Our Managers

Sarah McVeigh
President/Founder

My name is Sarah McVeigh, I am the President of Angel Gowns for Australian Angel Babies and the Victoria Manager.

I am 35 years old and a mother of three premature babies, Jade born at 34.5 weeks, Oscar was born at 27 weeks I am pleased to say he is doing tremendous now he has been weened off his oxygen support and now 3 years old, and Tiana who was born at 34.5 weeks is now 5 yrs old.

After having my son at 27 weeks and enduring the long hard road of 107 days in NICU I saw how this service was needed in Australia, after talking to mothers and families that had lost their baby. Angel Gowns seeded in the USA, by various voluntary groups who create beautiful gowns for babies that have passed away. I contacted Michelle in the USA who kindly shared her patterns so we could carry on this great work and offer this gift to grieving families in Australia.

I now have 200 helper volunteers all around Australia performing roles such as State Managers, Area representatives, jewelry makers, seamstresses and crocheter/knitters; I could not do this without all these beautiful ladies and also the lovely ladies who donate their dresses to our much needed service.

At this time I am spending nearly every second of my time when I am not looking after the kids/family etc but it is all 100 percent worth it. We have received over 6000 wedding gowns so far and many more on their way.

I would like to thank you for your ongoing support and love xx

President Email
Julie Lumsden
Vice President/Operations Manager/Volunteer Recruitment Manager
Hi, I am Julie and I am 53 years old. I live in beautiful Paynesville on the East Gippsland lakes in Victoria.
 
Between my husband and I we have six children (I lost my third child at seven years old), six grandchildren and another on the way. I was an aged care nurse for more than 20 years, retired six years ago and became a foster carer; which I continue to this day. 
 
I joined Angel Gowns for Australian Angel Babies Inc. not long after it started. I joined as an Area Rep. I am a quilter, so didn’t think I could sew the gowns: I was so wrong. I then became a sewer and knitter. I am now also the Volunteer and Recruitment Manager, Operations Manager and Vice President.
 
I am often described as being loving, caring, compassionate, stubborn, determined and passionate. I am very passionate of Angel Gowns for Australian Angel Babies Inc.
Operations Manager EmailVolunteer Recruitment Email
Wendy Jenkins
NSW State Manager/Acting SA State Manager/Angel Freight Manager

Hello everyone, my name is Wendy I’m 52, I’m a widow and a mother to 4 adult children, Chris, Jason, Stephanie and Brandon, 1 daughter in law Peng (who also makes blankets for us) 3 fur babies Rottweilers Coopa, Liah and Buddy, we have another fur baby Rottweiler Brutus but he lives in Tamworth with Stephanie and her partner Corey, 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, I joined as a knitter and crocheter and got to meet some wonderful volunteers, my first get together with some volunteers was at Kate Wooden place, Kate was having a baby shower for one of her friends, but her friend didn’t want a normal baby shower, so we had a deconstruction of wedding gowns. The volunteers there on that day have become very good loving friends, over the years I’ve taken on more roles within the charity. I now look after all our freight and I’m the NSW State Manager, I enjoy the time I spend volunteering and meeting all the wonderful volunteers we have, I really enjoy the face to face time I get to spend with our volunteers....

NSW Email
Ann-Maree Mann
QLD State Manager

"What number pregnancy?" Suddenly I stop. I am in labour for bub number 4. But the answer to the matrons question isn't 4 ... and at this moment of joy I don't want to think about the 3 babies that I never got to hold. At play group the gossip is about the sister who is so annoyingly obsessed with falling pregnant ... no children yet and it's been 4 years, and she complains about the needles n the costs and the routine. I quietly sit, but can not hold my tongue any more ... "Do any of you know what it is like to sit back n watch all your peers have children when you cannot n when you loose every second one or even every one?" They all sit shocked and after my explanation they never again dissed the sister. 23 years later and my 21 year old daughter passes suddenly in November. March 2014, Angel Gowns for Australian Angel Babies Inc posts on FB they want Seamstresses. Just for me I think ... and thank my Angels. I start sewing for AGFAABI and not 2 years later loose my 19 year old son suddenly. Not only do I help New Angel parents, but every day AGFAABI keeps me going forward. Sarah asked me last November if I could step up ... how could I refuse? Now I am Assistant State Manager Queensland and I have joined the Board. I feel so privileged to be part of Sarah's dream to clothe the Angels. I have made many friends and now have my daughter assisting me with State work as well as becoming an Area Rep. For Our Angels Bub 1, 2 n 3, Mary n Michael and Axle.

