For 32 years, Australians have been donning a red nose in support of Red Nose Day. 

This year for RAAF Base Amberley members, Leading Aircraftwoman Shauntel Hardy and Leading Aircraftman Ben Hopkins-Rhatigan, Red Nose Day is close to their hearts. 

The couple lost their son, Hunter, last year when he was stillborn at 20 weeks. They sought assistance from Red Nose Australia to help with their grief and recovery. 

“Red Nose is Australia’s leading authority on safe sleep and pregnancy, and bereavement support for families affected by the death of a child,” Leading Aircraftwoman Hardy said. 

“Their bereavement services and resources have been immensely helpful for our families healing, especially their online resources, which have made us feel less alone.

“Their grief and support line is 24/7 so you can call them any time for any reason, with this service not only available to parents but also siblings, grandparents, friends or employers who can seek guidance on how to give support.”

Driven to support the organisation that helped her, Leading Aircraftwoman Hardy hosted a barbecue fundraiser today, August 14, at No. 1 Squadron, also selling raffle tickets and Red Nose Day merchandise at RAAF Base Amberley. 

“After the loss of our son, I found my passion lies with raising awareness and sharing our story in the hope it helps a family feel less alone, but also to keep Hunter’s memory alive,” Leading Aircraftwoman Hardy said.

“I like to think his life’s purpose was to bring comfort and light to those experiencing such a loss.

“All the money raised will go directly to Red Nose Australia where it will be used to fund life-saving research and support education programs to help stop little lives being cut short.

“We hope one day no parent will have to endure the pain of the loss of a child from SIDS, stillbirth or miscarriage.”

To donate to the cause, visit https://www.mycause.com.au