99th AGM Paves The Way for Centenary

99th AGM Paves The Way for Centenary

By Kerrie Gottliebsen

The 99th Annual General Meeting of Tweddle Child and Family Health Service was held yesterday in Tweddle’s Footscray Conference Centre. Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Di OAM joined Tweddle Chair Ms Doris Whitmore, CEO Ms Jacquie O’Brien, Treasurer Jennifer Lang, Board members, guest speaker Dr Peter Ewer, Dr Nicole Milburn and staff who reflected on a year of innovation, achievement and hard work.

Aunty Di provided the welcome to country and spoke passionately about  the importance of looking after country, looking after each other and looking after babies, who are our future leaders.

The AGM followed with a sneak preview of Tweddle’s Centenary Celebration video featuring 1939 Tweddle baby Jim Hevey. We were honoured to have Jim in attendance.

Ms Whitmore then acknowledged Minister Mikakos, Minister Hennessy, Minster Donnellen, Minister Foley, local member for Footscray Ms Katie Hall MP and the Department of Health & Human Services staff for their ongoing funding and support. She also extended Tweddle’s gratitude to grant makers, donors, volunteer concierge Carol MacDonald and those who donated or made baby clothes, toys and quilts.

Guest speaker Dr Peter Ewer drew on his experience working with Corrections Victoria to present Tweddle’s “Breaking The Cycle” report. The report points out that while it is welcome and positive that funding is increasing in important areas like corrections, mental health and child protection, the impost on the budget is high, growing and arguably, unsustainable. Underpinned by a suite of new Tweddle programs, the report puts forth recommendations for prevention, articulated in impactful social and financial terms. As he pointed out, nothing is more convincing than the science behind Adverse Childhood Experiences and spending upstream to disrupt the pregnancy to prison pipeline.

Following twelve years of service to Tweddle, Dr Nicole Milburn was inducted to the roll of Life Governors. Dr Milburn accepted the honour and spoke about her admiration for Tweddle’s ongoing work in the first 1000 days.

CEO Jacquie O’Brien reflected on a busy year. Highlights included The Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews and Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos’ visit to Tweddle to announce $9m redevelopment funding, the launch of Tweddle’s Parenting, Babies & Toddlers App and Sleep Play Bond Video series.

Other highlights included The Working Out Dads program expanding to 17 programs and a Helen Macpherson Smith Trust funded Business Case delivered by Social Ventures Australia.

In July Minister Gabrielle Williams MP and Ms Katie Hall MP Member for Footscray opened Tweddle’s Family Strengthening Unit and we delivered an Infant Mental Health Awareness Week Event with a screening of Resilience at The Sun Theatre for 140 guests in June.

The 99th AGM closed with another Centenary video featuring ex Tweddle CEO Betty Hassold, ex Director of Nursing Karen Houghton and Tweddle EPP Laura Kelly who has been with Tweddle for 31 years.

We journey towards our 100th AGM with great enthusiasm and anticipation, ready to celebrate a new logo, Centenary Website, reunion Facebook page and various events. Most importantly, we look forward to another 100 years of caring for Victorian babies, toddlers and families.


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