Growing Queer Families Alliance


The Growing Queer Families Alliance was established in 2021 to ensure that CRE HiPP is inclusive of all women and people who experience pregnancy. Our goal is to co-design evidence-based information, supports and resources for, and with, the LGBTIQA+ community.

In particular, we want to celebrate the experiences of conception, pregnancy and birth for the LGBTQA+ community, celebrate the important work of midwives and doctors in supporting this community, and deepen our understanding of reproductive and lifestyle health during these life phases to inform policy and practice.

For more information or to get involved please contact Jacob Thomas at

Meet the Alliance


Jacob Thomas

Jacob Thomas (they/them) is one of Australia’s most prominent leaders in sexual orientation and gender identity. They are currently undertaking their PhD in the School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine at Monash University’s Health and Social Care Unit. Jacob is a key advisor on LGBTIQA+ community needs, while teaching and researching the needs of LGBTIQA+ youth. In their spare time Jacob is an advisor to the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, chief advisor to Pride Academy, clothing designer and drag artist.

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Jess Permezel

Jess Permezel is a Research Fellow in the Health and Social Care Unit, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University. She is also a Midwife and Childbirth Educator.

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Amelia Arnold

Amelia Arnold is a cisgender bisexual woman (she/her) and works as a trainer, facilitator, researcher and consultant in areas involving mental health, reproductive health, fertility and LGBTIQA+ topics.

Amelia works with Rainbow Health Victoria - the LGBTIQA+ research translation and training arm of La Trobe University's Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS). Here she coordinates projects within the Capacity Building and Training team, and delivers training to health and human service organisations looking to increase their capacity to deliver safer and affirming services to LGBTIQA+ communities.

Amelia is also available for consultation through her consultancy Queer Health Collaborations, where she works with health services to increase their literacy on LGBTIQA+ reproductive health and fertility, LGBTIQA+ mental health, and LGBTIQA+ diversity and inclusion. 

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Dr Ruth McNair AM

Dr Ruth McNair AM is an Honorary Associate Professor at the Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne and a general practitioner at an inner-Melbourne general practice. She has clinical and research interests in lesbian and bisexual women’s mental health, sexual health, LGBT parenting, trans and gender diverse affirmation ,and LGBT health care and homelessness. She became a Member of the Order of Australia in 2019 for significant service to medicine and as an advocate for the LGBTI community.

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Dr Rhonda Brown

Dr Rhonda Brown is a Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Nursing & Midwifery, Faculty of Health at Deakin University.

Her research primarily focuses on the physical and mental health outcomes of people of diverse sexuality. She conducts research of cancer risk factors among non-heterosexual women, the relationships between hazardous drinking and depression and anxiety in lesbian and bi-sexual women as well as the work/life balance and resilience in same-sex parented families. Dr Brown is interested in developing strategies and interventions that promote the health and address the physical and mental health disparities among marginalised population groups.

She is also a Counsellor and Family Therapist at Northside Clinic.

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Professor Helen Skouteris

Helen Skouteris is the Monash Warwick Alliance Joint Professor of Health and Social Care Improvement and Implementation Science, Head of the Health and Social Care Unit, and Co-Lead of the Division of Evidence Synthesis, Qualitative and Implementation Methods, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University. Helen is also Director of the National Health and Medical Research Council Centre of Research Excellence in Health in Preconception and Pregnancy (CRE HiPP 2020-2024).

Helen has a strong track record in longitudinal multi-factorial research, randomised controlled trials, implementation research and higher degree research supervision. Her research since 2010 has been predominantly focused on building agency/capacity in the consumer to promote health and wellbeing across preconception, pregnancy, preschool, and childhood, including adolescence, to reduce the prevalence of obesity. Her work has also been focused extensively on social service and educational sector improvement that translates to better health outcomes for children, young people, adults and families and is critical to transforming policy across these sectors.

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This article in Health Times is relevant to the Growing Queer Families Alliance's mission: 
Are you providing LGBTQIA inclusive health care?