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 and 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.
Your time with your baby may have been all too fleeting, but love is eternal. Our very special Garden of Angels lets you remember lives taken too soon through miscarriage, stillbirth or ectopic pregnancy.
Karinya takes its name from an Aboriginal word meaning peaceful and happy home. It’s a very beautiful and special resting place for children.
Aidan’s Legacy is a program directed to the families of children lost pre-term, stillborn or up to and including 17 years of age. It provides for the cost of cremation and associated chapel services, or may be given as a subsidy towards the cost of a burial.
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.
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.”