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NZBA Board


A Staff Photo of Lynley Nichols

Lynley Nichols |Board Chairperson

Lynley is a Lactation Consultant working in the NICU and Starship Children`s Health at ADHB.

She is a Registered General Nurse with a background in Paediatrics and Neonatal Nursing. Lynley has a Post Graduate Certificate in Neonatal Nursing, a Postgraduate Certificate in the Care of the Chronically Ill Child and a Graduate Diploma in Child Health. She is a certified Board Lactation Consultant and has been so for 15 years.

Lynley has held her current position for 14 years. Prior to that, she worked in Neonatal Home care at NICU Starship Children`s Health and Neonatal Homecare and Paediatric Homecare at Counties Manukau.

Lynley is passionate about supporting women and families to nurture their babies in the neonatal units and to support those mums and babies to go home breastfeeding. She feels very strongly about the Neo BFHI Initiative and would like to work with the NZBA to support this initiative throughout New Zealand. She has a very strong focus on maternal infant attachment and supporting mothers and babies to stay together in Neonatal units. She supports the emergence of transitional care units for late pre-term infants.

Lynley provides feeding education for all staff in the neonatal unit and is passionate about staff education and staff being empowered to support the mothers and babies they care for in achieving their feeding goals. She would like to provide staff education throughout the country through the NZBA and have online resources for staff and family to access.


Lynley is a Lactation Consultant working in the NICU and Starship Children`s Health at ADHB.

She is a Registered General Nurse with a background in Paediatrics and Neonatal Nursing. Lynley has a Post Graduate Certificate in Neonatal Nursing, a Postgraduate Certificate in the Care of the Chronically Ill Child and a Graduate Diploma in Child Health. She is a certified Board Lactation Consultant and has been so for 15 years.

Lynley has held her current position for 14 years. Prior to that, she worked in Neonatal Home care at NICU Starship Children`s Health and Neonatal Homecare and Paediatric Homecare at Counties Manukau.

Lynley is passionate about supporting women and families to nurture their babies in the neonatal units and to support those mums and babies to go home breastfeeding. She feels very strongly about the Neo BFHI Initiative and would like to work with the NZBA to support this initiative throughout New Zealand. She has a very strong focus on maternal infant attachment and supporting mothers and babies to stay together in Neonatal units. She supports the emergence of transitional care units for late pre-term infants.

Lynley provides feeding education for all staff in the neonatal unit and is passionate about staff education and staff being empowered to support the mothers and babies they care for in achieving their feeding goals. She would like to provide staff education throughout the country through the NZBA and have online resources for staff and family to access.


A Staff Photo of Helenmary Walker

Helenmary Walker |Deputy Chairperson

Helenmary has been a midwife for 27 years and has a strong focus of working in Primary Birthing areas. Her present role is Charge Midwife/Manager of Botany Downs Birthing Unit. As the Charge Midwife she has lead the unit to successfully be accredited four times for BFHI. As a result of BFHI accreditation she has a sound knowledge of the standards required and the role of NZBA.

Helenmary is a strong advocate for supporting women to breastfeed and assisting and encouraging midwives and nurses to continually increase their breastfeeding knowledge to support women to successfully breastfeed.

Helenmary has been a lactation consultant since 1999 and continually keeps herself updated.

At the present time she is the Auckland regional chair of NZCOM and a member of the Clinical Quality and Safety Governance group for Counties Manukau DHB. In the past she was a member of the Midwifery Council of NZ from 2003 to 2009.

Helenmary believes that her breastfeeding knowledge, the requirements for BFHI and the roll out of the community initiative, as well as her awareness of political drivers in the health sector, especially around breastfeeding, means she can make a positive contribution to NZBA.


Helenmary has been a midwife for 27 years and has a strong focus of working in Primary Birthing areas. Her present role is Charge Midwife/Manager of Botany Downs Birthing Unit. As the Charge Midwife she has lead the unit to successfully be accredited four times for BFHI. As a result of BFHI accreditation she has a sound knowledge of the standards required and the role of NZBA.

Helenmary is a strong advocate for supporting women to breastfeed and assisting and encouraging midwives and nurses to continually increase their breastfeeding knowledge to support women to successfully breastfeed.

Helenmary has been a lactation consultant since 1999 and continually keeps herself updated.

At the present time she is the Auckland regional chair of NZCOM and a member of the Clinical Quality and Safety Governance group for Counties Manukau DHB. In the past she was a member of the Midwifery Council of NZ from 2003 to 2009.

