in order to generate long-term service and availability in the community. Collaborative projects include Centre for Social Change and Recre8 Bush Adventure Therapy. Her community spirit and special interest in maternal child health care prevails in both her work and personal relationships.

 

Raj Gopiraj – Treasurer

Raj has more than 10 years’ experience in both commercial and non-for-profit sectors and has lived and worked in Australia and USA.  Raj serves as a non-executive director for Asha Global (appointed March 2015) and Bendigo Bank – Prahran and Windsor branch (appointed May 2015), and is an advisor with Australian Red Cross on corporate partnerships and relationship management. Raj began his career as a consultant at AECOM and interned with the United Nations in New York on Project Umoja. He is currently the priority account portfolio manager within PwC. Raj brings a vast array of skills in business development, financial & risk management, business strategy planning and partnerships. Raj has previously been nominated and shortlisted for the International New Face of Engineering Award, sponsored by the US National Engineers Week Foundation.

 

Mei Lai Swan – General Director & Founder

Mei Lai is the Founder of Birth for Humankind and was the CEO until February 2017. Her inspiration for the organisation came through a diverse background in social work, community development, as a doula, and as a yoga teacher – all fuelled by immense passion and a desire for a socially just and thriving world. With a Master of Social Work, she has experience developing, managing and delivering psycho-social and community development programs for Aboriginal communities, youth, and people seeking asylum. For Mei Lai, it’s a simple equation: Birth for Humankind = Birth Support + Social Justice + Heart. She is currently a Founding Director on the board.

 

Carly Lord – General Director

Carly is the young mum who was the inspiration behind Birth for Humankind, after Mei Lai was her volunteer doula in 2013. Carly has been involved as an adviser, advocate and presenter for various projects at the Royal Women’s Hospital. She is a powerful spokesperson and advocate for young mums, and currently works in mental health facilitating peer support groups. Carly is also involved with Birth for Humankind’s education program, creating resources and programs for young parents.

 

Kirsty Burke – General Director & Company Secretary

Kirsty has over 20 years experience in senior management roles, leading large, multi-disciplinary teams in the not-for-profit and private sectors. As a General Manager and Human Resources generalist, Kirsty has experience managing people and culture, finance, business development, sales, communications and ICT. Having previously served as Assistant Company Secretary to the Board of a youth mental health Cooperative Research Centre, Kirsty joins Birth for Humankind as Company Secretary and Director. With a strong passion for social justice, equality and wellbeing, Kirsty is committed to Birth for Humankind’s vision of empowerment, care, support and education for mothers, and their growing families. 

Olivia Mason – General Director 

Olivia is an Australian qualified lawyer with extensive experience in corporate and commercial law. She has advised a wide range of businesses both in Australia and overseas in relation to corporate structure, compliance, intellectual property, fundraising and contract law. Olivia brings to the Board knowledge of the not-for-profit regulatory environment and has been fortunate to have been involved with advising a number of not-for-profit and charitable organisations on a pro-bono basis. Pregnancy and childbirth have been incredible and life-changing experiences for Olivia and she is passionate that all women have access to the kind of support that enables a happy and celebrated birth experience.