The City of Boroondara welcomes the decision by the Victorian Legislative Council to unanimously support a motion for Victoria to join other Australian States in recognising October 15 each year as International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
The City of Boroondara, Councillor Felicity Sinfield and local resident Anne-Maree Polimeni, have been working together to raise awareness about the impact of infant loss in the community.
Cr Sinfield led a Council initiative last year to recognise the day and highlight this issue that devastates families and impacts whole communities.
“Council is proud to support this cause as there is a real need to raise awareness in the community,” said Councillor Jim Parke, Mayor of Boroondara.
“For families affected by stillbirth, it is a devastating time. It is a privilege to be able to draw attention to the issue and to start a conversation that enables the community to provide support to those affected by loss,” said Cr Sinfield.
In Australia in the last year, 1,718 babies were stillborn, 707 died within the first 28 days of birth and one in four confirmed pregnancies ended in miscarriage before 20 weeks of pregnancy . Despite the prevalence of infant loss, it’s a topic that is still rarely discussed, and often not well understood by the wider community.
Local Boroondara resident Anne-Maree Polimeni became an advocate for greater recognition when her son Rafael was stillborn at 28 weeks. “This is such a momentous day for me and the countless other bereaved parents in Victoria”, she said “I do this work for my son and all the other babies who don’t have voices”.
On Monday October 15, from 7pm to 9.15pm, the Hawthorn Arts Centre will host a candle ceremony and the outside of the building will be lit up in pink and blue. These are the colours of the Wave of Light movement that commemorates International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day globally.
This event is being run by SANDS Victoria and supported by City of Boroondara and the Rotary Club of Balwyn.
Those affected by this issue can contact SANDS Victoria on 9874 5400