The royal Hospital for women foundation

Friends of the Foundation

The Royal’s Friends of the Foundation are deeply passionate about the life-changing and life-saving work undertaken at The Royal and take pride in championing women’s and newborn health.

Alex Cullen

Alex Cullen is the news and sports presenter on the Today Show on Channel 9. Alex grew up on a farm at Coonamble in Northwest NSW and now lives in Sydney with his wife Bonnie, twin daughters Audrey and Evie, and son Max. Audrey and Evie were born premature and spent weeks in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at The Royal. Max was also born at The Royal. Alex is proud to be a Friend of the Foundation.

Deborah Symond-O'Neil

Alongside Harriet Waugh, Deborah proudly co-hosts the annual Ladies Luncheon benefit for The Royal, which has collectively raised more than $1.5m for the Newborn Intensive Care Unit since 2016. Most recently, the 2023 lunch raised an incredible $650,000 which will be put towards the much-needed refurbishment of the NICU in 2024. Deborah is also the Founder and Director of popular Sydney fashion boutique chain, Mode Sportif and is happily married with two young children – Beau and Violet.   

Harriet Waugh

The Ladies Luncheon, a grassroots fundraising initiative, was founded by Harriet in 2016 to give back to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at The Royal. Harriet’s personal experience at the RHW due to pre-eclampsia and the premature birth of her first child inspired enormous gratitude to the hospital and was the inspiration behind the event. The Ladies Luncheon has raised $1.5m since its’ inception and has facilitated numerous equipment purchases along with new models of care. The Ladies Luncheon is regarded as the most exclusive charity lunch in Sydney’s annual fundraising calendar with the 2023 event taking place at the exclusive Nobu, Crown Sydney.

Dr Jana Pittman

Dr. Jana Pittman is a PhD candidate under Dr. Rebecca Deans, exploring Uterus Transplantation in the deceased donor setting. Jana is a board member for The International Society for Uterus Transplant (ISUTx) and a member of the UTx clinical trial teams based at The Royal. Jana was a 2 x World champion and 4 x Commonwealth champion in athletics and the first Australian woman to compete at the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. Outside of her many professional and philanthropic achievements, Jana is also a mother of six children.

Jade Redmond

Jade is passionate about The Royal's world-class medical and trauma-informed care. Jade suffered an ectopic loss in 2020 and delivered her sleeping Angel, Harper Rose in May 2021. Jade was moved by the care she received at The Royal, particularly from the Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) Department. Jade advocates for raising awareness of baby loss and supports others by sharing the rawness of her grief. Jade and her partner Craig welcomed their second daughter, River Rose at The Royal in November 2022.

Kirsty Bryant

Kirsty underwent an emergency hysterectomy after suffering a post-partum haemorrhage in 2021. Kirsty and her mother, Michelle were the first successful uterine transplant patients in Australia, under the care of Dr. Deans at The Royal. Kirsty was able to carry her second baby. Kirsty, Nick, and big sister, Violet were delighted to announce the safe arrival of Australia’s first baby born from a transplanted uterus on the 15th of December, 2023. Kirsty believes that it is the hospital’s leading role in life-changing medical advancements that makes The Royal so uniquely special.

Lisa Seiffert

Lisa’s journey has taken her around the world as an internationally renowned model, gracing the covers of major fashion publications including Australian Vogue. More recently, a diagnosis of breast cancer brought Lisa home to Australia where she received life-saving treatment at The Royal. Lisa’s health battle became a source of inspiration, motivating her to raise awareness about the importance of regular health checks. Lisa remains actively involved in the Royal Hospital for Women Foundation and is currently the leading force behind a new art program - enriching the hospital environment with donated or loaned artwork to uplift the spirits of patients.

Rachael Casella

Rachael suffered a miscarriage and received treatment at The Royal in 2016. Rachael and her husband Jonny welcomed a baby girl Mackenzie in March 2017. Mackenzie was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) at ten weeks old and tragically passed away five months later.Rachael and Jonny struggled through nine rounds of IVF and lost another two babies, before welcoming sons, Izaac in 2021 and Joshua in 2022. “Through our fights, we always knew The Royal was sitting behind us, supporting us. I feel so strongly about the work that The Royal does and the impact it has on so many lives and am so proud to be a Friend of the Foundation”. Rachael is the published author of Mackenzie’s Mission and a passionate and instrumental advocate for genetic carrier screening and IVF.

Sylvia Jeffreys

Sylvia Jeffreys is the co-host of Today Extra and an established journalist within the Nine Network's top-rating news and current affairs team. Sylvia has an appreciation for the life-changing and life-saving work at The Royal. Sylvia is thrilled to be close to the cutting-edge medical and research developments taking place at The Royal. Sylvia is proud to be a Friend of The Foundation and showcase The Royal’s important work. Sylvia Jeffreys is married to fellow journalist Peter Stefanovic and they have two children, Oscar and Henry.

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