2015 Premier’s Award for Woman of the Year

The Premier’s Award for Woman of the Year recognises women who have excelled in their career, field or passion and/or have made a significant achievement in a traditionally male-dominated area.This year was an exceptionally competitive field and the judges found it very difficult to choose only four finalists.You can read about their amazing work below but you can not vote for your favourite. The judging panel has made a decision for this category and the winner will be announced 4 March 2015

Melinda is CEO, Founder and Board Director of Miracle Babies Foundation; Australia’s leading organisation supporting premature and sick newborns, their families and the hospitals caring for them. Miracle Babies fills a vital gap within the health system providing the link between clinicians and families and is the peak consumer body for neonatal research.

Melinda started Miracle Babies after two of her sons were born prematurely, one of whom was just 26 weeks and 1.1 kilos. Despite excellent staff from the hospital she felt isolated, emotionally drained and lacking in long-term support. She had no one to turn to when her child wasn’t walking or talking like all the other children of his age. 

Melinda approached the medical staff and the hospital and with their support, Miracle Babies was created. Under her gentle but persistent guidance the organisation has grown from supporting women at just one hospital to working with all the neonatal intensive care units across the country, always remaining true to her original principals. Giving back to the hospitals that have cared for their babies, providing long-term emotional support to the families and giving a voice to the experiences of consumers in the research and medical world. 

 She believes the organisation provides three 

At every step of the organisation’s growth Melinda asks s the organisation grow at 

Every year 45,000 babies require the care of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or Special Care Nursery. As the mother of 3 premature babies, Melinda’s incredible difference to thousands along with her impact as a successful entrepreneur has seen her win numerous awards including 2011 EY Social Entrepreneur of the Year and be a regular guest on radio, TV and speaker at national and international conferences.

In 2013, she was inducted into the Australian Business Women's Hall of Fame. She is a trusted expert to medical professionals being awarded as an Honorary Research Associate by the University of Sydney Medical School in 2012 and was the first parent to be invited as a consumer Associate Investigator on a National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funded neonatal trial.

In 2014, she was invited to join the Perinatal Society of Aust. and NZ (PSANZ) Consumer Advisory Panel as the inaugural Chair and accepted a position on the PSANZ IMPACT (clinical trials) executive committee.

She is a published author and speaker and on 2 Nov 2014 ran the New York Marathon with 18 others raising over $200,000 for Miracle Babies.

In Nov 2014, Melinda completed the New York Marathon with 18 others raising $200,000 for Miracle Babies.