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2018 Christmas Services & Events

We warmly invite bereaved parents, their families and friends to join us for our annual Christmas services and events this December:


Our Brisbane Christmas service is at 2.30pm on Sat 1 Dec at Merthyr Road Uniting Church in New Farm. Families are invited to bring along a plate to share, a gift for the giving tree and/or contribute to a special slideshow of babies to be shown during the service. Please RSVP and email your slide details and images to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 4pm Tuesday 27 November.


Our annual Victorian Christmas fundraiser, Carols in the Garden of Angels, will take place at Fawkner Cemetery on Sat 1 December. Hosted by the Friends of the Garden of Angels, this is a wonderful family-oriented event. There'll be a silent auction, sausage sizzle, face painting, glitter tattoos, live music, popcorn, fairy floss, and you can also decorate your own star or angel to hang on the Christmas tree. To stay in the loop, sign up to our Facebook event for more information. 


Please come along to our informal Christmas gathering at 6pm on Sat 8 December at the Tom Dadaur Community Centre, 363 Bagot Road, Subiaco. Families are invited to bring a plate to share as well as a gift in memory of their baby to be donated to the Women's Council for Domestic & Family Violence Services. Please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Supporting bereaved parents to return to work

Sands Aust tagline stacked  pink elephant logo

The challenges commonly faced by new and expectant parents are in the spotlight this Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Week as national attention turns to ways we can better support parents’ mental and emotional wellbeing.

Research has shown that parents who experience the shock and devastation of the loss of a pregnancy or the death of a baby have statistically higher rates of depression and anxiety in the perinatal period than the general population.

Sands Australia CEO Jackie Mead said that more support services that addressed the wellbeing of bereaved parents are needed to ensure they can cope with the unique challenges they face in coping with everyday life as they grieve their baby.

“Without a baby to care for, bereaved parents are often cut adrift from the usual sources of support offered to new parents. There are no new parents groups to attend, no catch-ups with colleagues to introduce their new baby. Family and friends can also stay away for fear of further upsetting their loved ones,” said Ms Mead.

Bereaved parents report to Sands that one of the most significant challenges they face in adjusting to life without their baby is returning to work.

“Returning from maternity or paternity leave in such harrowing circumstances is a very daunting prospect. Parents may feel worried about what to say to their colleagues, or how people will react to them in the workplace. They may not have the physical or emotional stamina to undertake their usual work hours or duties.”

“Employers, too, often struggle to know how best to help their employees transition back into the workplace in the most appropriate and sensitive way. Increasingly, businesses themselves are contacting Sands for advice about how to manage the return to work process for the affected employee as well as their wider teams.”

Sands Australia and The Pink Elephants Support Network are joining together to deliver a targeted workplace support program to address these specific needs.

They’ll deliver workshops across Australia to educate employers about these issues and to equip them with the knowledge and confidence they need to support bereaved parents and to address any challenges that may arise.

Melbourne dad, Nick Xerakias, returned to work just weeks after the death of his newborn son, Angelo, in 2017.

“I would not have been able to do so had I not had such a supportive employer and colleagues who allowed me to take the time I needed to grieve for my son and to support my wife, Elena. Nick’s employer, GRACosway, were able to provide him with flexibility in his work hours and work load, which greatly reduced the pressure Nick felt about balancing the needs of his family and his job.

“They kept in touch with me and made sure they knew what I needed at each point in time. They didn’t make any assumptions.”

Sands CEO Jackie Mead said that the death of a colleague’s baby can also a have a profound impact on others in the workplace.

“It’s important to remember that other colleagues and team members may also benefit from education and support to feel confident about responding to a really challenging life event that is still so rarely publicly spoken about.”

The proposed workshops, to be rolled out in 2019, will help pave the way forward for employers in navigating this historically difficult space and in increasing awareness of the impact that pregnancy and infant loss has on the community.

About Sands

Sands is a not-for-profit organisation providing support, information and education to anyone affected by the death of a baby before, during or shortly after birth. We provide 24/7 support to bereaved parents through our national support line, email, live chat and through local face-to-face support groups. We provide information on miscarriage, stillbirth, newborn death and the grief experience to families as well as educating health professionals to improve the care and support bereaved parents receive.

About Pink Elephants

The Pink Elephants is an organisation that supports, nurtures and empowers couples through early pregnancy loss. We provide emotional support literature, personalised peer support and online support groups. We believe that whilst miscarriage is an individual journey, it should not be walked alone. For more information and to access our varied support services visit

Come and work with us

It is an exciting time at Sands. Having just completed a merger to become a nationwide organisation, Sands is growing service delivery so that we can support the growing needs of bereaved parents following infant or pregnancy loss. We're currently recruiting for a Care Services Coordinator (QLD), State Manager Victoria & State Manager Queensland. Visit our Careers page to find out more.

Training opportunity in Hobart for new volunteers on our national support line


Are you a bereaved parent living in Hobart who would like to, and feels emotionally ready to, provide invaluable support to other bereaved parents?  

Our Volunteer Parent Supporters play an integral part in the delivery of our support services across Australia.

Volunteers take calls from bereaved parents through a smart phone app - there's no requirement for you to travel or attend our offices for your volunteer shift.

Is it approximately 12 months or more since your pregnancy loss/death of your baby? If so, and if you’d be available to attend a full-day training in the Hobart area on Saturday 2nd March, we’d love to hear from you. 

For more information:

Role description

To apply:

Please complete an Expression of Interest.

* If you have applied previously but weren’t able to attend but you are available for this training, please email our Services Coordinator, Shannon directly: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We look forward to hearing from you.