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Afternoon Tea for Gidget Foundation Australia, Admiralty House


I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Cammeraygal People of the Eora Nation, and pay my respects to their elders, past and present, emerging leaders and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders gathered here today.

Good afternoon, all.

Linda and I are delighted to welcome you to Admiralty House during what is a very important week on our national calendar.

Perinatal Mental Health Week is an opportunity to raise awareness about a recognisable and recoverable medical condition in our society.

Having a designated week also enables us to send a message to those suffering from perinatal depression and anxiety that they are not alone and that support is available through organisations like Gidget Foundation Australia.

This is one week in the calendar, but it’s a message that the Gidget team live 52 weeks of the year.

The campaign this year for Perinatal Mental Health Week is now in full swing. Today is day 3.

I want to commend the Foundation on the theme of the campaign, ‘We’re here; we get it.’

I love it because it’s a theme that is underpinned by care and compassion.

‘We’re here; we get it’ says to the 100,000 Australians parents who experience perinatal depression and anxiety, ‘YOU ARE NOT ALONE’.

What a reassuring message to send to someone struggling with their mental health.

But there’s a second, equally important, element to ‘We’re here; we get it’.

It is a call to action. It is asking us to respond, to take that critical step of contacting someone in our world who has recently become a parent and asking them how they are.

No qualifications are needed — just a caring, sympathetic ear as to how they are faring.

I hasten to add this action is not to undermine the work of our health professionals. Their work is vital. We acknowledge their expertise and thank them for their tireless service and commitment.

However, we can all play a role in supporting the people in our world.

There should not be a stigma around how any parent feels. Mental health is as important as physical wellbeing.

That is why the work of the Foundation is so important.

From Gidget House, the Start Talking Telehealth Program, Emotional Wellbeing Screening and Workplace programs, education, outreach and advocacy — the staff, supporters and volunteers of Gidget are making a real difference to Mums and Dads.

To those parents struggling with their mental health, Gidget Foundation Australia can help you.

The Perinatal Mental Health Week website has details of the many supports and resources available.

There is one other reason we wanted to host this group today.

Linda and I, as Joint Patrons of Gidget Foundation Australia, want to say thank you.

Thank you for what you do, and the way you do it, for the 100,000 Australian parents who experience perinatal depression and anxiety.

You are just the tip of the iceberg, of course. The Foundation could not do what it does without the support of its wonderful team.

Thank you.