Children touch our hearts, and their imprint remains forever. At Woronora Memorial Park, we are dedicated to helping find the right place to remember and celebrate young lives lost too soon.
Woronora holds a special place for parents and guardians. We welcome the tiniest, most fleeting lives into our embrace and give those who mourn their loss beautiful, enriching surroundings in which to express their love. Within our Park, we have set aside precious gardens for children youth, amid lovingly tended gardens. Set well inside our boundaries, every aspect offers serene vistas under gently swaying gums and a vast expanse of sky.
When there are no words to convey your feelings, we hope the serenity and beauty of our Children’s Gardens will give you some measure of comfort and peace.
Aidan’s Legacy is a program which ensures the proceeds of a unique recycling initiative are directed to the families of children lost pre-term, stillborn or up to and including 17 years of age. Aidan’s Legacy provides for the cost of cremation and associated chapel services, or receive a subsidy towards the cost of a burial. This legacy of love assist family’s at the most difficult time.
Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day
October 15 is a special day for remembering lives taken too soon. October 15 is officially recognised in New South Wales as the date for the Annual Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Each year, on this day, a moving candlelight service is held in the Karinya Gardens. This ceremony offers a chance for grief to be shared and a burden to be unloaded in a reflective atmosphere.
Woronora Memorial Park, sister cemetery, Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park, as well as numerous other cemeteries in Australia participate in this annual service. A Service supporting the Infant Loss Remembrance Day that pays tribute to those of us that have been touched by such tragic loss.
We are grateful for the many community based organisations which support this very special event - SANDS, Stillbirth Foundation Australia, SIDS and Kids, Bears for Hope, Pillars of Strength, The Compassionate Friends NSW Inc., HeartKids and Running for Premature Babies.
This special Giraffe Memorial was officially opened during the 2014 Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day Service and dedicated to all the babies buried in unmarked public graves or in unknown locations within Woronora Memorial Park (WMP). The first such babies to be buried within unknown locations arrived at WMP dating back to soon after 1900.
Up to the early 1980's most stillborn babies were taken from the mother at birth and interred amongst many cemeteries, most often without the mother or other family members even touching or viewing their baby after birth. For many of the children, other than surname, simply remained unnamed.
This memorial in Karinya is for all of our children who, in many cases are not known to their parents that they are resting with this cemetery. The memorial has a parent giraffe with a young giraffe. Giraffes are tall. These Giraffes are symbolic of height, over-looking the entire cemetery for all those babies, no matter where they are located.
During the official opening, words were shared from a family affected by the loss of a child who, at the time, did not have a proper opportunity to say goodbye or subsequently know where their child went. Even today, they have no idea in which cemetery their baby is located.
“She is part of our family. We wonder who she would have looked like. How different would our lives have been?”
In honour of their pure and precious lives, the Giraffe Memorial was dedicated by the cutting of pink and blue ribbons.
The following was read from the opening plaque.
“In memory of the Innocents, Baby Boys and Baby Girls who were buried in unmarked graves between 1900 to 1990. For all our children now at home and at peace within this cemetery, our love surrounds you, wrapped within pearls of eternal, special, prayers.”
Landon’s Legacy Memorial
During the 2016 Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day Ceremony, which falls on the 15th October each year, The Hon. Kristina Keneally, former Premier of NSW and Patron of the Stillbirth Foundation addressed guests and with Landon’s parents, unveiled a sculpture, donated by Arrow Bronze Foundry in remembrance of Landon and in support of the Stillbirth Foundation Australia.
The sculpture is of a baby nurtured within loving hands, representing a little boy, Landon Maxx Baggett. On the 5th May 2015, Landon was born. While otherwise a healthy little boy, he was born without breathe. He was stillborn. Landon was 1 of 6 babies born without breath in Australia on that day. Landon bequeathed a Legacy. While we cannot teach Landon about the world, together we can teach the world about him. Landon has a message. Every 4 hours, a baby is stillborn in Australian. Almost 2,200 babies every year. There has been no decrease in numbers, despite medical advances over the past 20 years. Up to 40% of parents never receive answers as to, “why?” Together we, us, you, our community, together…. we will make a difference.
Also incorporated in this special memorial is a map of the world. The Map shows the Southern Hemisphere positioned on top, which is different to what many of us were taught or perceive today as the right way up. The world in neither upside down or right way up, it is how we perceive things. From space, the world is perceived in what really is. From our community, reality creates new perspective. Of 6 babies born each day still born, almost 2,200 babies per year in this country. In addition, many more in the peri natal and early pregnancy development phases have suffered loss. Perspective, awareness, result in a call to action for our community. Of a response to final a better way, of taking action to mitigate against such losses, of such grief and loss.
Graham Boyd, CEO of the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust and Victoria Bowring, CEO of the Stillbirth Foundation Australia appeared on the ABC weekend News Channel 24 on the morning of Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day 2016.
- Unique Memorials
- Stations of the Cross
- Missing Persons
- Virtual Memorialisation