The Committee


Meet our committee


 Allison Young
Hi I’m Allison,

I am Mum to fraternal twins James and Jefferson who came into our lives via c-section at 36+3 weeks on the last day of May 2013- even after daily instructions from me that they were to stay inside until June- pushing the boundaries from a young age! I am also Mum to Leo who was born in 2015, 3 days after the twins 2nd birthday.

We brought our two bundles home 16 days after they were born, what seemed like forever at the time, but a short stay in hindsight compared to others’ stories. I discovered quickly that breastfeeding wasn’t for me and made the decision to formula feed early on, mainly for the sake of my mental health.

I engaged with TasMBA early in my pregnancy and found talking to both experienced and expectant Mums invaluable. I formed connections in those early days that helped me through the first few years with twins. Having a regular playgroup where everyone was ready and waiting to hold a baby for me gave me a reason to get out of the house each week. Going to a dinner where I would walk in a stranger and walk out firm friends with new people over this amazing thing we have in common-parenting multiples.

I have volunteered with TasMBA on the committee since early 2015. I wanted to be the person to continue the hand of support and friendship that those wonderful mums showed me when I joined.

I am a firm believer in making connections with, and for people. Putting people together who can benefit from each other, in person and online. Helping families, and particularly mums, find their tribe.

My husband Dean and I own a newsagency where I work 2 days a week; I jokingly call these my days off, as they are easier than being home with 3 children! I co-host the Southern Branch Playgroup for TasMBA each week and I am the current President of the association. I am also the Deputy Chair of the school association of the primary school that my boys attend.

If you ever have any questions about TasMBA or about parenting multiples, please contact me or any of the committee, we are more than happy to help, or put you in contact with someone who can! If you see me in the street call out and say hello- chances are if I’ve seen you in the street with your multiples, I’ve probably already said hello to you and told you how amazing you are- yes I’m one of those people!

 Katie White
My name is Katie and I am the Vice President and Hospital Liaison Officer South for TasMBA. I am mum to Sienna who was born in 2014 and fraternal boys, Lewis and Elliott, who were born in 2016. We made it to 35 weeks after a challenging pregnancy, a few hospital stays and lots of bed rest. We required 3 weeks of Special Care time which is relatively low compared to some amazing multiple parents who are there for much longer. My husband, Will, and I were so lucky to have an amazing obstetrician and special care staff who lead us through a tricky time.

I work three days a week as a psychologist and spend the remainder of my week with my three munchkins who keep me on my toes. I am so grateful for the support and friendship that TasMBA has provided me both during my pregnancy and since the birth of our boys. I am passionate about helping other multiple families to have a similar experience which allows them to connect with people who understand the joys, exhaustion and challenges that come with being a parent of multiples.

 Kate Akmentins
Hi, my name is Kate Akmentins. For two years I have been the secretary at TasMBA and I have also taken on the role of events co-ordinator for the south.

I joined TasMBA in 2016 and can’t believe I waited so long. It was hard to get out of the house, coupled with not really knowing anyone yet. I have life long friends now and the support that you get at playgroup is immeasurable. It is feeling of safety, you can relax for a couple of hours while your babies can play, you can have a cup of tea, everyone has an eye out for each other’s children and appreciate the feeling that you are not alone. No one understands what’s it’s like except for a parent of multiples.

I decided to volunteer to give back to a group that has given me so much. I in turn want to help and support other parents. I also volunteer at the Royal Hobart Hospital and every two months speak to the parents-to-be about what it’s like to have multiples and how to best prepare.

I moved to Hobart in 2014 from Sydney a week before our identical twin girls turned one! Edie and Nina were born at 31 +6 at The Royal Hospital for Women at Randwick. Edie had an operation on Day 1, thankfully straight forward. They spent 6 weeks in NICU and I lived away from home for 3 weeks and then travelled each day as they were transferred to a hospital closer to home. All this while our first born girl (Mabel) was almost three, a confusing time for her. Thankfully my mother stayed with us during this time.

Prior I was a full-time employee (the most pregnant looking woman in the city I joked! – you know how people say you must be ready to drop and you’re only 20 weeks!) with a previous career in the wine industry finishing up at Wine Australia.

