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Monday, 31 October 2011
Page: 12024

Mrs GRIGGS (Solomon) (13:57): I have just been announced as the patron for SIDS and Kids Northern Territory. SIDS and Kids Northern Territory is a community based organisation dedicated to saving the lives of babies and children during pregnancy, birth, infancy and childhood and to support bereaved families. I am absolutely delighted and honoured to accept this role because supporting SIDS and Kids is a wonderful thing that I can do. I look forward to working with this organisation and the other patrons to raise much needed awareness of unexpected deaths in infancy.

In 2007 and 2008, the Northern Territory had the highest rates of SIDS or undetermined infant deaths per population in Australia. SIDS and Kids Northern Territory is the only organisation in the Territory providing specialist education and grief support for sudden and unexpected deaths in infancy. I will be working with the organisation to raise much needed funds and to support vital education, counselling and grief services throughout the Northern Territory. The Territory faces major financial, geographical and cultural changes in providing education and counselling services. Sadly, Indigenous people suffer higher rates of infant mortality. Many factors have contributed to the Northern Territory having the highest rates of SIDS or undetermined infant death during 2007-08, where the figures were almost twice the national average.