Marea Ryan – A Fifteen Year Journey

Jun 10, 2022

21st December – Marea Ryan, Founder & former Director /CEO of Mothers Milk Bank Charity in Australia has completed her 15-year journey with the charity.

Marea’s vision to see a national network safe donor mother’s milk become available for babies in need is to be realised.

It all started 2005, when funds were raised by the community to provide a baby named “Ty” with pasteurized donor mothers milk. Ty’s mother had a medical condition that resulted in expression of only 30mls a day.

Ty was given every cow’s milk formula but experienced pain and vomited after each feed. Providing safe donor breast milk for babies in such need was evident.

Marea established a purpose-built milk bank facility in 2009, following the extensive fundraising efforts from all sections of the community.

To Ty’s pediatrician, Dr David McMaster and his wife Cheryl. David and Cheryl’s support helped to start the milk bank with the making of the DVD ‘What is Mothers Milk Bank’ & a documentary on the role of the arts in support of MMB.

A special mention of George Doniger, his Currumbin to Cairns bike ride at age 68, riding 100kms a day for 17 days and to the business community financial donations at the “White Shirt “ lunch day.

In 2013 the Mothers Milk Bank was registered as a “Health Promotion” Charity in Queensland, Australia.

The charity’s purpose is to screen and collect donor breast milk then supply pasteurized mothers’ milk to babies, whose nutritional health needs are not being met. All babies have a right to healthy food and ONLY breast milk can do this.

“Thank You”

A heartfelt “Thank You” to all the inspirational members of the community for supporting the Mothers Milk Bank tirelessly over the last 15 years.

A special mention of the Lion’s Clubs, who have been supporting the milk bank from 2005-2020.

Thank you to sponsor Sullivan and Nicolaides Pathology 2005-2020.

The amazing Kelly West – Midwife, Director and my constant support for over 10 years has injected such heart into the charity and it’s purpose.

My dear friend and colleague Kelly Simpson at and I set up the Mothers Milk Bank website way back in 2005 and this friendship and partnership is ongoing into the future.

There is this beauty in our culture to give to help others in need.

In gathering the support needed to reach Australians and tell our story, a plethora of beautiful artists gave their time, creative selves and worked to bring awareness of the need to have mother’s milk available for any baby in need. Some of our amazing artists include Zardi, Kacey Patrick, Nadia Sunde, Jack O’Leary, Marcia Howard, Xavier Rudd and many more artists, too many to individually name. In her role as a midwifery parent educator, Marea is an advocate for the benefits of music as an art form and is to be cherished. Twelve weeks before birth, music plays a role in stimulating brain development and memory. After Birth stories, song and music are a universal language and listening has lifelong benefits.

And to our Donor Mothers. The intrinsic beauty of donor mothers who go the extra effort to give their milk, so other babies have healthy food and supporting a family in need.

“How special is our Australian community working together, many babies’ lives have been saved, health outcomes improved along with relieving the stress for the parents in need.”

July 2019 Professor Richard Banati became a MMB Director/ Chairpersonwhile Lynne Hall IBCLC & Co Founder of the Australian Breast Milk Bank joined the supporters of the Mothers Milk Bank Charity and Lynne has been mentored by Marea. Lynne Hall is now taking on the role of Director of the Mothers’ Milk Bank Charity, and will oversee the implementation of the national network of milk bank sites, making healthy food available for any baby in need.

IIn 2021 Marea will continue her passion as an advocate of the human milk emergency reserve and the prevention of the complications of diabetes with “The Ruby Hunter Project” as an independent consultant to the charity.

A project close to her heart with more than 770 babies each week are at risk, it is such a worthy health prevention program.

Marea’s Lactation consultancy will be providing educational support to midwives, health professionals new to milk banking, and to breastfeeding mothers who experience the challenges of breastfeeding in the early weeks after birth. Preparation for parenthood education program will continue online. Contact: for any further information.

“Best wishes for the ongoing success of the Mothers Milk Bank Charity.”

While Marea is continuing as an Mothers Milk educational consultant, the Mothers Milk Bank Charity has been a beautiful and rewarding 15 years dedicated to families needing support.

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