LMayesHi-17LOW

New Zealand born, I spent 3 years living in England during my 20’s. Whilst there my husband Chris and I were able to fulfill our sense of adventure by travelling the world. In 2010 we moved to Australia, starting a family soon after.

Having previously worked in Corporate Finance in Auckland, London and Sydney, my life branched off in a different direction after a challenging start to motherhood.

My new journey began when I was asked to speak at a Carers Conference, about my experience of looking after our eldest son born with clubfoot, parenting two children with reflux and managing a painful, high risk second pregnancy. The opportunity to share my story un-masked a deep desire to make a difference in the world of parents who are struggling, overwhelmed or feeling alone, and soon led to me writing my first book  ‘Trust Your Melody’. I didn’t know at the time that there were more challenges to come. It was later discovered that our second son has a partial duplication of chromosome 21, and a neurological disorder affecting the motor planning of his speech.

For me, one of the greatest blessings of parenting so far has been the way in which my life has been directed to new beginnings. Along with publishing ‘Trust Your Melody’, I also completed my Life Coaching accreditation through ‘The Coaching Institute’ in Melbourne, wrote and facilitated Creative Writing courses, and have mentored aspiring authors.

During the most intensive years of our son’s clubfoot treatment, I was on the organisational team of volunteers who run the not-for-profit support group, Aussie Clubfoot Kids. This allowed me to contribute back to a community very close to my heart. It also created the opportunity for me to lead a project with the ambitious goal of obtaining clubfoot treatment for a little boy living in a poverty stricken village in Paraguay. Partnered with miraclefeet in America, we not only achieved that goal but also fund-raised enough to support the opening of a further 3 clubfoot clinics in Nepal. Check out Channel Seven’s ‘Sunday Night’ story about Tobias and his feet, which was later named one of the Top Five Most Powerful stories of 2016.

Not only has the work been incredibly rewarding on a personal level, but I was also honoured to be nominated for the ‘Hidden Local Hero’s People Choice award in 2016. After being selected as a finalist by a panel of judges, I was thrilled to finished 7th in Australia.

Among child wrangling and escaping to our little family caravan on Sydney’s south coast, you can currently find me scribbling in notebooks or taping on my keyboard as I piece together my second book, tentatively titled ‘One Boy’.