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Sands Australia bids farewell to CEO Andre Carvalho



It is with both sadness and gratitude that we announce Andre Carvalho’s departure as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sands Australia, effective 15 June 2018.

Since late 2014, Andre has played a critical role in the development, growth and success of the organisation, and while we will miss his leadership, we wish him the best of luck in his new endeavour as the CEO of another wonderful not for profit organisation.

During his time with Sands Australia, Andre has initiated and led our transition to a new single national charity, ensuring Sands will be available to all Australians. Andre also oversaw the expansion and growth of Sands Australia which saw the organisation tripling the number of families we support each year, advancing our bereavement care work to improve the care and support bereaved parents receive following the death of a baby and raising the profile of our cause and our organisation.

Underpinning the delivery of high quality services has been the tripling of our funding over the last three years from government and non-government sources which has furthered our long-term sustainability and enabled the continuing investment into service improvements and other key areas of our organisation such as improving bereavement care. Andre has led a dedicated team, each of whom play an integral role in the everyday running of such a successful organisation.

Andre leaves Sands Australia in a very strong position for future growth and we sincerely thank him for his contribution and leadership during his tenure as CEO.

Lyndy Bowden, Chair of Sands Australia National Council, will take on the role of Caretaker CEO over the next few weeks as we complete the merger of our federated organisations and become one Sands. This will ensure continuity and aid the transition of a new permanent CEO which the new Sands Board of Directors will soon commence recruiting.

The National Council wishes Andre a successful future as he progresses his career.

Lyndy Bowden, Chair of Sands Australia on behalf of Sands Australia National Council

University of South Australia stillbirth survey seeking participants

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University of South Australia researchers are conducting an online stillbirth survey to increase understanding of bereaved parents' experience with the aim of helping to improve bereavement practices as well as to inform future awareness campaigns & policies. 

The survey is conducted online and will take approximately 30 minutes of your time to complete.

The study has been approved by the University of South Australia’s Human Research Ethics Committee and any parent who has experienced stillbirth is eligible to take part.

To obtain additional information about the survey, or a copy of the final report/survey findings please contact Danielle Pollock on Tel: 0401348259, or Dr. Jane Warland on Tel: +61 8 830 21161. 

Access the survey now

Ladies, we need to talk...about the '12 week rule'

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The first trimester of a pregnancy can often be the hardest, so why do so many women feel the need to stay quiet? And what if the answer — miscarriage — is the reason we should be talking about pregnancy earlier?

The latest episode of ABC podcast, Ladies, we need to talk, discusses the unwritten '12 week rule' that leaves so many women feeling alone and without support after experiencing a miscarriage.

Sands is really pleased to have been part of this conversation, with our General Manager Improving Bereavement Care, Anita Guyett, and Sands mum Samantha Rowe speaking to host Yumi Stynes about this emotional, but important topic.

Listen in now or download to listen later

If you've experienced a miscarriage, or feel emotionally affected by the content and stories of the podcast, we're here to help. Our volunteer parent supporters are available around the clock on our national support line, or by email or live chat.

All mothers matter this Mothers' Day

International Bereaved Mothers Day6 May

Mothers’ Day: a day that celebrates maternal bonds and honours the role mothers play in families and society.

But what does Mothers’ Day look like for women mourning the loss of that special bond through the death of a baby?

Each year in Australia almost 2500 mothers suffer the death of their baby through stillbirth. 700 more women lose their newborns within the first few weeks of life. It’s estimated that another 103,000 experience pregnancy loss through miscarriage.

That's 1 in every 4 women for whom the self-identity 'mother' rests on shaky ground.

Sands CEO, Andre Carvalho, says that for the thousands of bereaved mothers his organisation supports, Mothers' Day can be an acutely painful time.

“Family celebrations and other significant occasions can be stark reminders of the absence of a baby who has died,” he said.

“These are milestones that everyone takes for granted but for bereaved parents they can be very isolating.”

Mr Carvalho said that Mothers’ Day can be particularly difficult – even many years later – because so much meaning is entrenched in the concept of motherhood in society.

“A bereaved mother’s experience of motherhood is inconceivably different to someone whose journey has taken the typical path.”

“Alongside the death of her baby she also loses her identity as a mother. Because hers is largely an invisible loss, her motherhood is not always recognised or acknowledged.”

Since 2010 International Bereaved Mothers’ Day has taken place in the week before ‘traditional’ Mothers’ Day to give grieving mothers an opportunity to honour their role.

“International Bereaved Mothers’ Day is an important day to observe in the Sands community. It provides a sense of inclusion, community and comfort for women who’ve experienced miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn death,” Mr Carvalho said.

“It gives bereaved mothers the opportunity to acknowledge that although they may not have a baby in their arms, they are still a mother.”


Parent Stories

Sands Mums Anne Altamore, Ashleigh Rousseaux and Heidi Welsh know what it is like to grapple with the question of “am I still a mother?” They speak about some of the challenges they each face at this time of year here.