QLD Email
Kylie Aplin
VIC State Manager

Hi everyone I’m Kylie Aplin and I’m the Victorian State Manager.  I have been with Angel Gowns For Australian Angel Babies since 2014 and have been an area rep for the Latrobe Valley from the start.  I love being part of this wonderful organisation and my roles vary from that of Area Rep, keepsake maker, card maker and knitting volunteer.  I regularly meet up with my Latrobe Valley volunteers and we love to catch up every couple of months where we chat, get together to learn new skills, assist each other in our volunteer roles and generally catch up.  I have a very supportive husband, and 3 gorgeous children and 2 step children.  Aside from Angel Gowns I enjoy cross stitch, fishing, going to the movies, listening to music and tenpin bowling

VIC Email
Jude Vienna-Hallam
TAS State Manager

Hi I'm Jude (52 years old) from Howrah Tasmania. Happily married for 28 years to my gorgeous
husband Geoff and we have 4 beautiful adult children (Krista,Jyeren, and our rainbow daughters
Shelbi and Eboni) also part of our crazy family is our long-term foster daughter Storm. We have also
been very blessed with 2 beautiful grandchildren thanks to our son Jyeren (Lily-Ann and Leonardo).
My children were all born early but have grown into the most amazing adults who I have the
privileged of being their Mum. Krista was born at 35 weeks with a VSD (hole in the back of her
heart). Our son Jyeren was born at 36 weeks (and was a twin, but we sadly lost our beautiful angel,
at 22 weeks). Jyeren was diagnosed with Asperger’s at about 8 years old and sadly his health
issued did not stop here when at 10 years he was diagnosed with a brain tumour which thankfully
could be removed. At the age of 12 years old he suffered a terrible bike accident, which put him into
hospital for a period of time, he also required a double hip replacement before his 15th birthday.
Our middle daughter Shelbi was born at 33 weeks and spent many months in hospital after
contracting whooping cough while in ICU causing her to be resuscitated 16 times but now is a very
talented soccer player in USA and teacher.
Our youngest rainbow daughter Eboni was born at 35 weeks, sadly suffered from epilepsy and
eczema, which meant many trips by ‘Angel Flight’ to Melbourne from Tasmania (Tasmania does not
have a specialized ICU for pediatrics). She now is a currently studying Environmental Science at
Monash University, after completing paramedics.
I work full time as an Ethics Executive Officer in Human Research Ethics at University of Tasmania, in
my spare time, hoping one day for a cure for EVERYTHING!
I cannot wait to be apart of this wonderful family and contribute to these beautiful families who
have gone through the most unthinkable pain.

TAS Email
Jill Emerson-Smith
NT State Manager

Hi everyone, I’m Jill, I live in the NT outback town of Mataranka. I’m married and have 4 grandchildren. I have a background in Defense and Education and have been a quilter, sewer and designer for many years. We moved to the NT in 2014 to be closer to our grandchildren and we love being part of their lives.
While I’m officially retired, I have continued my love of a variety of craft and try my hand at many. I design and sew for an on-line boutique children’s store and I also design and make cloth dolls. I keep busy in our tropical garden and I love being part of our wonderful small community.
I am honoured to be involve with AGFAABI in the NT, we are a small group here and we’re looking forward to contributing further to this wonderful organisation.

NT Email
Sandra Harris
WA State Manager

Hello. I’m Sandra. I’m 48, wife, and mother of 2 adult children. My husband and I, along with our daughter (who is 5th generation) own and run our family farm in the Central Wheat belt of WA.

I discovered Angel Gowns by accident in 2014, and signed on as a seamstress in early 2015. I have since taught myself basic crochet in order to make tiny beanies, booties and blankets to go with the gowns when I need a break from sewing. I took on the WA State Manager Role in April 2019.

I describe myself as a creator. I make all manner of things. I’ve moved through the phase of most crafts over the years, including Acrylic painting, Teddy Bear and toy making, Cross Stitch, Stamping, Scrap-booking and other Paper Arts. I’ve been soap making for about 25 years, and currently enjoying Woodworking. I am also a keen very Genealogist and Gardener. Looking ahead, I’m hoping to eventually learn to weld and produce metal sculpture.

WA Email
Leni Harris
ACT State Manager

Hello. My name is Leni and I am the State Manager for the ACT area. I am 59 years with 4 adult children and 5 beautiful grand children, and 3 fur babies (Dachshunds)

A couple of years ago I fell into an employment ditch and found myself getting pretty depressed. I had worked for 17 years in the disability field and now had too much time on my hands, for reasons I wont bore you with. I thought that I should volunteer my time and give to the community. After trying with a few organizations (I was appalled at the treatment I got) then up pops Angel Gowns on my news feed.

I started as Area representative and now 2 years later I am state manager with a fantastic new team. We are going to make the ACT rock with our seamstresses, knitters/crocheters and keepsake makers.

Angel Gowns is growing from strength to strength and I am honoured to be part of this wonderful charity

ACT Email
Belinda Mostert
Fundraising Manager

My name’s Belinda, I’m 34 years old, married to Corey and mum to 3 kids (Chelsea 14, Jordyn 5 and Preston 2.5) and 2 ginger cats (Skittles and Whiskey). I work from home doing a number of different things, I’m an Independent Bridal Consultant selling custom made wedding and formal dresses, I’m an Independent Phoenix Trader, I’m a Plexus Ambassador and I’m also a Younique Presenter. As well as now being the Fundraising Manager for this fantastic cause. Life gets hectic but hey, that’s half the fun of it.

I decided to jump on board with Angel Gowns for Australian Angel Babies after seeing an advertisement pop up in my newsfeed looking for volunteers. I can’t sew or knit to save myself but the Fundraising Manager role suits me perfectly I’m honoured to be a member of this fantastic organisation and to be working with the other volunteers to get the Angel Gowns to those that need them most.

Fundraising Email
Deb Ruedin
Grants Manager

Hi I’m Deb, married to Noel for 38 years and mother of six gorgeous daughters and Nanna to four
grandsons and 1 grandchild. 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.

 

Grants email
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