Helenmary believes that her breastfeeding knowledge, the requirements for BFHI and the roll out of the community initiative, as well as her awareness of political drivers in the health sector, especially around breastfeeding, means she can make a positive contribution to NZBA.


A Staff Photo of Julie Foley

Julie Foley

Julie is the mother of five breastfed children. She became a La Leche Leader (LLL) in 1997, and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in 2009. She also trained as a Peer Counsellor Programme Administrator (PCPA) through LLLNZ. As such she trains women in the Taranaki community as breastfeeding Peer Counsellors.

She is currently employed at Tui Ora in New Plymouth as the Tiaki ūkaipō Breastfeeding Coordinator; a position she has held since the beginning of 2012. As part of this role she chairs a local breastfeeding network which includes members from the Taranaki District Health Board, local LMC midwives and childbirth educators, La Leche League leaders and others interested in breastfeeding. Julie has held a number of positions for LLLNZ and continues to be involved at the local and national level, including supporting leader applicants to complete their training.

Julie is known for her strong passion to protect, promote and support breastfeeding at every opportunity, and follows the ethical standards required of her IBCLC qualification. She has a good understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and is currently completing a Certificate in Public Health through Massey University, which includes papers on advocacy, evaluation, health promotion and research.

In her current employed role Julie is Baby Friendly Community Initiative (BFCI) Coordinator for a group of organisations in Taranaki including Tui Ora, Taranaki La Leche League and Taranaki Plunket. She has also trained as a Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) assessor, and therefore has knowledge of Baby Friendly at both hospital and community level.


Julie is the mother of five breastfed children. She became a La Leche Leader (LLL) in 1997, and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in 2009. She also trained as a Peer Counsellor Programme Administrator (PCPA) through LLLNZ. As such she trains women in the Taranaki community as breastfeeding Peer Counsellors.

She is currently employed at Tui Ora in New Plymouth as the Tiaki ūkaipō Breastfeeding Coordinator; a position she has held since the beginning of 2012. As part of this role she chairs a local breastfeeding network which includes members from the Taranaki District Health Board, local LMC midwives and childbirth educators, La Leche League leaders and others interested in breastfeeding. Julie has held a number of positions for LLLNZ and continues to be involved at the local and national level, including supporting leader applicants to complete their training.

Julie is known for her strong passion to protect, promote and support breastfeeding at every opportunity, and follows the ethical standards required of her IBCLC qualification. She has a good understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and is currently completing a Certificate in Public Health through Massey University, which includes papers on advocacy, evaluation, health promotion and research.

In her current employed role Julie is Baby Friendly Community Initiative (BFCI) Coordinator for a group of organisations in Taranaki including Tui Ora, Taranaki La Leche League and Taranaki Plunket. She has also trained as a Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) assessor, and therefore has knowledge of Baby Friendly at both hospital and community level.


A Staff Photo of Jane O'Malley

Jane O'Malley

Jane O'Malley joined Plunket's leadership team as Chief Nurse in March 2018.

Her appointment follows seven years with the Ministry of Health as Chief Nursing Officer, and prior to that Jane was Director of Nursing and Midwifery for the West Coast District Health Board.

Jane brings a wealth of leadership experience and knowledge to Plunket from her time in the health sector and is highly respected both within Plunket and across the nursing sector for her diverse nursing experience and strategic focus.

As a former president of the New Zealand Nursing Organisation, and a former clinical nurse manager and academic, Jane understands the importance of the role nurses and health workers play in the health of New Zealanders, in particular through early intervention, using modern and innovative nursing practice.

Jane believes that partnerships are a key to the success of the relationship between nurses and whānau. By working together, alongside others in the health and social sectors, Plunket will continue to make the difference of a lifetime by improving health and social outcomes for all New Zealand tamariki and whānau.


Jane O'Malley joined Plunket's leadership team as Chief Nurse in March 2018.

Her appointment follows seven years with the Ministry of Health as Chief Nursing Officer, and prior to that Jane was Director of Nursing and Midwifery for the West Coast District Health Board.

Jane brings a wealth of leadership experience and knowledge to Plunket from her time in the health sector and is highly respected both within Plunket and across the nursing sector for her diverse nursing experience and strategic focus.

As a former president of the New Zealand Nursing Organisation, and a former clinical nurse manager and academic, Jane understands the importance of the role nurses and health workers play in the health of New Zealanders, in particular through early intervention, using modern and innovative nursing practice.

Jane believes that partnerships are a key to the success of the relationship between nurses and whānau. By working together, alongside others in the health and social sectors, Plunket will continue to make the difference of a lifetime by improving health and social outcomes for all New Zealand tamariki and whānau.