LLLNZ Professional Advisory Group

The Professional Advisory Group consists of selected members of the health, science, legal and business professions. The members are selected for their commitment to breastfeeding, their desire to support La Leche League, and their prominence in their professional field. They are invited to assist the work of La Leche League New Zealand in a volunteer, advisory capacity.

Alison Barrett BSc, IBCLC, MD, FRCS, FRANZOG – Obstetrician recently returned from Ontario, Canada and settled back in Hamilton – International speaker

Carol Bartle RN, RM, PGDip Child Advocacy, Masters Health Sciences, MNZM, Policy Analyst NZ College of Midwives and International Speaker

Judith Galtry DipWomensStud, BA, PhD – Researcher

Selene Mize (Bachelor of Science), JD (Juris Doctor) – Associate Professor in Law, Otago University

Kath Ryan BPharm, PhD, MPS – 1998 PhD, University of Otago; 1990 – 2000 International Board Certified Lactation Consultant; 1974 Bachelor of Pharmacy, University of Otago

Janet Weber BS, MS, PhD – Lecturer Food and Nutrition, Massey University

Dr. Leila Masson MD, MPH, DTMH, IBCLC, FRACP – Consultant Paediatrician, Auckland

Dr Yvonne Le Fort MD,  FRNZCGP, FCFP (Canada), IBCLC – General Practitioner, Auckland

Alison Barrett

Alison Barrett

Alison has 20+ years experience in women’s health. Alison has worked as a lactation consultant and a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist in Canada and New Zealand.

Prior to medical school, she obtained a biology degree and was a researcher in the fields of ecology and biological sciences.

She has been a peer reviewer for the Journal of Paediatrics and the RANZCOG Journal. Alison was a member of the National Breastfeeding Advisory Committee for the New Zealand Ministry of Health and the Infant Feeding Advisory Group for Health Canada, is a member of the La Leche League NZ Board of Consultants and is a La Leche League Leader.

Carol Bartle

RN, RM, PGDip Child Advocacy, Masters Health Sciences, MNZM, Policy Analyst NZ College of Midwives and International Speaker

Currently Carol is working as a policy analyst at the New Zealand College of Midwives. As part of this role Carol provides education / information about breastfeeding and infant feeding and writes specialist articles on breastfeeding in the College publication Midwife Aotearoa.

Carol’s major interests include breastfeeding and infant feeding politics, NICU infant feeding issues, mother-to-mother peer counselling, community support for breastfeeding, infant feeding in emergencies and mothers and babies in prison.

Carol has a background in nursing, midwifery, education and lactation consultancy. Carol has a post graduate diploma in Child Advocacy and a Masters of Health Sciences from the University of Otago. She was also a member of the New Zealand National Breastfeeding Committee.

Carol has over twenty years’ experience working in neonatal intensive care units and her research thesis explores mothers’ experiences of initiating lactation and establishing breastfeeding in this environment. Carol is also a BFHI assessor.

Dr Yvonne LeFort


“When my son was born in New Zealand in 1993 I experienced many challenges, especially regarding breastfeeding. When I went to my Ob/GYN I was told to wean him and given bromocryptine. I took the “magic cure“ and stopped breastfeeding at 9 weeks, had what I now know was likely a RIND, nearly dropped my new baby and went into months of post-partum depression!
When my second son was born in 1997 in Canada it was a different story. I was determined to breastfeed! I met my first ever lactation consultant, whom I still consider an angel. She adjusted our latch and the rest is history – no depression and when he finally weaned it was on our own terms.

I was privileged to work with Dr Evelyn Jain in Calgary for almost 2 years in her breastfeeding clinic in Calgary. The experience fuelled my interest and when we relocated to Auckland in 2001 I sought out local lactation consultants and worked towards being board certified.

In 2001 I became the first practicing doctor in New Zealand to become an IBCLC. In 2002 I met Dr Mira Leibovich from Israel and through her joined the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine and La Leche League recognising both these organizations as pivotal in keeping knowledge up to date.

I feel sad that we need such structures and educational programs to preserve what should be a normal part of our society, but am happy to be able to gain knowledge and to have the opportunity to share this information as part of the care I offer to families.

