Brooke Maree is a babywearing educator, consultant, and retailer based in Brisbane Australia.
As a new mum at 20, she soon found her way to babywearing, starting with a simple stretchy wrap. She loved how it felt “just right” and instinctive to carry her babies close. From there, Brooke found her calling: babywearing! And within a few months, she started her own babywearing business to help parents, caregivers, and little ones experience the same feeling of safety, love, and security.
Brooke became a Kangatraining instructor in 2015 and trained as a babywearing consultant with Die Trageschule Dresden Babywearing School in 2016. She also has a Certificate 3 in Fitness and specified Prenatal Training.
She’s filmed hundreds of tutorial videos with her two children (and small collection of demo dolls) to help educate parents and caregivers around the world. Brooke has a loyal following of close to 10,000 on Facebook and over 5,000 on Instagram, and regularly shares her babywearing knowledge and experiences via Q&As and live chats.
Since 2015, Brooke has helped thousands of parents and health professionals through private consultations, group workshops, and her online babywearing store, which stocks a range of local and global brands.
Kellie Rakich is a Hobart-based babywearing expert and the founder of Australia’s leading manufacturer of baby carriers.
Her first memory of babywearing was when she saw a sling at Fremantle markets as a young adult, and she realised she wanted to do that with her own baby one day. And so, 11 years ago, when she had her first child, Kellie wore him from birth, and has been deeply involved in the Australian babywearing community ever since. After trying out the full range of baby carrier types, she became interested in the textiles used on carriers. So she got a loom (then another one… and another one) and began hand weaving.
In 2014, Kellie co-founded Ankalia, the first company to design and manufacture woven wraps, ring slings, and structured carriers in Australia.
Coming up to 7+ years running a successful company, Kellie has seen a lot of companies come and go, grown through issues like market saturation, and built a wealth of industry knowledge. She’s well acquainted with global safety guidelines and practices, and has been through testing and certification processes, including ASTM testing. Kellie has trained through both the UK and Canadian Babywearing Schools, has run local carrier meets since 2013, and with a consulting background in the disability sector, she has an interest in special needs wearing.
Owning a baby carrier has grown in popularity over recent years, with dozens of new brands introduced into the market locally in Australia and nationally around the world. More styles, more innovation, and more parents enjoying the benefits of using these carriers, wraps, and slings.
As passionate baby carrier professionals since 2014, Brooke and Kellie both hold big visions and hopes for the future of babywearing in Australia. Over the last few years, it has become increasingly clear to both (and many others in the industry) that Australia needs a national organisation with a united voice for babywearing safety and advocacy.
When Brooke and Kellie connected online in late 2019, it soon became clear that they were on the same page, with the same enthusiasm and commitment to babywearing in Australia. And so, in 2020, they joined forces to launch The Australian Babywearing Association, with the long-term vision of empowering Australia to carry the next generation.
As Australia’s peak body for babywearing education and advocacy, we provide industry leading education and advice on babywearing safety and best practice. We do this through online training and resources, in-person workshops, and community support.
We know that children who experience secure attachments grow to be confident and kind adults. That’s why babywearing is an investment in the whole well-being of a community, both now and into the future.
We welcome all perinatal health providers, parents, and organisations to be part of our vision – share the babywearing guidelines, implement the resources, and spread the word.