Our Mission and Vision
We deliver on our vision through world class research, evidence-based education and bereavement support, and advocacy.
SIDS and Kids Northern Territory
Supports new and expectant parents, families and carers of the 3,600 new babies born each year in the Northern Territory, and provides bereavement support services to the families who have experienced the sudden and unexpected death of a baby, infant, child and anyone up to 18 years of age.
SIDS and Kids Northern Territory relies on the generous support of the community and businesses for donations and support. Our staff and members are passionate about educating and empowering parents, carers and professionals to reduce the rates of sudden and unexpected death and giving hope to those who have lost a child.
Our education programs concentrate on improving the wellness of mothers and babies and reducing the risk of sudden and unexpected death, whilst providing a specialist care for those who have been affected by the death of a child from conception up to 18 years of age, regardless of cause.
Current Staff Members:
Grants / Fundraising Officer
SIDS and Kids NT Patron
Natasha Griggs MP
SIDS and Kids NT Board Members:
Deb Gardiner Munro
General Committee Members
Emergency Support People
SIDS and Kids NT History
Our Association was established in 1985 by two SIDS parents who whilst struggling with their own loss attempted to support others in a similar situation.
On 24 March 1993, a meeting of the people involved with SIDS NT was convened under the guidance of Ms Manne Ivory and the National SIDS Council of Australia with the aim of formalising the operation and structure of the group. This group consisted of ten interested people from diverse backgrounds, only one being a SIDS parent.
On 10 November 1993, the Sudden Infant Death Association of the Northern Territory held its inaugural meeting following its incorporation on 22 October 1993. An Executive Committee of seven members was elected with Mrs Kath Hayes holding the position of founding Chairman.
The National Board at its meeting on 17 November 1993 approved the Association’s application for membership to the National SIDS Council of Australia. Since that time, there have been many changes in terms of the composition of the Committee.
In 1999, the SIDS organisations throughout Australia formally expanded their wide range of services to include support for families whose children die suddenly and unexpectedly, regardless of cause.
In the Northern Territory, our Association provides support to any families or associated friends and groups who suffer the loss of an infant or child from conception up to 18 years of age. In March 2002, our Association embraced the new name, SIDS and Kids NT, reflecting the change of name of the National parent organisation and reflecting the nature of our expanded services. We adopted SIDS and Kids ‘signature’ logo and the hand print which is that of Ashleigh Louise Ivory, born Darwin 5 May 1991 and who died, as a result of SIDS, aged seven months.
Today, SIDS and Kids NT has grown from a small self help group to an organisation providing a unique and recognised service, helping families like Ashleigh’s.
SIDS and Kids NT have worked hard over the past 20 years to reduce rates of SIDS, particularly in indigenous communities. In 1994, SIDS and Kids NT, concerned with the number of SIDS deaths in Aboriginal communities formed an Aboriginal Reference Group to discuss this issue. Along with a number of Aboriginal organisations, SIDS and Kids NT developed the first Aboriginal safe sleeping resource in Australia. The banner painted by the Aboriginal ladies became the storyboard for reducing the risk of SIDS messages and its wording and images developed into a brochure and poster. We played a key role in the establishment of a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and SIDS and Kids National office in the late 1990s.
By 2000, SIDS and Kids NT had developed the first safe sleeping resources for indigenous communities, titled Taking Care of Your Baby. These resources continue to be well received and in demand across Australia.
Today, SIDS and Kids NT realises that there is still much work to be done. We face major financial, geographical and cultural challenges in providing our education and counselling services. Around 40,000 Territorians live in regional and remote Northern Territory. Largely inhabited by indigenous people, these communities are among the poorest in Australia and sadly, suffer higher rates of infant mortality in Australia. The Territory is a reasonably young population with the average age being 30 and we have high rates of smoking. These factors may be a contributing factor to the Northern Territory having the highest rate of SIDS or “undetermined” infant deaths (also known as SUDI).
SIDS & Kids NT has taken many steps in attempting to address the issue of higher SIDS and undetermined infant deaths among indigenous people in the NT. It is highly likely that the message about keeping baby safe is not being received by the majority of indigenous people, given the great distances involved and the limited resources we have to do this work. Issues such as maternal smoking and unsafe sleeping environments in communities means that is has become imperative that the public is not only aware of the recommendations of SIDS but that certain sleeping environments are unsafe for infants.
SIDS and Kids NT is funded by the generosity of the community and businesses. Our two main sources of income are Red Nose Day campaign and tax deductible donations. All monies raised in the NT stay in the NT!
Our small team, including a General Manager, fundraising officer, professional counsellor, educator, parent supporters and volunteers work in partnership with health and child professionals and the members of the community to reach out to families and educate the community.