Playgroup at Parliament House ~ MBAW 2023
This Multiple Birth Awareness Week we set an ambitious goal for advocacy. It is a hard time to be a parent of multiples in Australia and it is time we improved this! We know that:
- 61% of parents of multiples are experiencing mental health challenges in their first year since having multiples
- You are 5 times more likely to suffer from PPD if you have multiples and 9 times more likely to suffer from disabling exhaustion (that is can’t get out of bed/can’t move type of exhaustion, I know I’ve been there!)
- Women pregnant with multiples are prone to virtually every pregnancy complication and more
- Twins cost 5 times more and triplets 13 times more than singletons
We love our multiples and we would not have it any other way but there is no denying the challenges that our community faces. For Multiple Birth Awareness Week 2023, we wanted to bring these challenges to the attention of the lawmakers and the policy makers in Australia, so we brought our multiples playgroup to Parliament House in Canberra! We also timed the event with a release of a new report, Multiples Matter: Investigating the Support Needs of Multiple Birth Families, I encourage you to read it through if you have not already.
Playgroup with Multiples at Parliament House
After months of late nights planning, it was a huge success! To start the day, Director of AMBA and triplet mum, Silje Andersen-Cooke, was on live ABC Breakfast TV and interviewed about the findings of the report and the ABC online article. A team of volunteers and board members set up the playgroup with all the toys and equipment. Around 10am all the multiple birth families started to arrive and morning tea was served. We had over 12 Ministers and MPs drop in throughout the morning and more advisers and stakeholders, including representatives from Twins Research Australia and Georgie Dent, CEO of the Parenthood. Everyone had an opportunity to get down on the floor and play with the kids or discuss the findings of our report with the AMBA board members.
At 10:30am we had a special Acknowledgement of Country from twins Ethan and Caroline. Silje Andersen-Cooke, director of AMBA, made some remarks about the importance of Multiple Birth Awareness Week, the history of AMBA and some of the key findings of the new report.
Following this, Assistant Minister for Health, Ged Kearney, and twin mum, facilitated story time! Following this, Minister of Early Education, Anne Aly also read a few stories including a favourite “Twice the Love”. Following storytime guests comprised of stakeholders, MPs, Ministers and their advisors and Ministers continued to drop in over the next hour to chat to parents of multiples.
Special thank you to Things for Twins for their sponsorship of the morning tea. Also special mention to the generous donations of Huntly Property Holdings, Ian Fowler and Elf Property, towards the commissioning of the Multiples Matter report.
Media coverage of MBAW and the Multiples Matter Report
We had a very successful week regarding media with mentions and stories across the ABC online/TV and radio, the Australian, Mamamia online and more! Our media coverage had a collective reach of over 3.6 million people. So many more people are now aware that twins actually do not qualify for any extra support in Australia and we are definitely raising awareness of the unique challenges that our community is facing.
In case you missed it, here are some of the media highlights from the week!
ABC News Breakfast interview
ABC Online article
RN Drive Radio Interview
The Conversation Hour ABC Radio Program
How can you be involved?
This is just the beginning! Our report clearly shows that multiple birth families need more support and they are just not getting that in Australia. Do you think twins should be considered a multiple birth in Australia? As the report demonstrates, Australia is offering some of the lowest amount of support compared with other OECD countries. It is time for change!
- Sign the Petition
- Email your Local MP
- Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to share our latest posts
- Buy a raffle ticket or a t-shirt
- Donate to AMBA