Creating space to acknowledge miscarriage and early pregnancy loss at Bunurong

23 May 2023
SMCT Chairperson Dr Vanda Fortunato and Chris Crewther MP at Bunurong Memorial Park

Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (SMCT) is proud to announce our commitment to co-designing a memorial garden at Bunurong Memorial Park solely dedicated to miscarriage and early pregnancy loss.

Early pregnancy loss is a complex and often overlooked experience that affects countless families and communities worldwide. In Australia, an estimated 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. Despite this staggering prevalence, there is a stigma surrounding early pregnancy loss. As a result, many people feel isolated and unsupported in their grief.

Creating a space to acknowledge grief

SMCT is committed to helping to break the stigma around miscarriage and early pregnancy loss and provide a unique and purposeful space to support our community

SMCT Trust Chair Dr Vanda Fortunato shared details of the project at a National Miscarriage Awareness Day event held at Bunurong by industry partner, Miscarriage information Support Services (MISS), who are co-designing the space with SMCT.

‘It will be a tribute to all who have experienced the heartbreak of miscarriage and a symbol of hope and healing for those who continue to carry this burden.’ Dr Fortunato said.

‘This remembrance garden is so greatly needed, as this will provide an important space for any person impacted by miscarriage to acknowledge the loss of their baby, and to have a space where they are able to navigate through their process of grief.’ Said Melissa King, founder of MISS.

It will also provide an opportunity for education in the community on the importance of understanding miscarriage and early pregnancy loss.

Shared grief, shared experiences

SMCT has been collaborating with MISS and other industry partners to gain expertise on this complex experience of grief.

‘Commemoration can be such an important part of healing after a miscarriage, and MISS is so grateful to be working with SMCT with the creation of this dedicated garden space.’ Said Melissa King.

‘Supporting each other, sharing our feelings, speaking about our losses, and having an area dedicated to miscarriage loss, is one step closer in bringing our community impacted by miscarriage together.’

At MISS’s National Miscarriage Awareness Day event held at Bunurong, community and partners came together to share their stories and experiences of grief, loss and hope. National Miscarriage Awareness Day is held annually on the Sunday before Mother’s Day and provides an opportunity for open public discussion and acknowledgement of miscarriage.

The event brought community and industry partners, including Grief Australia and Miscarriage Australia, together to explore the conversation. Victorian Government Minister for Planning and Outdoor Recreation Sonya Kilkenny MP and State Member for Mornington Chris Crewther MP also participated in the event to show their support for awareness of the day.

Miscarriage Information Support Service held their National Miscarriage Awareness Day event at Bunurong Memorial Park

Call for community input

The event provided an amazing opportunity to unveil and discuss plans for our new garden space. SMCT Chair Dr Fortunato invited attendees to provide naming suggestions for the garden, as well as complete a survey to anonymously voice their thoughts and feelings on miscarriage awareness.

The survey is open to all community members who have a connection to the experience of grief or loss around miscarriage and early pregnancy. SMCT will continue to consult our community and seek feedback in order to inform our approach and learn how we can create the most beneficial space possible.

If you have any further questions or comments, please contact

If you would like any support resources or information about miscarriage, please contact MISS at

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