Meet Michael

I didn’t know Michael until the podcast but I liked him immediately. He’s genuine, caring and bloody funny! I admire his ability to show his vulnerabilities and I’ve learned so much from him about the men’s side of being CNBC
— Sarah Lawrence, co-presenter

I’m one half of a childless couple that have as we like to say “made it through” but we didn’t do it alone. Many years on the psychologists couch delving into the combined results of dysfunctional families, PTSD from childhood sexual abuse and depression from our childlessness helped us greatly.

On the other side of this we discovered a love of travel, that has taken us to many parts of the world this too helps us cope with being CNBC. It was the writing of a blog that I started on the eve of Mother’s Day 2016 at 1am in the morning in a motel off the i10 just outside of Quincy in Florida on one such trip that has led me to being part of this podcast.

It was from here we found a Facebook group ‘Childless Path To Acceptance’ that was full of women in our position. The warmth, support and love that flowed from this group opened our eyes to a wider world. It was 2018 on another adventure this time in the UK, in a Shepherds Bush pub, The Green, that we met Stephanie Phillips, the admin of the group, who went on to found World Childless Week, Berenice, and the courageous Sweetie Horne, who, just like my wife Vickie was scared of what was to come by opening themselves up, as we were all just about to venture into an event called Fertility Fest.

For those that like the more personal knitty gritty Vickie and I met when we were about 16 as we both had a casual job at the local McDonalds. I was new to Australia as my family had emigrated to Australia from the UK a couple of years before we met, Vickie on the other hand is a true ‘Skippy’. We married in our mid 20’s and started for a family closer to our 30’s and by 40 we had to draw a line in the sand to say, we’d never be parents. Of course there is much more to the story, but you’re going to have to listen to the podcast to find that out.

I first met Michael, and his wife Vickie, at Fertility Fest in 2018 and I don’t think we’ve stopped chatting across the miles since. Michael never fails to make me laugh, and sometimes cry because he’s so insightful. I’m always inspired by how much knowledge he brings to our podcasts and the community.
— Berenice Smith, co-presenter