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Gidget Foundation Australia appoints Emma Maple-Brown as newest Board Director

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Gidget Foundation Australia

Gidget Foundation Australia announces the appointment of corporate and pro bono lawyer Emma Maple-Brown GAICD, as Non-Executive Director of the Board.

Emma’s appointment will add specialist expertise to the skilled and passionate board which is creating opportunities for crucial mental health support for expectant and new Australian parents. 

As a leading pro bono lawyer, Emma’s experience ranges from defamation law through to her most recent role as Director of the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous UNSW, Professor Megan Davis following a secondment at the Indigenous Law Centre at UNSW. 

During her time at UNSW, Emma worked closely with Pat Anderson AO and Professor Megan Davis at the Uluru Dialogue following the gift of the Uluru Statement from the Heart to the Australian people in May 2017.  

“I was honoured to work at UNSW and alongside the Indigenous Law Centre (ILC) following the work that has been done over many years to address Indigenous disadvantage and inequality in Australia,” said Maple-Brown. 

Emma has continued to support work being done to progress the Uluru Statement from the Heart and its call for all Australians to walk together to build a future. 

“Emma has significant expertise and experience in corporate governance, access to justice, working with First Nations people, fundraising and philanthropy, and we are thrilled to have Emma’s knowledge at the table,” said Chairperson Simone Short, Gidget Foundation Australia. 

Prior to her roles at UNSW, Emma led and managed the Australian Pro Bono practice of Herbert Smith Freehills, a leading global commercial law firm. Emma has over 20 years experience as a lawyer working with and supporting a diverse range of pro bono clients including not-for-profit entities, charities, social enterprises, and vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals. 

“As a mother of four, I know firsthand just how important emotional wellbeing is for parents. To be joining the Board of Gidget Foundation Australia is an honour. I am excited for the opportunity to collaborate with a team of varied and experienced leaders and help drive the Foundation’s national expansion forward.” 

The appointment comes following the NSW Government pledge of $10,000 towards funding an innovative platform that will provide specialist perinatal mental health training across the allied health, nursing and midwifery sectors. The bespoke training program will allow those in rural and remote areas to understand better and support expectant and new parents living with perinatal depression and anxiety. 

“Emma’s work with First Nations communities, and in the pro bono and legal sectors will be an incredible addition to our strategic leadership as we prepare to expand across central and western states,” said Arabella Gibson, Gidget Foundation CEO.  

“The $10,000 pledge from the NSW Government to enable more healthcare practitioners to access specialist perinatal mental health training, will be a major development for both our organisation and the sector. I am looking forward to working alongside our Board as we continue our growth as the National leading provider of perinatal mental health services.” 

Parents who are struggling can visit their GP for a referral to access Gidget Foundation Australia’s free face-to-face or telehealth counselling services, with short wait times. 

For Australians wanting to learn more about PNDA or hear stories of those with lived experience, head to to listen to 1 in 5 mothers, 1 in 10 fathers, a new podcast created by the Foundation. 

Related: Featured Leader: Arabella Gibson on demand for perinatal mental health services

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.


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