I feel privileged to enter into a very personal aspect of the lives of parents and babies and always remember the angel who saved my breastfeeding relationship with my second son.”

Dr Leila Masson


I graduated Medical School in Germany and went immediately to Pakistan to set up a health centre in a village with no electricity or running water. Simple interventions, like teaching hygiene and supporting breastfeeding had the biggest impact on village health. I met a mother with twins – she had chosen to breastfeed the boy, but not the girl (in line with local values) and the result was shocking: the boy was thriving, while the girl was dying of malnutrition. I managed to convince the mother to breastfeed both children and within a few months, the girl changed dramatically. This made a huge impression on me, and on the mothers in the village, who from then breastfed 100 percent of their babies into their second or third year.

During my paediatric residency at the University of California, San Francisco, I had the benefit of a supervisor who strongly supported breastfeeding, and encouraged me to learn about the science of lactation. When I had my son, Ilan, I had become a spokesperson for extended breastfeeding, which was not the norm in the US. When my second son Manu was born five years later in NZ, I attended LLL meetings, became an LC, and a member of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.

It was not easy to find like-minded mothers but fortunately New Zealand has made great progress in making breastfeeding the norm. La Leche League has played a vital role in this.

In my paediatric practice in Auckland I am confident that the best start to a healthy life is by being exclusively breastfed for six months, then continuing to breastfeed for at least two years – my two extremely healthy, intelligent, and sweet sons, were both fed beyond that age, but they won’t allow me to say how long!

Judith Galtry

DipWomensStud BA PhD

Judith is an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Economic Research on Health at the Australian National University with a particular interest in policies and practices that support child and maternal health, particularly with regards to employment and childcare contexts.

Judith has been a policy advisor for the New Zealand Human Rights Commission, a research fellow at Cornell University NY. and was commissioned by the World Health Organisation and UNICEF to prepare and present a research paper on breastfeeding and women’s employment. Judith developed guidelines for breastfeeding-friendly workplaces and childcare centres in New Zealand. Her work has been published extensively both in New Zealand and internationally.

Selene Mize

(Bachelor of Science), JD (Juris Doctor) – Associate Professor in Law, Otago University

“My mother was a Leader in Illinois, USA, and I remember attending a LLL picnic as a young child in the early 1960s. She continued on in both local and national roles with LLL. There was never any doubt in my mind that I would breastfeed my own children.

Fast forward to the mid-1980’s when I came to New Zealand as a tourist and was offered a job teaching law at the University of Otago. I was also a scuba diving instructor and met my future husband Kelvin at a local diving club. We have two wonderful daughters, Rachel and Helen.

I became a Leader just before Helen was born. I led meetings for two Dunedin groups for several years, until it was time to move on. More recently, my role with LLL has been limited to writing for Mosaic.

Amongst other things I have enjoyed writing an article for New Beginnings on parenting babies who confuse night and day which was published in both New Zealand and the US, and even translated into Portuguese!

I have loved being able to spend time and share ideas with the like-minded, capable and caring women who are involved with LLL.”

[our_team style=”circle” image=”889″ subtitle=”Kath Ryan” blockquote=”Kath is the mother of two adult children and became involved with LLLNZ in 1977. She became a Leader in 1980 and served as Area V Professional Liaison Leader and Professional Liaison Consultant on the LLLNZ Board. She was a Lactation Consultant from 1990- 2000. Kath completed her PhD on NZ women’s experiences of breastfeeding in 1998. She is a member of the LLLI Health Advisory Council’s Professional Advisory Board.
Kath is a New Zealand registered pharmacist with a background in community pharmacy, pharmacy practice education and healthcare research in pharmacy, nursing and midwifery. She is an Associate Professor and Research Director in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Health Sciences at La Trobe University, Melbourne. She has worked at Bournemouth University, UK and the University of Otago, NZ. Kath’s research interests include women’s and children’s health; infant feeding and peer support; use and safety of medicines and recreational drugs in pregnancy and breastfeeding; personal experiences of health and illness; qualitative research methods and the use of narratives in health research. Kath’s recent work, undertaken in collaboration with the health experiences research group at the University of Oxford, includes UK women’s experiences of breastfeeding, available on http://healthtalkonline.org/”]BPharm, PhD, MPS[/our_team]