Now we are in the process of planting a vineyard in Tea Tree in the Coal River Valley, biodynamically farmed, called Petrichor Wines. I also home school Mabel.

 Nicole Cumine
Hi, my name is Nicole and I have been the TasMBA Treasurer and Special Needs Officer since 2016. I joined the committee to offer assistance to other multiple families and took up these roles as they aligned to my normal working like as the Operations Manager for a large disability support organisation.

Our journey to parenthood was not easy but in 2016 we were lucky enough to find out we were expecting twins after 7 rounds of IVF. We had a complicated pregnancy including several large bleeds and low fluid but managed to hold off delivery to 34 weeks when the girls arrived by csection. We spent 28 days in hospital but luckily only 1 in the NICU.

I am now a busy full time working mum of fraternal girls, Alia and Faith. With the help of TasMBA I have been lucky enough to connect with a wonderful group of parents who understand and share the challenges that is having multiples.

 Elise Murray
Hi there! Elise Murray here- I’m the current TasMBA state rep and while I’m very new to the role, I’m loving the opportunity to engage more with the multiple birth community locally and nationally. In 2016 I married my love Don and 3 months later we were VERY surprised to find out at a 7 week scan that we were expecting identical twins. As lots of friends had miscarried, I had cautioned Don not to get too excited unless we could see a heart beat on the screen. When the ultrasound technician asked us if we could see anything unusual on the screen, Donny yelled ‘I can see a heartbeat!’- with a little less enthusiasm, I said- ‘I can see two...’ My fear quickly turned into excitement and we are now one year into the twin life with our boys Ted and Charlie.

It hasn’t been an easy journey- I got maternal HELLP syndrome and was hospitalised for a couple of weeks prior to an emergency c section at 33 weeks. The boys have been back and forth from hospital but have no ongoing health issues which is a wonder and a delight.

Returning to work part time this year while juggling our two muppets, home life and a very needy dog has proven very difficult but necessary to keep us all afloat. I have wanted to give back so much more to TasMBA in my role but unfortunately constant illnesses and exhaustion combined with work has made this tricky! I’m looking forward to a Tassie summer with our walking babes, less sickness, and having a tiny bit more time to give back. Hey- one can only hope!

 Karen Pregnell
My name is Karen. I had my eldest boy in 2014 and we loved him so much we thought we would go back for seconds. Surprise! We then had fraternal boy/girl twins in 2016. This was a big shock and it took a while to wrap my head around raising 3 kids two years and under, but I was very fortunate to carry them to 37 weeks and we all came straight home (which I later learned was quite lucky). I took 2 years off work to get lost amongst nappies and bottles and I have now “come out the other side” and returned to work in the public service part time. I absolutely adore having twins and watching them play together is one of my happiest hobbies.

I volunteer with TasMBA as the support I received from other multiple birth mums (at playgroup, facebook group and various meet ups) was so important to my mental health and it gave me a reason to leave the house in the early days. Seeing other multiple mums and dads and knowing they understood the challenges involved in just getting to playgroup was enough reason to make it happen. I love talking to other multiple birth parents, particularly as my twins grow and different ages present different challenges – toilet training, school, birthdays etc. If I can hold a child while you have a cup of tea (with two hands), provide a shoulder to cry on as we commiserate sleep deprivation, eye ball each other without a word - as we chase respective kids and know you are not alone or just chat about how there are too many options on Netflix, I will.

TasMBA is made up of volunteers and we all do the best we can, when we can. I want to be part of helping the organisation grow and support other multiple birth parents as it is different to having a single child and every child needs a village to grow. Please say hello if I see you at an event (online or in person)!

 Erin Fenton
“Both your babies are doing well.” These were the words from my obstetrician that my husband and I will never forget at our first appointment. Our first ultrasound displayed two tiny, beating hearts. It was the biggest and best surprise of our lives – we were expecting twins!

Fast forward to August 27th, 2014 and we welcomed our tiny identical twin boys, James and Rob, at 36 weeks. After a relatively short (11 long, lonely nights at home without them) we took our gorgeous boys home and our “family life” began.

