Dear Hon Dr. Andrew Leigh,
Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury
on page 142 of Budget Paper No. 2 outlining your intentions for FY 2022-23, the Government says it will provide $13.9 million over 3 years to support bereaved parents, including via the provision of additional support services.
$2.5 million has been specifically allocated to hospitals, territory governments and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. How will the remaining $11.4 million of funding be made available in practice?
As an organisation working to provide relief from the grief of perinatal bereavement, we respectfully petition to receive funding under this budget item allocation.
Possum Portraits is an ACNC registered charity with DGR item 1 and TCC status (ABN: 25 327 978 344). We provide free perinatal grief support to bereaved parents Australia-wide. We also provide continued professional development training to registered midwives in compassionate perinatal bereavement care, which are endorsed for CPD credits by the Australian College of Midwives.
Although we offer a bereavement care program that is unique in Australia, we are suffering from a chronic lack of funding. It seems that the interdisciplinary approach of our service, which straddles the Arts and its potential for application in mental healthcare, falls through the cracks of grant programs which favour projects that remain contained within one field or specialisation. As a result, in 2022 alone we have failed to receive even a single grant out of 20 applications submitted.
We would therefore like to make a bid for funding allocation to our charity under the relevant section in Budget Paper No. 2 in order to
- train and employ more staff to join our specialist perinatal loss workforce;
- make our training in compassionate perinatal bereavement care free for midwives;
- and to deliver our bereavement care service to more parents Australia-wide.
We have the network and organisational infrastructure in place to hit the ground running. However, we require funds to turn our programs into a reality, and to reach more parents suffering with the heartache of losing a baby.
No other organisation in Australia offers either the course content we provide for midwives or the service we provide for bereaved parents. This is why it is imperative that our initiatives receive the appropriate funding. By funding a plethora of support offerings, tools and bereavement care training programs for healthcare workers, the government will ensure that a multitude of options exist for parents to access: and that among and between them they may find comfort, support and a glimmer of hope for a life with loss.
To illustrate the importance of our shared cause for the public interest, please receive our petition for funding under your budget allocation of "support services for bereaved parents" signed by myself and the following members of the public listed below.
CEO & President of the Board of Directors
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Sign our petition and make a difference in the lives of parents living with loss.