Carol has been nominated for our 2013 Premmie Hero Volunteer Awards.
Carol has volunteered her time and expertise for more than a decade in the premature birth community. She has produced Premiepress (a publication for parents and professionals touched by prematurity) for 14 years and continues to support families on a daily basis.
With a professional background as a senior researcher and neuropsychologist, Carol gives her time and expertise voluntarily not only in producing Premiepress, but through counselling, and sharing her knowledge of neuropsychology, developmental psychology and premature baby psychology. She advocates for families in that there is a lot of psychological (and other discipline) knowledge that tells us about how premmies develop and what helps and what does not help.
As she eases into retirement, Carol has in fact increased her voluntary work and dedication to assisting prems and their families. This continued commitment has been demonstrated by Carol’s key role as a co-founder in establishing the Melbourne based not-for-profit organisation, ‘ReadyStepGrow – Proactive Pathways for Prems’ and leads a team of professional volunteers, like herself, through enriching early learning and development for babies born preterm or sick.
Carol is constantly seeking evidence-based ways to help our precious premmies and their even more precious parents. She is passionate about getting the knowledge and practices out to parents who may be helped by knowing the science of how to help their prematurely-born baby. Parents are the architects of their babies’ brains and Carol seeks to support them in every way possible.
The studies of neonatology and premature-child development have been dominated by the “medical model” which assumes a direct relationship between the early birth and later learning and behavioural problems in premmies. Carol brought the science of parenting, the neurophysiological effects of stress on both parents and babies, and attachment theory into the mix of factors that affect families of premmies. Her writing in Premiepress seeks to help parents understand that biology is not always, and never completely, destiny, that they need to look after themselves to be able to look after their child, who more than most, need the best parenting for optimal development.
Carol believes that her invaluable voluntary contributions within the premmie community over the past decade are simply ‘a labour of love’.
If you know a premmie hero who volunteers their time in the community, make sure that you nominate them today!