News

Reconciliation is more than just a word

27 May 2021

It takes action.

We must act - as there is still a great divide between the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the rest of the population.

To help bridge this gap, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation has pledged to commit funds received during National Reconciliation Week to support the implementation of the Aboriginal Health Strategic Plan across Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network.

Last year with community support we raised more than $97,000 during National Reconciliation Week for Aboriginal health initiatives, including the redevelopment of the Aboriginal Children’s Memorial Garden; a place of cultural importance and healing.

Brinae, mum of patient Durakai, talks about what the Aboriginal Memorial Garden meant to her:

“23rd August last year I collapsed in this park crying alone because I told everyone I needed space. It was just after Glen and I left a meeting where the doctors told me they couldn’t make any guarantees with Durakai’s recovery.

I didn’t know how to react, I froze I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t speak, I just collapsed ..... I didn’t know if he would wake up or what would happen......

I asked my grandmother in the Dreamtime to help me and give me answers, she knows my babies are my world and I can’t live without them and I knew she would answer me ......

The next morning 6am I woke to a voicemail my cousin sent me at all hours saying a friend of hers who can speak to family in the Dreamtime contacted her and my grandmother insisted I get the message ......

It was a very detailed message but the main thing I took away from this was that Durakai’s spirit hadn’t left his body, he was still very much with us.

My gran was at the park with Durakai and another little boy and they were playing..... he was very much very full of life and didn’t seem to be in any pain .....

It wasn’t until a few weeks later I found out this part of the hospital – the park I was in - was the Aboriginal Children’s Memorial Garden.....

It will always hold a place in my heart because it helped me connect and get grounded....

Forever grateful.” - Brinae

Sydney Children's Hospitals Foundation raises funds for Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick , The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Bear Cottage, the Newborn and Paediatric Emergency Transport Service (NETS NSW) and Kids Research