Helen Parker OAM (left) and volunteers and mamas, ready to celebrate a decade of The Babes Project. Photography by Miranda Mayle.
Since 2009, The Babes Project has stood with pregnant and new mothers as they have faced and overcome the challenges of their early motherhood journey.
And today sees our biggest milestone so far – a decade of Babes' commitment to supporting and empowering mothers holistically through the perinatal period, even as they struggle with teen pregnancy and single parenting, domestic violence, drug and alcohol issues, family breakdown and isolation.
From our earliest days, The Babes Project has been building a powerful solution to a nationwide issue.
Across Australia, women are allowed to remain isolated and vulnerable as they raise their children. No one who believes in our next generation should be okay with that – and our perinatal program is a proven and transformative intervention.
So yes, we are celebrating a milestone - but don't for a second think we're resting on our laurels. Or resting at all!
Our tenth birthday is also a chance to yet again think bigger - and you don't get much bigger than Far North Queensland!
That's right, get ready for The Babes Project Cairns!
Our founder and CEO Helen Parker OAM announced the expansion at our Decade of Babes Celebration and Fundraiser - and said face-to-face perinatal care would be life-changing for so many expecting and new mums in Cairns.
“From our very first months of operation, supporting and empowering pregnant women and new mums, Babes was hearing about the need for perinatal support in communities right across Australia,” Ms Parker said.
“We’ve seen again and again how holistic and nurturing perinatal care can transform a woman’s experience of early motherhood. New mums need support to build confidence and skills for the challenges ahead – and we’re so excited to offer that to women in Cairns, too.”
Women across Far North Queensland will be able to access the full program face-to-face in Cairns from October 2019.
The expansion follows local interest in The Babes Project model for the Cairns community, and the availability of experienced Cairns social worker Cristy Mock to manage a pregnancy support centre.
TBP will employ Ms Mock, previously the Cairns State High School chaplain and a foster care support coordinator, along with training local volunteers to deliver its perinatal program. The centre will operate as The Babes Project Cairns.
Cairns will be TBP’s third centre, after beginning operations in Croydon in 2009, then establishing a second pregnancy support centre in Frankston in 2017.
“We've been doing this for a decade, and still we see negative attitudes around having children at a young age, or without a partner, or in a range of challenging situations," Ms Parker said.
"Too often that's leaving women to raise children alone and vulnerable – and that’s a bad outcome for the mother, and for the baby."
“Isolation and overwhelm for new mothers is a problem right across Australian communities, and our program graduates are the thriving proof that local, face-to-face, and independent support really works to get new mums through tough times.”
The night also celebrated the thousands of lives touched by The Babes Project, and thanked more than 100 people who have joined our active team of staff and volunteers across the decade.
And in that time, hundreds more have made our work possible through generous donations of funds and goods. It's not too late to support our EOFY appeal - and know that your support is making a real impact for women who need it most, right across Australia.
Thanks for sharing our Decade of Babes, wherever you joined us on the journey - and we can't wait to share all the mountains to conquer ahead!
Just some of The Babes Project's mamas, graduates, staff and volunteers, and supporters - ready to celebrate a Decade of Babes!