SIMONE MOSSOP - FOUNDER & CEO / Executive Director
Simone is a leading professional who identified a gap in the health care system for families of children born preterm. Combined careers in neonatal nursing, primary school teaching and Cogmed coaching allows her unique insight into how prematurity effects children and families. This wealth of experience, combined with her vision for ongoing professional support to all prems and their families, has made her not only a powerful advocate but also driven to do what is right. Simone believes that in saving premmies, we have a social responsibility to empower parents with the skills and knowledge to best support the family unit and their child's development. Simone holds professional memberships with the Australian Breast Feeding Association (professional), Australian College of Neonatal Nurses (ACNN) and Learning Difficulties Australia (LDA).
DR GILLIAN OPIE - Chairperson / Non-executive director
"I've been caring for prem babies for over 20 years. As a member of the Victorian Infant Collaborative Study group that researches the developmental and behavioural outcomes of these babies, I understand the problems and difficulties families can experience. I am also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, previous Board Director of the Australian Lactation Consultants Association and the Lactation Consultants of Australia and New Zealand. One of my proudest achievements was establishing the Mercy Health Breastmilk Bank in 2011. I am so excited to be an inaugural board member of ReadyStepGrow and the opportunity to further help families to nurture their babies." – Gillian Opie, Neonatal Paediatrician.
Bethaney Gili - Non-executive director (fundraising)
"Since I began my career in fundraising in 2003 I have had the opportunity to work for some very worthwhile organisations. My new role as a Director at ReadyStepGrow allows me to bring all of my fundraising experience and ideas to an amazing organisation with programs I am truly passionate about. ReadyStepGrow has positively impacted my own family by providing me with information and advice specific to raising a premature baby. Becoming a part of the team is very exciting and I hope that my contribution to the organisation can help to empower and support other parents as we each navigate our way through the journey that is raising a child born prematurely." Bethaney Gili, Director (Fundraising) and mum to Jacob (born at full term) and Nicholas (born at 30+4 weeks).
Dylan Neilsen - Non-executive Director (Treasurer)
"When presented with the opportunity to become a board member at ReadyStepGrow (RSG), I was confident that I could use my existing skill set (working in the taxation and general business consulting areas) to help ensure the perpetuity of this great organisation. ReadyStepGrow is operated and surrounded by an army of intensely passionate parents and interested professionals which makes my role a very rewarding one." Dylan Neilsen
Patrick Rossi - Non-executive director (Company Secretary)
"I was excited about the opportunity to assist ReadyStepGrow (RSG) by serving as Company Secretary and Director. RSG provides a very important and unique service to the community and I was keen to contribute through my experience as a corporate governance and accounting professional. The support that ReadyStepGrow provides to children born prematurely and their parents is inspiring and I am eager to be part of the growth of the organisation. The dedicated, passionate and skilled personnel at RSG make it a pleasure to be involved." Patrick Rossi
Genevieve cullity - ADMINISTRATOR
"My professional background is in both childcare and office administration. In my early work life, I was a teacher’s aid working with kids who had learning and behavioural difficulties. I’ve since worked in EA, admin support and customer service roles and have also had four children, now aged between 19 and 11 years. I’m incredibly driven to use my well-honed organisational & admin management skills in my support role with RSG. I’m looking forward to creating a great experience for RSG parents, and to help continually improve our process efficiencies." Gen Cullity
Katherine Sanchez - speech pathologist (PhD candidate)
Katherine is a Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist and PhD candidate who has a special interest in helping young children born preterm, and their families. She has clinical experience working with babies and children in a range of settings, and is particularly passionate about very early intervention and helping children with feeding difficulties. Her research focuses on communication and feeding development in children born preterm. She is excited about using the best evidence available to support Ready Step Grow families in optimising their children’s development.
Sonja Russell - Paediatric Dietician
Sonja is an Accredited Practising Dietitian specialising in paediatric nutrition and feeding. She has a particular interest in working with families through the challenges of limited diets due to sensory processing problems, mealtime battles, tube feeding, food allergies, growth concerns and disabilities affecting nutrition and feeding. "I am passionate about normalising feeding for families who have experienced a medicalised and often stressful approach to feeding. As a mother of young children, I am sympathetic to the challenges faced by parents and am committed to forming supportive, non-judgemental partnerships with parents to achieve positive outcomes for the whole family." Sonja Russell
Cathryn Vincent - Speech Pathologist
Cathryn is a Certified Practicing Paediatric Speech Pathologist. She has worked closely with families of children from birth to six years old who have communication and feeding difficulties, including children born preterm. Cathryn has a passion for helping families implement strategies early, so that every child can share their unique perspectives of the world as they grow. She is excited to be joining Ready Step Grow to help families give their prems every opportunity to learn in a fun, play based way.
Andrea Tovey - Program facilitator
As a mum of an ex 30 weeker who attended the ReadyStepGrow program for a full four years with my daughter, I have seen first hand how beneficial the program is, not just for the child but the family as a whole.
I am extremely passionate about early intervention and giving premature babies and children the best start possible. I'm very excited to work with fellow prem families. The strength and determination I see in the children and their parents will never fail to amaze me.
ALIESHA BRUCE - OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST
Aliesha is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist who has been working with children and their families for over 16 years. She has worked in both Australia and the UK, supporting children with a wide range of disabilities and developmental delays to grow, learn and become the best versions of themselves. Aliesha is passionate about the importance of early intervention to promote child outcomes as well as building parents’ confidence and competence in their parenting role. She brings to the RSG Team a wealth of experience in early child development, the power of play, sensory processing and it’s impact on development, coaching, mindfulness and self-regulation. Aliesha is looking forward to helping the ReadyStepGrow families and their children achieve their goals.
Ruth Sacks - PhysiotherapisT
Ruth is a paediatric physiotherapist with 17 years of experience working in early intervention, neonatal nurseries and special schools in Australia and the UK. She has a passion for empowering families to support and optimise the development of their children, particularly those facing developmental challenges. In 2014, Ruth began her own personal journey as a “premmie parent”, raising her twins who were born at 30 weeks gestation. She adopts a relaxed but proactive approach to intervention, working in partnership with families to create opportunities within a child’s everyday routine to develop and practice his or her skills. Ruth is excited and proud to be part of the ReadyStepGrow team.
DR CARLY MOLLOY - RESEARCH leader
Carly is a PhD graduate and Clinical Researcher specialising in infants born preterm. She is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and is currently working on projects assessing visual processing, brain behaviour relationships, and social skills in preterm born children. Carly has dedicated her life to greater understanding the outcomes, impacts and conditions of premature birth. Motivated by the realisation that many parents feel isolated and unsupported, she co-founded the web-based information resource called preemiehelp.com. Carly looks forward to working with ReadyStepGrow and supporting research to help families give their prems the best start.
Dr Frank Muscara - Research Team
It is our pleasure to welcome Dr Frank Muscara. Frank is a research fellow/clinical neuropsychologist at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. His research interests include long term social outcomes following childhood acquired brain injury, and the impact of parent functioning on these social outcomes. Frank's interests also include the measurement of social outcomes in children and adolescents following acquired brain injury. What a great fit for ReadyStepGrow (particularly with growing acceptance that premmies may have acquired subtle types of brain injury). WELCOME to the team Frank!