Sands at the Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education

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On Thursday 9 August Sands’ Caretaker CEO, Lyndy Bowden, and General Manager Services, Janelle Marshall, attended the Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education’s Public Hearing in Melbourne.

Sands was invited to present at the hearing based on our earlier submission to the enquiry, which called for improvements in the awareness and uptake of bereavement support services like Sands amongst newly bereaved parents as well as greater investment in bereavement education for health professionals.

We were moved to hear members of the Select Committee talk about how stillbirth has affected their lives in the most personal and devastating of ways.

Further, the stories from bereaved parents who spoke of their experiences both prior to their babies being stillborn and afterwards were powerful and affecting, demonstrating how far, how wide, and for how long the personal, financial and societal impacts of stillbirth reach.

Janelle Marshall said that "this really spoke to the need to prioritise research and education into stillbirth and its causes, of health professionals being supported to respond to bereaved parents' emotional needs at a time of such immense grief, and the importance of support services such as Sands being there as an option for all bereaved parents."

“We came away with a real sense of hope that research into stillbirth and investment in education and support for parents and health professionals would become a greater national priority as a result of this Enquiry,” said Lyndy Bowden.

“It is Sands’ aim that all bereaved parents have knowledge of, and equal access to, good quality bereavement support in the hospital and at home and we look forward to greater opportunities to connect with more bereaved parents across Australia in the future.”

Our thanks to Committee Members Senator Malarndirri McCarthy, Senator Kristina Keneally, Senator Catryna Bilyk & Senator Janet Rice.

Pictured: Lyndy Bowden with Senator Malarndirri McCarthy, Senator Catryna Bilyk, Senator Janet Rice, as well as bereaved parents Brett & Doshni Stewart (holding a photo of baby Corralie).