SENATOR KRISTINA KENEALLY
DEPUTY LABOR LEADER IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOME AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
PARLIAMENT RECOGNISES PREGNANCY AND INFANT LOSS REMEMBRANCE DAY
The Australian Parliament has officially and eternally recognised Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day on October 15.
Bereaved parent Nicole Ballinger initiated this campaign over ten years ago, and John and Kate De’Laney at Pregnancy and Infant Loss Australia continued the vigorous work that led to this incredible achievement today. I thank them for all their work, and all the parents and families across Australia, who made this happen.
Thank you also to the senators who co-sponsored my motion; Senators McCarthy, Bilyk, Polley, Molan, Rice, Waters, Hughes and Davey.
Thank you to all my Parliamentary colleagues for their bipartisan approach to my motion in the House of Representatives, including; Minister Tehan, Ms Flint MP, Mr Bowen MP, Ms Stanley MP and Ms Hammond MP.
Australia now joins over twenty countries in recognising October 15 as a day of remembrance for babies lost through miscarriage, stillbirth and infant death.
For parents and families who have lost a child through miscarriage, stillbirth and infant death, every day is a day of remembrance. But it is my hope that in Parliament officially recognising this International Day, we are eternally acknowledging their pain and loss and we are reminded that there is still work to be done in preventing infant loss in this country.
Stillbirth is the most common form of infant death in Australia and the rate of stillbirth in Australia hasn't changed for 20 years. Australia has a stillbirth rate 35% higher than countries with the lowest rates. I am grateful that two years ago the Senate supported my motion for an Inquiry into stillbirth in Australia, which produced the first national set of recommendations to address this national tragedy and significant public health problem. I also welcome the Government's National Stillbirth Action and Implementation Plan that responds to the Inquiry recommendations. The Plan sets a target of a 20% or more reduction of our country's stillbirth rates over five years.
An important part of this is dispelling the sense of shame that surrounds stillbirth and breaking down social barriers that prevent parents of stillborn children receiving the support they need.
We still have a long way to go, but this announcement today is an important start to recognising and supporting the families' affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and infant death.
WEDNESDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 2021