As a side, it was an equally joyous moment when our obstetrician shared the news of “just one baby this time” in March 2017. We welcomed our little girl, Audrey on November 28th . Family complete.

Shortly after welcoming our twins, we joined TasMBA and soon became regulars at our local playgroup, at the Clarendon Vale Child and Family Centre. I also attend the Mum’s Night out social events for my sanity and well being. It’s amazing what shared multiple stories and a glass of wine can do for you sanity! Both these functions, organised by TasMBA volunteers, gave me an opportunity to connect and engage with a supportive community from people who really know what you are going through. These organised events were invaluable for me. As a mum it gave me the chance to establish connections with other people who have experienced the same and similar challenges, anxieties and stresses, but also the successes and joys (toilet training, for example!)

The experience of our ‘multiple community’ was such a positive one for me that I have decided to volunteer myself and give a little back to our strong and support network. My role as enquiries officer helps me establish connections with expectant parents and beyond. A new role for 2019 is co-ordinating the SAMs (School Aged Multiples) program. So stay tuned for more details of this exciting, new venture.

 Lorna Barrett
I went to my first TasMBA get together in 2004 when my fraternal boy twins were only a month or so old. In those days we met in someone's house so turning up the first time was a bit daunting but everyone was lovely and supportive. Shortly after I took on the the role of treasurer and have held a role ever since - President, Membership Officer, Public Officer and currently email support. During this time I also held a role on the AMBA Board for 6 years, including that of Chairperson for 2 years. There is so much that can be gained from being a volunteer - I've learnt so much and I hope I've given something back to the community that supported me particularly in the early days.

My family consists of my husband Michael, our eldest son James (2001), twins Toby and Codi, and Rachael (2006). We were fortunately that we had no major issues with the birth of any of our babies, although I did suffer a postpartum haemorrhage with the twins which dd make breastfeeding difficult in the first month or so. I feel very fortunate that I was able to feed all of them for at least 18 months.

I work in IT and hold various other volunteer positions outside of MBA including being a scout leader, school association treasurer and youth co-ordinator and team manager for the Kingborough Lions United Football Club.

As an 'experienced' mum of twins I'd say make the most of them at all ages. There is no age where the challenges are greater, they are just different. For the very young babies, it is often a psychical challenge when you aren't getting enough sleep and just seem to run out of time to get everything done, but as they get older the challenges can be social and mental as they battle through friendships, competition, life choices etc. Don't think the challenges ever end and the delights certainly continue. Enjoy them all.

 Sheena Hannan
Hello, my name is Sheena. I have a son, Hugh born in 2014 and identical twin boys, Ben and Theo, born in 2016. My husband and I went through IVF to have our first son and then fell naturally (to our surprise) with twins. We were living in Fiji at the time and at our 7 week scan we were told that there was one baby. We flew to Brisbane for our 13 week scan and I will never forget the obstetrician’s chuckle as he revealed the “second baby’s heartbeat”!! I remember laughing uncontrollably. To say it was a shock is an understatement. I will never forget that feeling of bewilderment as we walked out of the rooms onto the street and thinking how on earth are we going to do this.

My pregnancy was complicated, not to mention that at 21 weeks we moved from Fiji to Tasmania. I developed cholestasis at 27 weeks and preeclampsia at 31 weeks. My babies were born via emergency c-section at 31+5 weeks. It was a scary time and I myself was very sick. My boys spent a total of 37 days in hospital, 8 days in the NICU and the rest in special care. They were born 2 days before Hugh turned two so it was a really hard time to juggle the needs of my babies in hospital, pumping every 3 hours to get my milk supply going and looking after the needs of Hugh who himself was only a baby. Thankfully we had a lot of support from family and we got through it and the day we brought the boys home and were a family of five under one roof was the best day ever.

I joined TasMBA as soon as we arrived in Hobart. I had no idea how I was going to manage and I was looking for support. Through meeting fellow twin mums in hospital to going to playgroup to asking a lot of questions on our members Facebook page, I have developed life long friends and support beyond what I had hoped. I remember my first night going along to a multiple mums dinner, plucking up the courage to do it and get out of the house. It was amazing and so fun and great to connect with people that know what it’s like. I joined the TasMBA committee at the beginning of the year as the Social Media Coordinator. I wanted to give back to TasMBA and help other multiple parents as they and I navigate this crazy unique journey. I hope that my posts help you, at times make you laugh, and above all to connect with other multiple parents to know you are not alone in this.

