Melinda Cruz is the CEO and founder of Miracle Babies Foundation – Australia’s leading organisation supporting premature and sick newborns, their families and the hospitals that care for them.
Every year in Australia, 44,000 Australian babies require the care of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or Special Care Nursery (SCN). Melinda knows first-hand the long-term challenges and emotional trauma having a baby in specialised care can bring. Her drive and passion comes from her own personal experience after having three children all born premature.
Since beginning in 2005, Miracle Babies has grown from a small local charity in South West Sydney to a national foundation with support services in hospitals in all states and territories. The incredible difference Melinda has made to thousands of families has seen her win numerous local and national awards, including the 2011 Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year, and be invited as a guest speaker to many conferences both locally and internationally.
Melinda is a trusted expert to medical professionals seeking to improve their treatment and understanding of premature and sick babies and the impact a birth has on the family unit. She is a published author and advocate for parental involvement in perinatal trials. Melinda is also a speaker on not-for-profit start up, entrepreneurialism, women in diversity and living a life on purpose.
During her work, Melinda has learned many valuable lessons – one of them being to trust your gut feeling and act on instinct.
“Your feelings are the biggest conveyor of what is right for you. Your feelings will never let you down. I believe great leaders are able to tap into this well.”
Strategies for Success
- Believe in what you are doing.
- Build your team with people who are smarter than you.
- Create a supportive, meaningful network of external people around you.
- Acknowledge out loud both your weaknesses and your strengths.
- Have gratitude for everything that comes your way – the triumphs and the challenges.