AMBA Board of Directors
The AMBA Board of Directors is a hybrid model of a typical board and an executive management team, known as a working board. AMBA's federated member-club model requires our board to take on all roles of providing leadership and strategy, setting and maintaining vision, mission and values and ensuring compliance with governing documents.
AMBA has more than the average number of directors due to our hybrid model and broad areas of responsibility. Directors make both strategic and operational decisions, with some directors focused purely on management activity such as communicating expectations to our member-clubs and volunteers; managing day-to-day operations and program implementation.
All AMBA Directors are members of their local club and are volunteers. The current Directors of the Board are Larrissa Jordan (Chair), Cathryn Zischke, Hannah Jarman,Chemille Warren, Laura Wilson, Joanne O'Keefe, Maria Critti-Schnaars,Daila Mohr, Julia McCarthy, Silje Anderson-Cooke.
Larissa Jordan | Director since 2017, Chairperson since 2021
Larissa is a mother to 9 year old fraternal triplets who were born at 26 weeks gestation and spent 5 months in the hospital. She held the role of club president of the Diamond Valley Multiple Birth Association for 6 years. Larissa holds a bachelor’s degree in Primary and Adult Education and works as a primary school teacher in the northern suburbs of Melbourne.
Cathryn Zischke | Director since 2015
Cathryn is a mother to 11 year old fraternal twins and a 13 year old singleton. She joined her local AMBA club in Ipswich when she found out she was expecting twins and has been a keen volunteer ever since. Cathryn holds a Bachelor of Science (Biology) and currently manages her family transport business.
Maria Critti-Schnaars | Director since 2013
Maria is a mother to 24 year old fraternal triplets. A second generation immigrant, Maria joined her local club when she found out she was expecting triplets. With over 20 years of experience in AMBA, she is a valuable and experienced asset to the board.
Due to having married a Nyoongar man, she has learned how to support and advocate for her children as they experience life as Indigenous people in this country.
Maria also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Social Sciences) from Curtin University.
Daila Mohr | Director since 2015
Daila is a mother to 14 year old identical twin daughters and 15 year old singleton. Due to her husband’s work in the Defence Force, Daila’s family moves regularly and has been members of 5 multiple birth clubs across South Australia, New South Wales and Western Australia.
Daila has recently re-entered the workforce after more than fifteen years as a stay-at-home parent to her twins and their older sister.
Joanne O’Keefe | Director since 2019
Joanne is a mum of four girls, with her youngest being 10 year old twins. She joined Nepean Multiple Birth Association in 2013 and has since held numerous positions, including club president.
Joanne holds a Diploma in Leadership and Management and held senior roles in Injury Management and Wellbeing and Safety for a NSW Government Agency for many years. She is also a qualified Mental Health First Aider and Peer Support Officer.
Julia McCarthy | Director since 2021
Julia is a mother to 9 year old fraternal twins and older singleton. She joined the Frankston Peninsula MBA in 2014 while expecting twins, then took on a committee role in 2016.
Julia has lived experience of perinatal anxiety and depression and is an advocate for better support for families as they navigate early parenthood.
Julia currently works for Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) as a peer support practitioner. Prior to this Julia had a long career in marketing in the financial services sector.
Silje Andersen-Cooke | Director since 2022
Silje is a member of Canberra Multiple Birth Association and a parent of 2 year old triplets and a 4 year old singleton. Silje joined the AMBA board when her triplets were just 8 months old. Silje is an experienced legal and communications professional. She has previously worked in public policy and communications roles before practising commercial law.
Chemille Warren | Director since 2022
Chemille is a mum to 6 year old fraternal twins and two older singletons.
Chemille has lived experience of being a culturally diverse single mum of four, with an economically adverse background.
Chemille has a Bachelor of Business Administration and is currently completing a Master of Business Administration at the University of Southern Queensland. After 12 years as a stay-at-home mum, Chemille returned to paid employment in 2021 as an Australian Public Servant working within Fraud and Compliance in the Social Services Portfolio.
Laura Wilson | Director since 2023
Laura has two year old fraternal twins and is a proud Wiradjuri woman. She has held roles with the Newcastle Multiple Birth Club as Vice-President, Social Media Coordinator and Playgroup Coordinator.
Laura is a marketing and communications professional.
Hannah Jarman | Director since 2023
Hannah is a mother to 2 year old twin boys. She joined the North West Sydney Multiple Birth Association and quickly took on a volunteer committee role.
Hannah has a professional background in customer service and administration.
AMBA Patron - Professor Jeffrey M Craig
Professor Jeffrey Craig earned his genetics degrees in Manchester and Edinburgh, UK, and further honed his teaching skills at Deakin University. Since 2017, he has been a key researcher and educator at IMPACT, the Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation, at Deakin University's School of Medicine in Geelong, Victoria. Prior to this, he spent two decades at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne.
Dr. Craig's primary research interest is in identifying health markers through cellular and genetic studies. He specializes in epigenetics, which involves the molecular "dimmer switches" that activate or deactivate our genes. He is particularly intrigued by how early life experiences can influence long-term health via epigenetic changes.
In 2007, Dr. Craig was part of a trio that initiated a research project involving mothers pregnant with twins. The team followed these families until the twins reached 18 months, collecting a variety of biological samples along the way. He has since secured funding to revisit these twins at ages 6 and 11, focusing on areas like oral health, growth, obesity, and brain health.
Through his collaboration with former AMBA patron Mark Umstad, Dr. Craig gained valuable insights into the complexities of twin pregnancies. His research has revealed numerous ways twins can differ from each other, including at the epigenetic level.
Listening to twins and their parents has enriched Dr. Craig's research and ignited his passion for advocating for multiple-birth families. This has led to roles at Twins Research Australia, the International Society for Twin Studies, and most recently, AMBA.
Past AMBA Patron 2010 - 2023 Professor Mark P. Umstad AM
Professor Mark Umstad trained at the Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne and at the Queen Mother's Hospital in Glasgow where he completed his doctorate thesis (MD) in the area of intrapartum fetal monitoring.
In 1997 he established Australia's first Multiple Pregnancy Clinic at RWH.
He is currently the Director of Maternity Services at RWH, a Professor in the University of Melbourne, and the Patron of the Australian Multiple Birth Association.
He is on the Editorial Board of Twin Research and Human Genetics and has published widely in the area of multiple pregnancy. He has managed many sets of higher order multiple pregnancies and over 2,000 twin pregnancies.
In 2018 Mark was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to complex obstetrics as a clinician and academic.