Our team

The passionate and dedicated people that bring our work to life. Say hello to the people behind Birth for Humankind.
  • Red Dearnley (they/them)

    Chief Executive Officer

    Red joined Birth for Humankind as Chief Executive Officer in May 2018.

    With academic qualification in social anthropology, they are passionate about understanding how change happens. Their executive and non-executive leadership experience has extended across strategic planning, performance measurement, governance and organisational leadership. They prioritise applying intersectional feminist principles to organisational culture, governance and operations.

    As a communicator and public advocate Red has specialised in finding ways to communicate complex policy into informative educational resources that build public awareness and inspire action. They have built and implemented robust frameworks for measuring advocacy and influence, increasing public participation in social justice issues by helping organisations address the ‘values-action gap’, and improving organisational efficiency and effectiveness. They’re also an accomplished for-purpose writer and editor, specialising in accessible, inclusive, simple or plain English publications.

    Red has previously held senior leadership, advocacy and communications roles in INGOs, NFPs and business associations across the UK, Australia and southern Africa - specialising in labour exploitation; child rights, and international and community health. Before founding Influence Global, they led World Vision Australia's public advocacy department. Red is a qualified meditation teacher and is committed to improving purpose-driven professionals wellbeing, by integrating mindfulness and meditation in organisational culture. Red also founded and is Principal Consultant (part-time) at Influence Global, a collaborative social change consultancy.

    They are Chair of Be Slavery Free, Deputy Chair of WIRE, and a member of Melbourne Women’s Fund and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

  • Sandra Morris (she/her)

    Senior Engagement and Strategy Manager

    Sandra joined the team in October 2022 and has a strong personal commitment to the vision and mission of our organisation.

    Sandra is an accomplished senior leader who has more than two decades of experience in the women’s health, gender equality, sexual and reproductive health, prevention of violence against women and gendered economic disadvantage. Sandra’s work is focused on centring women and gender diverse people’s voices and addressing systematic and structural discrimination. She works to create high quality, gender equitable and accessible services.

    She has worked in service provision in government, health, and not for profit organisations and had great success in developing strategic relationships and building collaborative partnerships with diverse organisations together to focus on common aims, in particular the areas of gender equality, health, safety and wellbeing issues.

  • Kristine Balfour (she/her)

    Program Supervisor

    Kristine is a social worker, counsellor and doula, and joined the team in March 2018. Kristine has spent her entire career working cross-culturally, mostly with people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds, both in case management and therapeutic roles. She has also supported young people to recover from sexual exploitation. In addition to her role at Birth for Humankind, Kristine works as a perinatal mental health counsellor.

  • Cath Wright (she/her)

    Program Supervisor

    Cath joined the team in July 2018. She is a registered midwife with a strong woman-centred philosophy and a focus on the provision of information to facilitate informed decision-making for each woman. For more than a decade Cath has worked both clinically and in the academic setting. Her clinical experience includes at: The Royal Women's Hospital, MAMA midwifery practice, Northern Provincial Hospital (Santo, Vanuatu) and The Northern Hospital.

    Cath came to Birth for Humankind because she believes our organisation fills an important gap in maternity services. Prior to becoming a midwife Cath completed doula training with Rhea Dempsey.

  • Giorgia Hall-Cook (she/her)

    Operations and Program Officer

    Giorgia joined the Birth For Humankind team as Program Officer in January 2022 and has been actively volunteering as a doula at Birth for Humankind since August 2019. Giorgia previously worked as a registered midwife and completed her Master’s in Public Health at La Trobe University in July 2021. In addition to her role at Birth for Humankind, Giorgia has worked in research and education, and volunteered in a number of other community support roles.

    Giorgia is passionate about equitable health care, and loves working for Birth for Humankind to ensure equitable maternity care for clients with complex backgrounds.

  • Jess Sartori (she/her)

    Grant Partnerships Lead

    Jess joined the Birth for Humankind team in December 2020. She has Bachelor of Public Health and Health Promotion from Deakin University and has previously worked in creative campaign development, copywriting and communications.

    Jess hopes to make a meaningful impact by continually seeking new opportunities for Birth for Humankind to build strong partnerships and investments in programs and services. She wholeheartedly supports (and admires!) the organisation's purpose of creating a more respectful and equitable health system and in reducing barriers created by structural disadvantage.

  • Betsy (she/her)

    Employed Doula

    Betsy is one of three doulas taking part in Birth for Humankind's Employment Pathways Pilot Program, which commenced in April 2023.

    Betsy wants to assist people who can't afford doula services and don't have any other mechanisms of support available to them.

    Betsy values knowing that her presence can really make a difference during labour and the early postpartum experience of women and birthing people, and finds this very rewarding.

Our volunteers

We have a dedicated team of volunteer doulas who speak more than a dozen languages between them. They’re compassionate and highly-skilled women who are registered and retired midwives, student midwives, and doulas working in private business. Our volunteer doulas are the heart of our organisation, and without their support our work would not be possible. If you are a qualified doula or midwife, we would love to hear from you – apply to join our team at any time.

We are also grateful for the commitment from our office-based volunteers, who work across various projects to support Birth for Humankind and our work.