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Who we are

Peach Tree Perinatal Wellness is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2011 by two mums with personal experience of perinatal mental illness. Our mission is to minimise the impact of perinatal mental health issues through understanding, acceptance and education, whilst enhancing self-worth.

We operate in Queensland, Australia, providing peer support to new and expecting parents experiencing mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. Through our PEPP Talk workshops, we also help expecting parents prepare proactively for the emotional challenges that come with the transition to parenthood.

We also work hard to educate both the general community and professionals working in the field about the truth of perinatal mental illnesses, to reduce the stigma surrounding them.

We are a registered charity staffed entirely by volunteers and funded by donations from the community.

 

Our management committee

 

Patrice-Cafferky thumbnailMrs Patrice Cafferky (chair)

Patrice owns and manages a 12 doctor General Practice, which has evolved from one doctor in 1998 to its current size.  Her role as Practice Manager, and over 20 years nursing experience, give her a broad view of issues that are faced daily in the primary health care setting.

Patrice holds a Bachelor of Nursing from QUT and a Diploma of Practice Management, is a member of AICD and participates in professional development activities as a director in the area of governance, finance and strategy.

 

Alison Christou thumbnailMrs Alison Christou

Alison is a lawyer and legal academic with diverse experience across the private and public sectors. Notably, she has worked as an appointed Member of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal, the Mental Health Review Tribunal and the Migration and Refugee Review Tribunals. Alison assisted in the establishment of the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia, sitting as a foundation Member in 2011-12.

Her expertise in Administrative Law also saw Alison contribute as a Qld Committee Member of the Australian Institute of Administrative Law 2008-11. Currently, she has an ongoing appointment as a Public Assessor assisting the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, and is also lecturing in Law at the University of Southern Queensland.

Alison has completed a research Masters degree in Law at UQ and has had her academic work published in peer-reviewed journals. Passionate about social justice and issues of inclusion, she brings to the table an understanding of the legal complexity in areas of health and welfare, plus advanced skills in socio-legal research. Her warm yet professional approach to tribunal and board work has equipped Alison with the skills to effectively communicate, collaborate and deliver excellent results for community-based organisations.

 

Cheryl Herbert_thumbnailMrs Cheryl Herbert

Cheryl is currently the CEO of the Institute of Healthy Communities, Queensland.  Prior to this role, Cheryl was appointed as CEO of the Health Quality and Complaints Commission (HQCC) in September 2006, and joined the SouthEast Primary HealthCare Network Board of Directors in 2009.

Cheryl has extensive health leadership and management experience.  Prior to her role at the HQCC, Cheryl had 10 years CEO experience as Executive Director of Spiritus Care Services which comprised the merged St Luke’s Nursing Service, Anglicare and the Anglican Care of the Aged and previously CEO of St Luke’s Nursing Service.

Cheryl has qualifications in nursing and midwifery and is a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Nursing Australia, Fellow of the Institution of Company Directors and an adjunct Professor of UQ.  She presently retains membership on the board of Alcohol and Drug Foundation of Queensland, CRC Wound Management Pty Ltd, Greater Metro South Brisbane Medicare Local and External Advisory Council for the School of Nursing and Midwifery.

 

Gino Pecoraro_thumbnailDr Gino Pecoraro

Gino is an Obstetrician & Gynaecologist in private and public practice in Brisbane. He has been a very active member of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) and is a past president of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) Queensland. He currently sits on the federal AMA council where he is the obstetrics and gynaecology representative.

He is a senior clinical lecturer with the University of Queensland and has been, in the past, an Assistant Professor at Bond University, actively involved in the teaching of medical students. His university teaching is complimented by his ongoing education of junior doctors and registrars in his capacity as Senior Visiting Obstetrician at Mater Mothers’ Hospital and also at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital until 2014.

As an award winning medical journalist, Gino remains an experienced health commentator. He has written a weekly “Your Health” column in Brisbane’s Courier Mail and frequently comments on health issues throughout Queensland. He has previously presented a weekly health segment for Channel 10 News in Brisbane and was the Monday morning medic on Radio 612, and crew clinic doctor for B105. He presented a health talkback segment for 4BC radio and can be heard discussing health issues on ABC State wide radio monthly on Thursday nights. He writes for a number of women’s magazines including New Idea where he has been the resident gynaecologist and remains on the panel of experts for Cosmopolitan Pregnancy magazine, Coles Mother and baby magazine and a selection of Bauer Australia magazines.

Miranda Gillespie_thumbnailMs Miranda Gillespie

Miranda is a Partner at MacDonnells Law and practising solicitor, specialising in commercial law and also heading up the firm’s statewide property team. Miranda is one of the youngest Partners to be appointed to that position at MacDonnells Law in its 130+ year history. In addition to her legal work, Miranda has a broad range of business expertise. Most recently in her “spare time”, Miranda is the founder of the e-commerce business, Luxe.It.Fwd, which retails designer handbags online.

 

 

Richard-Kidd-thumbnailDr Richard Kidd

Richard is an International Medical Graduate (Auckland) and has worked in General Practice for 30 years, including two years as a volunteer Medical Officer in Charge at Raihu Hospital in PNG, and two years in rural Queensland (Sarina, St George and Oakey).  His special interests are in perinatal mental health, aged care, palliative care and medical education.  Dr Kidd was the 2010 President of the Australian Medical Association Queensland (AMAQ).

 

 Our operations team

 

  Viv Kissane

Viv is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Peach Tree Perinatal Wellness Inc.  As a mother of three daughters she is well aware of the issues and challenges that come with the territory of motherhood.

Perinatal mental illness has had a profound impact on her and her family and this fuels Viv’s passion and commitment to reach out to parents who are struggling with the demands of parenting and maintaining their emotional and mental wellbeing.  Viv has a background in Australian Immigration Law and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Queensland.

 

Rani-Farmer-thumbnailRani Farmer

Rani is a mother of two and stepmother of one.  Despite working in the health field with mothers and their babies, Rani found it extremely difficult after the birth of her first child to face the reality that she herself was suffering from postnatal depression. Diagnosed in 2012 when her son was 8 months old, Rani has since learnt first-hand the enormous hardships and emotional tolls this debilitating mental illness brings to the lives of those affected.

In January 2015, Rani completed Circle of Security Training and became a qualified Parent Educator.  Rani is passionate about her role as Peach Tree’s Lead Perinatal Wellness Educator, facilitating both PEPP Talk and Circle of Security parent education workshops.  In her spare time, she also provides Circle of Security workshops through her business, Hands Holding Hands, and pursues research interests in the perinatal mental health field.