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Thursday, 25 June 2009
Page: 7265

Mr IRONS (9:36 AM) —As we draw near to the winter recess and the attention of the members of this place turns to electoral issues, family and friends—and, for some, warmer climates—I would like to take this opportunity to remind all members and senators that tomorrow is SIDS and Kids Red Nose Day.

This time last year I attended the Carousel Shopping Centre in Cannington in my electorate and helped volunteers fundraise in the shopping centre mall. Now the only reminder of SIDS Red Nose Day that I had last year was that the member for Fadden turned up and spoke in this place about it. Much to the delight of the media he wore a red nose during his speech. Today I have taken it upon myself to remind members about Red Nose Day tomorrow. I have not gone to the length today that the member for Fadden went to last year of wearing a red nose but I have brought some with me and if any members would like to purchase these, I have plenty in my office and their generosity will go to a great cause.

I would also urge all members to contact their state offices of SIDS and Kids to find out where they can assist with Red Nose Day tomorrow. SIDS and Kids is a not-for-profit organisation with the noble goal of eliminating sudden and unexpected infant deaths. SIDS stands for sudden infant death syndrome. The WA branch of SIDS and Kids happens to be based in the suburb of Kensington in my electorate of Swan and I have been fortunate enough to spend some time getting to know the people that run the charity. They do a remarkable job.

SIDS and Kids WA concentrates its efforts on three important services which benefit the local community. Firstly, it advocates for and funds research into stillbirth—something that causes pain and suffering across the nation and indeed the world. Secondly, it goes to great lengths to provide public information to families about sudden infant death syndrome and safe sleeping for kids. Thirdly, it provides bereavement care, support and counselling for the families of those who have experienced the tragedy of stillbirth or the unexpected death of a child. SIDS and Kids has made great strides over the last few years. The organisation claims since 1990 to have saved the lives of an estimated 5,900 Australian babies through the SIDS and Kids sleeping program.

However, there is still a great deal of work to be done—funding research, informing families and providing support. Rates of SIDS and stillbirths are still too high in Australia. I want to be part of the efforts to help this cause. That is why I was pleased last year to become patron of the charity’s WA branch. Last week I organised an information breakfast at Parliament House with key SIDS and Kids figures, which was well attended by members and senators. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my parliamentary colleagues, from both sides of the House, who attended the breakfast.

Tomorrow I will be out supporting the Red Nose Day volunteers again to help raise funds for their organisation. Red Nose Day has grown from humble beginnings to one of Australia’s highest profile fundraising days with a 97 per cent prompted recognition rate. I will be at the shopping centre near my electorate office in East Victoria Park. Local events are of course taking place around the country and I hope that all members will find the time to support this worthy cause. I ask the whole country to support Red Nose Day tomorrow. For the benefit of the members present, I will put on my red nose now.

Honourable members—Hear, hear!