I hope you enjoyed a break over the summer and you now are feeling refreshed as we move in to the new year.

We have already had a busy start to the new year, including seeking funding to expand our peer support services and launching a national Stillbirth Awareness campaign.

This is an important campaign and I want to thank everyone who provided feedback on the campaign via social media.

We fully acknowledge just how hard it can be for bereaved families to see the content of the campaign and we had this in mind right throughout the development.

In the end, based on feedback of bereaved parents, we decided that the campaign needed to be impactful to make people take notice and then ultimately change their behaviour.

We know that bereaved parents want to spare others from their own experiences of grief and loss and we believe this campaign will help to do that, while also helping to a spark a national conversation about stillbirth and its impact on families.

You may also be interested to know that the campaign has three phase and runs from now until August 2021. The next phase includes a focus on the three messages that can help keep babies safe, and the final phase acknowledges the reality of stillbirth and its impact on families.

In our efforts to reduce the impact on you, we will release the campaign materials early so you have an opportunity to either view them or distance yourself from them before they are in the public.

I also wanted to say a big hurray!

A motion in Federal Parliament passed the Senate this week outlining that they will officially and eternally recognise October 15th as International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day offering their condolences and sympathies to all who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss.

I was particularly thrilled to note their recognition of generations who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss at a time when families were not provided opportunities to commemorate and honour their babies.

Our Older Loss Group provide amazing support for those families and I know that this public acknowledgement will mean a lot. If you know someone who could benefit from the support of the Older Loss Group please contact [email protected] or call our peer support line on 1300 072 637 and ask to be put in contact with the Older Loss Group.

Sands has also been about community, spreading kindness, and families helping families. Thank you again to everyone who continues to provide important feedback and support for Sands - we simply could not exist without you and we are eternally grateful to count you as part of our community.