Ambassadors

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.

Matt Levy – Paralympic Swimming Champion

Matt Levy, is one of Australia’s national treasures, born at just 25 weeks, 15 weeks premature, he is  26yrs old has Cerebral Palsy and is legally blind, he has also survived 46 operations to get him to where he is today. If there’s one thing Matt Levy hates, it’s losing. Such determination has taken Matt far in life and will take him further as he aims high in his swimming career.

One of his first great sporting moments was breaking the world record in the 200m freestyle short course in 2003. Since then, Matt has competed at the 2004 & 2008 Paralympics, 2006 IPC World Swimming Championships, 2007 Telstra Short Course Championships and 2010 IPC World Championships.  In the 2012 London Paralympics, Matt brought home his best medal haul to date with relay gold, 100m freestyle silver and three bronze medals in the 200m individual medley, the 100m breaststroke and the 4x100m medley relay.

Matt admires Ian Thorpe and uses him as inspiration to achieve personal bests each time he races. He believes his parents have been the most influential people in his life.  Matt believes there is no greater honour than representing Australia and is hoping to continue his swimming career. He currently works for Westpac Bank as a Change Analyst.

“I’m very honoured to be an Ambassador of the Foundation and
I’m passionate about raising awareness of premature births in Australia”.


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 Tilley – KIIS Radio Host

Matt is an exceptional radio talent, with over 20 years on the air. The Matt and Meshel Show (with Meshel Laurie) is one of Australia’s  leading FM radio Breakfast shows on KIIS 101.1. Over the years has raised tens of thousands for charitable causes.

Matt is an old friend of the Foundation and has helped us out on many occasions over the years, always with a big smile on his face.  It’s wonderful to be finally able to welcome him on board as an Ambassador.   Both his boys Jack and Oscar were born premature, so Matt has a real understanding of the roller coaster ride families are faced with and is passionate about raising awareness of premature births.

‘It seemed to me a great service to provide a support network for people finding what should be the most special time in their lives had actually become the most traumatic. That seemed like quite a dramatic and unfair flip of the cliché to me and no one was really doing anything about it.   LLTF has given some structure to this support from people who’ve actually been through this journey as opposed to medical professionals. Sometimes that can seem more real, and can put you at greater ease if you see it happens to all kinds of “normal” people”.

“The support from community to the families of premature babies  is
immeasurable & different for every family. Obviously medical support comes first,
but time and time again you realise that part of the welfare of any child
is derived from the welfare of the parents”.


Brooke Hanson O.A.M. – Olympic Swimmer

Brooke Hanson O.A.M.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 12th October 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 

Anastasia has been a journalist for 20 years, in her previous roles she was the health and medical reporter for Channel Seven in Melbourne and the National Senior Media Advisor for Slater and Gordon. She is now ‎the Senior Media Officer at La Trobe University.

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”.


Youth Ambassadors

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 - 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”.


Health Ambassadors

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.

Peter Anderson

Peter Anderson - Director, Victorian Infant Brain Study (VIBes), Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital

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
Director
Victorian Infant Brain Study (VIBeS)
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute


Gehan Roberts

Gehan Roberts - Developmental-Behavioural Paediatrician, RCH

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.”