AMBA Appreciation Award Winners 2023

The AMBA Appreciation Awards program was established to acknowledge AMBA members’ valued contributions and introduce dedicated, creative and innovative individuals and clubs to their peers on a national level. The awards promote teamwork and recognise activities that increase the profile of AMBA within local and national communities.

2023 Winners

Cathryn Zischke – Ipswich MBA - Service Award


Cathryn joined Ipswich MBA in 2011, a few months prior to the birth of her twins and has actively continued to volunteer since joining her local committee.

Cathryn through her commitment in service is demonstrated in many roles that include local club from secretary to President at Ipswich, President and Secretary at AMBA Queensland and the National AMBA Board.

Cathryn joined the Board of DIrectors in 2016 and manages the AMBA’s finances with care and capability, while also supporting the board with many other projects and as always being able to guide AMBA with her drive and expertise.

Helen Jonker – Ipswich MBA - Service Award

Helen has been a steadfast member of the Ipswich committee since joining the club in 2011 and has held executive roles for the majority of those years, including president, and has recently been re-elected as president after only one year "off" as secretary.

Helen has shown her unwavering dedication to the club has allowed IMBA to continue running, even though volunteers are hard to come by.

The committee truly believes that without Helen, the club would have folded but through her constant engagement and support Ipswich MBA continues to support local families.

Joanne O’Keefe – Nepean MBA - Service Award

Joanne has been an integral volunteer of the Nepean Multiple Birth Association for the past 10 years and held many roles at a local and state level before joining the National AMBA Board.

One of Joanne’s highlights was in 2018 she represented AMBA NSW at a state parliament inquest into support for families.

Throughout Joanne’s volunteering career she has held many positions which include the AMBA NSW in the roles of the special needs coordinator and President and Board of Director.

Joanne joined the Board of DIrectors in 2019 in the role of club service’s and also supporting the board with many other projects.

Katrina Protze – Northern Beaches MBC – Local Award

Katrina has been a vital support to her local club at Northern Beaches MBSW and has held many roles including President.

Katrina in volunteering capacity continues to support the board in an advisory role, with an aim of improving breastfeeding education and support for the entire multiple birth community.

Fiona Lally – Eastern Area & Diamond Valley MBA – National Award

Fiona has been a fundamental support to the AMBA community and has volunteered at her local and state level before joining the National AMBA Board.

Fiona led the way into delivering AMBA’s first ever multiple birth symposium for health professionals in 2022 and took educational reach beyond members, to professionals including maternal child health nurses, NICU nurses, midwives and GPs.

Through Fiona’s drive and dedication she secured CPD certification from the Australian College of Midwives for the program.


Silje Andersen Cooke – Inner West MBA – Inspire Action - Pat Stewart Award

Silje joined the AMBA Board in 2022 as a Board Member and during this time she has pathed the way in her advocacy work for the AMBA community.

Silje's drive and determination has developed and delivered a government engagement strategy for AMBA and formulated a strategy which included commissioning Per Capita to develop a report which examined the needs of multiple birth families.

Through Silje dedication she has worked tirelessly to form relationships with media, politicians and government departments that will ultimately improve the outcomes for multiple birth families.