98th Tweddle AGM highlights achievements and the importance of relationships

98th Tweddle AGM highlights achievements and the importance of relationships


­­­The 98th Annual General Meeting of Tweddle Child and Family Health Service was held yesterday in Tweddle’s Footscray Conference Centre. Tweddle Chair Dr Nicole Milburn, CEO Ms Jacquie O’Brien, Treasurer Ms Melanie Telford, Board members, guest speaker Associate Professor Rebecca Giallo  and staff reflected on a year of achievement, research, lobbying and hard work. The Minister and the Department of Health & Human Services were acknowledged for their ongoing funding and support.

July 2018 marked the start of Dr Milburn’s 12th year serving on the Tweddle Board. During her tenure, Dr Milburn has worked alongside 38 Board Members, two CEOs, 22,000 families receiving therapeutic intake assistance and residential support for more than 15,000 mums, dads babies and toddlers.

In 2017/18 Tweddle achieved a great deal thanks to the dedication and commitment of staff, funding and partnerships. This included the launch of a new Strategic Plan, a Peer Support Worker Pilot, a World Association of Infant Mental Health – Working Out Dads poster presentation, new parenting workshops and breastfeeding support in Brimbank, the HoPES Program continued in Geelong and Footscray, the new Residential Family Strengthening Unit opened and the second Working Out Dads pilot commenced in partnership with MCRI and support from the Bennelong Foundation and community sponsors.

Dr Milburn acknowledged the support of Member for Footscray Katie Hall, and congratulated her on being the newly elected member for Footscray. She also thanked Peter Gordon and Ameet Bains from the Western Bulldogs and Craig Rowley from LeadWest and now advocacy group campaignr.

Guest speaker A/Prof Giallo from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute is co-leading the evaluation of the Tweddle’s Working Out Dads program. She discussed how historically, fathers had largely felt ignored in parenting programs despite one in ten experiencing depression in the early years. She praised Tweddle for their commitment to strong research partnerships. She said that evaluated programs like Working Out Dads not only helped to tell the stories of dads, but helped to address the gap in health literature around fathering which she described as severely lacking.

Dr Milburn thanked crucial donor, in-kind, volunteer and funding contributions. She acknowledged the Collier Charitable Fund, the Gellibrand Stronger Communities Fund, the Rotary Club of Footscray, the Bennelong Foundation, Working Out Dads community sponsors – The CWA of Footscray, Hede Architects, Alan Mance Holden, The Bendigo Bank of Seddon and Craig Rowley. She also thanked the 6A foundation, Maribyrnong City Council, The Williams Angliss Charitable Fund, Ms Jacqueline Stephens and the dozens of families who donated leaves to our giving tree.

Gratitude was also extended to Jim Hevey, Lorraine Carroll, Brenda and Rhonda from Wittle Pieces, Knit one Give one and Fay Stankovich for donations and in-kind support. The Chair also extended her thanks to Carol MacDonald, our volunteer concierge settling in anxious and stressed families every Monday.

In closing remarks, Dr Milburn reflected on her final term as Chair. “I was thrilled with the wonderful news that the newly elected Labor Government will invest heavily in the needs of families with a $230 million package and a $9 million refurbishment at Tweddle. I am very hopeful that our quaint day stay buildings may be replaced by something from the 21st century before they receive their telegram from the queen”.

The 2017/18 Annual Report can be viewed here.


A/Prof Rebecca Giallo and Tweddle Chair Dr Nicole Milburn
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