 Grace Heathcote
Hi, I’m Grace. My husband Gary and I had our identical boys in early 2016, kicking off the most exhausting, wonderful stage of our lives so far. There was enough ‘wonderful’ in there that having twins didn’t scar us toooooo much and we’re now expecting our third bub in November.

I joined TasMBA just before the boys were born and have found a group of supportive, generous parents to share this ride with. I live in the Huon so am a bit far away to join Playgroup unfortunately (which I keep hearing amazing things about!) but have enjoyed the other regular catch ups and facebook discussions. I joined the committee in mid 2016 and am excited about all the new projects in the works that will really benefit Tassie’s multiples community - quiz nights, school-aged groups, antenatal sessions... While work, family and study commitments mean I have limited time to offer, the other committee members have always been nothing but supportive - we do what we can, when we can.

 Anita Engelbrecht
“You did know there were two?” This was how our obstetrician broke the news of twins to us, thinking we already knew from a previous scan. This was followed by hysterical laughter when she told us they’d be identical! I’m Anita and I have twin girls, Eva and Zoe, born in 2016. It was a stressful pregnancy, with growth restrictions starting from 28 weeks, but I managed to keep cooking them till 34 weeks, when they were born via csection due to preeclampsia. They were a tiny 1.7kg each at birth and we spent 5 weeks in hospital. They are now happy and healthy girls about to welcome their younger sibling.

I love being a multiple mama and being part of the Tassie multiple community. The TasMBA playgroup is great – the girls are entertained by all the play-areas and toys and I get to have a hot cup of tea and a chat. There’s times when watching two toddlers doing exactly the same crazy thing is magical and it definately makes up for the challenges that parenting multiples brings.

I’m currently working part time for a government agency and my husband, Marius, runs our holiday accommodation, Trinity Hill Apartments. Being part of the TasMBA committee doesn’t take much time and it’s great to see everyone use their different skill sets to help support multiple parents.

Volunteering

We'd love you to help! Our volunteers are Mothers and Others from all over Tasmania.  Our volunteers do much behind the scenes to further the objectives of the Tasmanian Multiple Birth Association.

Position Vacant Application Package
Position Vacant Application Form

There are many other ways people - both women and men - actively further the work of TasMBA. They do this by volunteering for the Association and using their life skills, previous training, education and other work experience. All contributions made by volunteers to TasMBA are all valued and valuable.

Being a member who volunteers your existing expertise (being a parent or caregiver! and more) or time to help facilitate the Association's work.

  • Have you gone along to group activities and supported other Mums, just by regular attendance?
  • Would you like to offer a Playgroup and Parent Support Program in your local area?
  • Would you like to offer a Pram Walking Group?
  • Have you an idea for a group for multiple birth parents and caregivers?
  • Could you offer to audit the group's books at the end of the financial year, because you are someone such as a book-keeper or bank teller or work in a financial management business, or teach business studies?
  • Are you good at writing grant applications?
  • Are you good at proofreading: All our publications must be proofread before publication
  • Are you interested in graphic design? TasMBA website, publications, booklet design, papers, posters, flyers.
  • Are you interested in public relations and media - Our Communications Officer has to respond immediately to media requests and often find mums and specific aged babies with just a few hours’ notice. Other volunteers are invaluable in scanning newspapers for multiple birth articles, and alerting the PR people to misinformation.
  • Something you have just thought of? … contact us and tell us!

Yes, I am interested in volunteering!

Position Vacant Information Package
Position Vacant Application Form

We can find a niche for you!

Start with this website.
To find out more about the Association explore the section About TasMBA.  This gives an overview of our Association.  All our volunteers need to adhere to the guidelines and policies set by the Association in their volunteer work. 

If you would like to get involved, contact your branch representative or email president@tasmba.org.au

Your support of the Association will also mean that you learn new skills and you'll find stimulating, challenging ways of putting your existing experience into practice.

 








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