Our Story

Be Healthe for your Heart was developed at the University of Newcastle, Australia. The program development was funded by the National Heart Foundation of Australia and the Foundation for High Blood Pressure Research.

Dr Melinda Hutchesson

Melinda is a senior lecturer at the University of Newcastle, Australia. In 2014, Melinda was 29 weeks pregnant with her first daughter when she was hospitalised due to pre-eclampsia. Later that night she was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome, and rushed to have an emergency caesarean section. Her daughter, Stevie, lived for four very special days. 

Melinda, as a dietitian and researcher, was horrified to learn that having pre-eclampsia placed her at greater risk of heart disease. What was even more concerning to her however was the fact that she had not been told of this risk by a health professional, nor what to do to try and prevent it happening. Melinda had previously created an online healthy lifestyle program for young women (Be Positive Be Healthe). She decided to adapt the program for women that experienced pre-eclampsia, so they could easily receive the advice and support they may need to improve their eating habits, physical activity levels, and manage their weight. 

Melinda brought together a multidisciplinary team to achieve her vision. She would like to dedicate the program to her daughter Stevie.

Professor Clare Collins

Clare is an internationally recognised research dietitian at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Clare developed the Be Healthe for your Heart healthy eating recommendations. 

Clare is highly committed to using technology to help people improve their eating habits and overall health.

Dr Lisa Vincze

Lisa is a dual qualified dietitian and exercise physiologist, and is a lecturer in the School of Allied Health Sciences at Griffith University, Australia. Lisa has developed the Be Healthe for your Heart healthy eating and physical activity recommendations. 

Lisa is highly committed to helping mothers lead a healthy lifestyle and manage their body weight.    

Dr Vanessa Shrewsbury

Vanessa is a research dietitian at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Vanessa was involved in surveying women with a history or pre-clampsia to find out what they wanted from this program. She also contributed to developing the Be Healthe for your Heart healthy eating recommendations. 

Vanessa’s research focuses on helping mothers and families to improve their lifestyle behaviours to optimise health and wellbeing.


Professor Robin Callister

Robin is an internationally recognised researcher in exercise science at the University of Newcastle. Robin developed the Be Healthe for your Heart physical activity and exercise recommendations. 

Robin is committed to finding practical ways to boost peoples’ physical activity levels and overall health.

Dr Rachael Taylor

Rachael Taylor is a research dietitian at the University of Newcastle, Australia.
Rachael is the project manager of the Be Healthe for your Heart and was
responsible for using Dr Melinda Hutchesson’s vision to make the program
possible. 

Rachael is highly committed to improving the eating habits and
health of mothers to help their children thrive.

Dr Linda Campbell

Linda is senior lecturer and clinical psychologist at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Linda has developed the Be Healthe for your Heart stress management recommendations. 

Linda is highly committed to promoting health and well-being in families.

Dr Felicity Park

Felicity is an obstetrician & maternal fetal medicine sub specialist.  She is the Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, Australia. Felicity has been involved in the development of Be Healthy for you heart with a particular focus on women who have experienced preeclampsia. 

Felicity has been committed to informing women about the program to provide further health education and resources.