Birth for HumanKind


Our board

Meet the Birth for Humankind Board of Directors.

Meet our Board

Established in June 2015, our Board of Directors bring passion, practice, business and non-profit knowledge to govern Birth for Humankind, in accordance with our Constitution and Strategic Plan. The Board is dedicated to ensuring a better future for our mothers, children and families.

Joanne Kirk


Joanne started her career as a Registered Nurse and has over 20 years of leadership experience working in sexual health, women’s health and refugee health programs in Australia and developing countries. She is passionate about gender equality and empowering and supporting women and girls to have the opportunity to live their very best lives.

Currently, Joanne also works with families who are seeking asylum in Melbourne, and runs the Asylum Seeker Kids Project.

Joanne co-founded the Red Rocketship Foundation in 2011, which has funded and worked with a number of organisations in Australian and internationally. The Foundation has a focus on funding women’s and girl’s programs.

Joanne believes every mother has the right to support, education and the opportunity to make informed choices throughout her pregnancy and birth. She is passionate and inspired by the work of Birth for Humankind.

Jeanette Royce


Jeanette has more than 15 years’ experience in finance. Jeanette began her career in investment banking in Equity Capital Markets working for Macquarie. After her time in investment banking, Jeanette worked as an Assistant Treasurer for both United Energy and Multinet Gas and then later for Transurban, managing more than A$30bn in debt. From December 2019, Jeanette joined Atlas Arteria, an international toll road owner, operator and developer, as the Director, Investor Relations. In January 2022, Jeanette returned to Macquarie to join the Private Capital Markets team as a Division Director.

Jeanette brings a vast array of skills in corporate treasury, financial analysis, business development and financial risk management. Jeanette’s passion for Birth for Humankind comes from her own experience of becoming a mother to her two children and wanting to ensure that all women have the support they need to make their own birth and family experience a positive one.

Jo Askham


Jo has worked with many organisations in her career as a finance,administration, and IT management consultant, helping organisationsacross the private and not-for-profit sectors streamline theiroperations and financial systems. She is also an experienced eventmanager, being one of the organisers of the annual Doula Conference in Australia and ‘doulaing’ many regular and international events.

Jo's journey into motherhood sparked her passion for bringing humanity and knowledge to childbirth, and she now helps many families as a doula and childbirth educator. She is currently studying for her Bachelor of Midwifery at the Australian Catholic University.

“My passion is to bring community to life and birth through support, events, knowledge and advocacy.”

Raj Gopiraj


Raj has more than 15 years’ experience across both commercial and non-for-profit sectors and has lived and worked in Australia and the USA. He is currently GM - Talent & Organisational Development at Vicinity Centres.

He was previously a management consultant at Maximus International and portfolio manager at PWC, senior consultant at AECOM, managed the corporate partnerships function at Australian Red Cross and interned with the United Nations in New York. With a background in commercial governance, nonexecutive board experience, mentoring and executing digital transformation at scale, Raj brings a unique combination of lived, worked and educational experience to the work the BfH delivers on.

Engaging leaders and organisations to develop connected, real strategies that consider the whole andexplore the new, Raj thrives on influencing leaders to pursue limitless potential through purposeful leadership.

Lauren King

Company Secretary & Director

Lauren is an Australian qualified lawyer practising in the not-for-profit sector. As part of this role she provides governance support to a board of directors. Lauren believes strongly in the importance of good governance and providing support to the board to allow them to govern effectively.

Lauren has a strong sense of social justice and is passionate about Birth for Humankind's vision and mission. Lauren has two small children and the experience of pregnancy, birth and motherhood has given her a profound admiration for all women and, in particular, their innate strength and resilience.