If you have had a child, you would likely remember packing a bag for the hospital. Some items for you, a change of clothes, some essential hygiene products, and a cute little outfit to take your new bubba home in! I remember it clearly for my son. He was induced after stubbornly staying put for 2 weeks past my due date. Hmmm. You can imagine how long that hospital bag sat beside my bed!
Since having my son, I have moved to Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia. I quickly learned how big our beautiful wide brown land really is! A 90 minute flight from Darwin, over the stunning top end coastline where the aqua Arafura sea meets the white sand, red cliffs and green wetlands, is the small town of Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula. The traditional owners of the land are the Yolngu people.
The Nhulunbuy township has a population of around 4,000 and is home to Gove District Hospital, a maternity ward staffed by a small, passionate team of midwives who welcome into the world all of the new babies born across Arnhem Land (the next nearest hospital is Darwin). Women from small outstations travel to the hospital from 36 weeks pregnant, so many of them are in hospital for 4-6 weeks. Many of them arrive with only the clothes on their back.
The midwives had noticed a need and began collecting hygiene products and sewing bags for them, so that they could give the new mums something to take home and to make that time away from home just a little bit better. However they were struggling to keep up with it, so they emailed us at Hillsong Church to see if we could help.
The Hillsong Sisterhood in Darwin isn’t large, we are in our small humble beginnings, but we have big hearts. Our group saw the need for children and sisters in our own backyard and couldn’t wait to help. Before I knew it, products that had been added to the regular grocery shop were being brought in for this cause. We found a woman from our church who travels frequently between Darwin and Gove and was happy to take some extra luggage!
I had the great privilege of visiting Gove District Hospital Maternity Ward at the end of 2017. The hospital is small but the staff are passionate about the people they serve. The midwives greeted us with a beautiful homemade lunch and a tour of their maternity ward. Our Sisterhood Darwin girls had been so generous and there is nothing quite like handing over gifts with no strings attached.
Since then, the Sisterhood across Australia got behind this initiative, sending gift vouchers gathered at Sisterhood United Nights to source goods locally on their behalf. New mums received their gifts in tote bags printed with “Beautiful Beloved Celebrated” for them to take home along with their new baby. The mums at Gove Hospital would have no idea who the gifts came from but they would know that there is a company of women out there, fellow Australian sisters, who love and believe in them.
– Emma, Darwin
The Colour Sisterhood is a movement of everyday women, using what’s in their hand to make a difference for children, sisters and nations. What could you do to gather as a group to respond to a need in your local community? Find tools and inspiration to Reflect, Respond and Rally to make the world a better place at www.coloursisterhood.com. #iamsisterhood