Board & Committee

Wendy Jenkins
President, Public Officer

Hello everyone, my name is Wendy I’m 56, I’m a widow and a mother to 4 adult children, Chris, Jason, Stephanie and Brandon, 1 daughter in law Peng (who is married to son Chris), and one gorgeous granddaughter Amelia whose parents are Stephanie and her partner Corey. We have 3 fur babies Rottweilers Brutus, Liah and Buddy, I live in a little country town in the Hunter Valley Area of NSW. I first joined Angel Gowns for Australian Angel Babies Inc, back in July/August 2014 not long after it started, when the group popped up in my newsfeed on Facebook one night, I joined as a knitter and crocheter. I have been very lucky with my pregnancies even carried my twins right up to 37 weeks, before the Dr said "Well that’s it, there’s no more room for these two" and booked me in to be induced.

During my time with the charity, I have taken on some important managerial roles besides my love for knitting and crocheting, I now manage all our freight bookings, watermarking the photos, Recruiting Volunteer Manager, I’m also the Public Officer and Vice President, I’m State Manager for NSW and acting Manager for some other states and there’s always a lot of behind the scenes work that needs to be done. I have learnt so much while doing these roles, things I didn’t know I would need. I love getting to know our volunteers and have formed long lasting friendships and enjoy our daily chats.

My time with Angel Gowns for Australian Angel Babies Inc, is now shared with babysitting my beautiful granddaughter Amelia 3 to 4 times a week, which I thoroughly enjoy, this girl sure knows how to keep her Nan Nan on her toes.

Lyn Gibson
Vice President

Hi my name is Lyn Gibson. I’m a Mum of 3 girls and a grandma to 2 grandsons and 1 granddaughter. One day I was looking at Facebook and came across a post on Angel Gowns. They were looking for people to sew and make angel gowns. I was at a point in my life that I felt I had no purpose and thought this might be what I needed, to be able to help families in such a sad time of their lives. I have always loved to do craft and sew and when my girls had grown up there really wasn’t any need for me to sew. I contacted Angel Gowns and have been a member of this organisation for about 5 years now. Since joining I have not only sewn, I have also made all the other components for the packs and many thank you cards. I have met some lovely ladies through this group and some I’m sure will be lifetime friends which has been an added bonus from joining this group.

Deb Ruedin
Secretary, Grants Manager

Hi I’m Deb, married to Noel for 40 years and mother of six gorgeous daughters and Nanna to four grandsons and 1 granddaughter. I’m one of the fortunate ones to have been blessed with easy pregnancies and births and as my girls have grown older and now independent, I found myself with extra time on my hands. Angel Gowns came across my news feed one day and instantly I was drawn to the cause. It puts life into perspective for me, each time I make a tiny angel gown and think of the heartache for that family I am reminded of what’s truly important in life, and am grateful every day for the health and well being of my family. If my efforts with Angel Gowns can provide a parent with any small comfort at this devastating time then I feel truly honoured to do it.

Heather Partridge

I am 51 and live on the NSW South Coast.

I started volunteering as a seamstress in 2015 as sewing has always been a major hobby. Using my creativity and skills to provide support to families, working with the most beautiful fabrics; I am very lucky to have met up with this group. Coming from an IT and web publishing background in the public service, I soon found I could help in other ways.

Working with such a caring, devoted team of people is so much more fulfilling than I would have imagined, if I had thought to imagine it.

Treasurer Email
Karlene Dillon
Fundraising Manager

I’m a wife to David, mum to Mathew and Christopher and Mammar to our now 7 y/o grandson Xavier. As I creep up to the age where I can get a senior citizens card next year (the big 60) I find the older I become the more joy I get from helping others. I was raised in Warner’s Bay and the belief that it’s always better to give than to receive was deeply instilled in my by my mum and grandma. Volunteering has always been something I have done and found so rewarding, and I feel blessed to be a part of Angel Gowns where we can make the goodbyes of the parents and families just that little bit easier knowing their babies are cared about and look beautiful. I love what we do and am so very proud and honoured to be a part of this.

Jude Vienna-Hallam
Committee Member

As a married (Geoff for 31 years) Mum (Krista, Jyeren, Shelbi, Eboni and Storm) and Nonna (Lily-Ann, Leonardo and Leon-Daniel).   I treasure every moment I have with my family, knowing firsthand the heartache of losing one so small.  I was very overwhelmed to be asked to be a member of the board, as I felt it was such an amazing opportunity to help and support these lovely hardworking ladies, who are always there to help families during these most difficult times and support our hardworking volunteers.

Cassandra Leigh Hollis
Committee Member

I'm a mother of three beautiful boys, Sebastian, 6, a rambunctious wild child with ADHD, Noah 3, also a wild child with epilepsy. I started with Angel Gowns last year after having my third beautiful baby boy Charlie at 40 weeks of my pregnancy. We were unable to bring Charlie home. Angel gowns were there for us with their amazingly beautiful packs. Volunteering with crocheting has helped me through this grieving process.

Di Overton
Committee Member

Hi my name is Dianna but go by Di. I am a retiree and have been married to John for 44 years. We have 5 children and 23 grandchildren including our angels Jane and Konner as well as 3 great grandchildren. When Konner was born with wings at 31 weeks the only clothes his mum and dad could get were teddy bear clothes for him to be buried in, that’s why when I saw the request asking for volunteers I jumped at the chance to become involved to help other families dress their angels in something beautiful.

Wilma Howard Smith
Committee Member

Hi I'm Wilma married to Rodney. Mum to my beautiful daughters Rachelle and Lisa, Grandma to Sarah, Josh, Zayne, Brayden, Rashanna and Great Grandma to Nate and Gabe. I have always had a passion for sewing so when I retired, I found myself looking for something I could channel this passion to. So went searching and Angel Gowns for Australian Angel Babies was the first on the list and I knew I didn't need to look any further. In the 18 months I have been a member of the team I have found everyone very kind and supportive. I am proud to be part of this amazing organisation.

Yvette Jones
Committee Member

Hi, my name’s Yvette. I’m a proud mum of 2 cheeky fur children, I work with seniors, and I joined Angel Gowns in late 2019. At the time, I was running a seniors social group at a community centre and looking for a new project for us to embark on. Many of my female clients were already avid crocheters and when I came across a post from Angel Gowns for Australian Angel Babies looking for volunteers to make blankets for them, I thought “This is perfect!” I proposed the idea to my clients, and they loved it.

Even while in lockdown during the COVID pandemic, I was able to deliver wool to my beloved clients at home who were thrilled to be kept busy contributing to such a meaningful cause. This in turn gave them a great sense of purpose and kept us all connected during a particularly difficult time. Since then, crochet has become my new hobby and I have taught myself to make more advanced items, tried my hand at sewing a few garments and even become the State Manager for AGFAABI ACT. I am so honoured to be part of this wonderful organisation and to now be elected to the board and look forward to assisting with its growth.