Made with Love – Murrum

For Lori Parish, Medirest Human Resources Manager and proud Bundjalung woman, having experienced the tragic loss of her daughter and in later years her grandson due to stillbirth, the motivation to help people in similar situations was high.

“After the loss of my grandson, I started volunteering with an organisation that supplied clothing for stillborn babies. I wanted to put my sewing, knitting and crocheting skills to good use,” she said.

“However, along the way I noticed that the packs weren’t always reflective of different cultures, so I wanted to do more to help support our diverse communities.”

In 2017, Lori and her co-founder Melinda Parker created Made With Love – Murrum, a national charity. Murrum means pretty, beautiful, lovely, good, in Bundjalung language. The team, including approximately 60 volunteers, provide a package of funeral garments for babies born sleeping or miscarried. These packs contain various items that are lovingly made and then packaged and sent to various hospitals, women’s services, and funeral directors across Australia.

The packs include an outfit or cocoon made from repurposed wedding dresses, a handmade nappy, booties, a beanie, a blanket, card and handbag charm, and are centred on helping the family create a memory of the baby.

“All of the team want to help the family honour the life of their loved one,” Lori said.

The clothing included in these packs is adapted to take into account different cultures. For example adapting the style of clothing and using the colour red for Chinese cultures; white for Hindu; green, white and blue for Torres Strait Islander culture and red, yellow and black for Aboriginal people.

“We try to have an inclusive range of garments that are culturally appropriate for the diverse communities that live in Australia,” Lori explained.

The charity operates wholly and solely through donations and there is a pledge system when accepting wedding dresses.

The donor pledges their dress by submitting a photo through the charities Facebook page called Made With Love – Murrum. The dress is then placed on a waiting list until a seamstress becomes available. The freshly cleaned dress is then sent by the donor direct to the seamstress.

The charity also accepts donations of handmade cards, wool, fabric and handbag charms.

“I have a great sense of family and kinship and I see this as my opportunity to do a little bit along the way to help others. It’s a privilege to help honour these lives,” Lori said.

“Our volunteers are the backbone of what we do and we can never thank them enough.”