Thursday, 18 February 2021
International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day
I rise to convey my strong support for the motion that was passed yesterday, that 15 October officially and eternally be recognised as International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I acknowledge and thank the Senate for proposing it and I particularly thank Senator Keneally in this regard. I also acknowledge and thank the members of this place who have advocated and pushed so hard—the members for Boothby, McMahon and Werriwa, who spoke so powerfully on this yesterday.
Pregnancy and infant loss touches so many Australians. Each year one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage and one in six pregnancies ends in a stillbirth. This means that nearly every Australian has been touched by the loss of a baby, either directly or indirectly. Yet this is something that people are often unaware of or rarely discuss. Official recognition of International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day in Australia acknowledges the loss and ongoing grief that those impacted by pregnancy and infant loss endure. It provides these families with the knowledge that they are not alone and that there is support for them in the Australian community. It is a day on which parents, families and friends can memorialise babies lost through infant death, stillbirth or miscarriage.
I want to recognise and thank a dedicated and inspiring WA couple, John and Kate De'Laney, for their work in relation to pregnancy and infant loss and on having this day officially recognised. Mr and Mrs De'Laney have lost seven babies by miscarriage. After losing their first baby the De'Laneys didn't know where to turn, who to talk to or where to get support. Over time and by supporting each other they discovered that the loss of a baby is not something you get over; you just have to find a way of integrating it into your life. Since this time, John and Kate have dedicated themselves to raising awareness of the issue of pregnancy and infant loss to ensure that no-one ever feels as alone and as unsupported as they did on the day they lost their first child. And they do this with one of their children, beautiful Mary-Jane, who I hope has enjoyed her first couple of weeks back at school.
The De'Laneys undertake all sorts of awareness-raising activities to honour the memories of the seven babies they lost, in their own time and at their own expense. In recognition of his contribution to the awareness and support of pregnancy and infant loss, Mr De'Laney was nominated for an Australian of the Year award in 2021 and was awarded a Community Citizen of the Year award on Australia Day 2020. John, Kate and Mary-Jane: I look forward to working with you over the coming months so that we can light up as many buildings in Western Australia as possible in the colours pink and blue.