I owe our success to our valued customers, without their support this business simply would not exist. I am forever grateful to be doing a job that gives me deep meaning, connection and purpose which is why giving back to the community has always been a top priority. Our charity work started in 2007 and to date we have donated over $180,000 to various causes and charities. One that is especially close to my heart is “Oliver’s Gift” which is now a permanent initiative of my business which was launched in May 2021.
“LOVE MUM” BOOK 2023
For the past 13 years Mother’s Day has always been the focus for our fundraising efforts. To date we have raised over $180,000 towards various causes and charities and this year we will be dedicating our efforts towards Haydens education fund with the goal of raising $10,000.
I was called to a palliative care hospital to do imprints of a beautiful lady named Sandra who was losing her life to brain cancer. I asked a few questions to her family as they surrounded her bedside and found out we were the same age and leaving behind her husband and 8yr old son Hayden. I was reminded once again the fragility of life and how tomorrow is never guaranteed to anyone. Although I did not meet Hayden personally he was always in my thoughts and an idea floated to my mind – our goal of raising $10,000 towards his education and his future dreams of becoming a sports star.
OLIVER’S GIFT 2021
Oliver’s Gift is an initiative that assists bereaved families who have lost a child. Through various fundraising efforts by our business we offer our products and services free of charge. Oliver’s gift was inspired by a dear customer Tanya (who is now one of my treasured friends) who I met in 2009. Tanya was expecting her second child who sadly had complications and asked me to take photographs of her pregnancy. At the time I was developing ways to create tangible memories of baby hands and feet and I offered my services to Tanya once her baby was born. Oliver Jeney arrived into the world on the date TBA and passed away shortly after birth. I had the privilege of meeting him and taking his imprints using soft earthenware clay. Little did I know that this small act of kindness for a grieving family would be the humble beginning of Baby Imprints. Every year I work with several families who have experienced the painful loss of a child and every time I have met the families I always had the same feeling that “no grieving family should ever have to pay for my services, it should be a gift”. On the 21st of May 2021 Oliver’s Gift was launched at Burnt Orange in Mosman together with 100 beautiful guests. We were blessed to have two inspirational speakers on the day, Sam Bloom from the movie and best selling book “Penguin Bloom” and Tanya Jeney, Oliver’s mother who shared intimate stories of her own experience. Oliver’s gift is already making a difference in the lives of many families and I am so proud that our business supports our community in this special way.
If you know of someone now or in the future who needs my services please contact us at the studio on 9418 8703.
CONNIE’S HEART 2017
2017 was a special year as we celebrated the 10th Anniversary of my business. I wanted to do something big to thank the community for supporting us over the decade, so I decided to take a 12 month sabbatical to raise funds for one of my favourite charities “Love your sister”. Inspired and deeply moved by the self titled book I received for Christmas in 2016 I decided to reach out to the authors Samuel Johnson OAM and Connie Johnson OAM from the charity “Love your sister” and present to them an idea i had for a fundraising project. The idea was to create an artwork made up of thousands of ceramic imprint hearts formed by fingerprints. In the centre of the artwork would be the imprints of Connie Johnson the co-founder of Love your sister, who was a young mum suffering from stage 4 breast cancer and did not have much time to live. My goal was to raise $100,000 from the artwork and present the artwork to Connie as a tribute to her and the millions of dollars she and her brother Sam had helped raise towards cancer research. After 10 months of travelling around the country and hundreds of hours creating hearts, the artwork was unveiled by Samuel Johnson at the Garvan Institute of medical research in Darlinghurst on the 30th of October. The artwork named “Connie’s Heart” was made up of 2025 hearts, included the hearts of some special celebrities such as Megan Gale, Kate Ritchie and Manu Fieldel, spanned over 10 metres long and 3 metres high and most importantly raised a total of $111,000 towards cancer research. Sadly Connie passed away just 7 weeks before the artwork was unveiled but found the strength to cheer me on every step of the way. “Connie’s heart” is a permanent display at the Garvan Institute and beside it a list of all the names of the generous donors who took part in making this dream a beautiful reality.
LOVE MUM BOOK 2014
Mother’s Day has always been a popular month for our fundraising efforts and in 2014 i selected Miracle Babies Foundation for my next project as this charity was very close to my heart. In 2013 my daughter was born premature at 35 weeks, for a few days after her arrival I experienced first hand what it was like to be in a NICU ward (Neonatal intensive care unit). Being surrounded by so many sick and premature babies made me realise just how important the work of charities such as Miracle Babies Foundation was in helping support families in their time of need. My vision was to create a coffee table book celebrating the lives of 12 extraordinary mothers each given a theme for example “love” and in their own words describing what the word meant to them. The book was intended to inspire the reader through their own individual stories of hope, love and strength. “Love Mum” raised $10,000 for Miracle Babies Foundation and included the stories of the founder Melinda Cruz and celebrity comedian and actress Mary Coustas who also shared about her painful journey towards motherhood. The book was dedicated to my daughter Millie who was a little miracle herself.
HANDS ACROSS THE WATER EXHIBITION 2010
This was the project that began my love for fundraising! In 2010 a friend mentioned to me about an annual charity bike ride in Thalland by an organisation called “Hands across the water”. The ride would be 700kms long and we would travel through the countryside finishing at an orphanage where many children had lost their parents in the devastating Tsunami of 2004. To enter the ride each participant was to raise $10,000 through fundraising and so i decided this would be an opportunity I didn’t want to miss. In March the same year I turned my studio into an art gallery for one night to showcase 30 of my prized images each with an inspirational quote to accompany each photograph. The silent auction was a success and raised $10,000 for the orphanage. Not only did i have the most memorable time in Thailand, but i completed the ride with my dear friend Andrew who later became my husband just 2 years later!