The heart of an organisation is instrumental in shaping its direction
Gidget Foundation Australia was founded 20 years ago, after a great tragedy.
Gidget was the nickname of a much-loved young mum, who was suffering from unrecognised postnatal depression. Surrounded by loving family and friends, the extent of her suffering was unknown even to them, until she tragically took her own life, leaving behind her gorgeous nine-month-old daughter and her devastated loved ones.
It was Gidget’s beautiful sisters and best friends who gathered amidst their own grief to work out how they could best prevent this from happening to others. United by the depths of their loss and by their determination to create impactful change, Gidget Foundation Australia began to take shape. From that black hole emerged a glimmer of light.
It is a common response to a loss like this for those left behind to channel their grief and passion into driving change and ensuring a legacy for their loved one. What is not so common is for an organisation that started in this way to go on to such great things with such longevity, while keeping its heart in the right place.
Gidget’s circle of sisters and best friends began devoting their time and efforts to fundraising, so that they could improve the perinatal mental health supports available in Sydney, knowing that there was not enough. It was their unwavering energy and commitment that saw the organisation take shape and steadily gain momentum.
This same circle of women remains at the heart of Gidget Foundation Australia today. They each carry Gidget with them in every decision they make, every event they organise, and every dollar they raise. This has always been done with integrity, passion, professionalism, and dignity. It has always been done with their memories of Gidget, and their connection to her, at the very heart of it all.
As an organisation grows, it naturally changes over time. But when steered by the authenticity of great tragedy, it is shaped by the very heart at its core. If every single person involved in the direction of an organisation is motivated by at least a small set of shared values, then shaping its direction becomes quite an organic process.
As Gidget Foundation Australia has evolved, it has continued to honour the life of someone who left this world too soon. This is the very human story behind a charity that is about to turn 20 years old.
Today we continue to truly embrace Gidget’s legacy, and it is this magic that has helped to bring about our huge growth of recent years. It is only through keeping Gidget at the heart of everything we do that the organisation has been able to achieve such authentic growth and success – success being measured by how many families like Gidget’s are able to access the specialist support they need to survive and to thrive.