'Breastfeeding Welcome Here' award presented to Kambri venue

9 August 2019

One of Kambri's cafes, the Lab, has been presented with a Breastfeeding Welcome Here award for meeting criteria that encourages a safe, supportive and welcome environment for mothers to breastfeed.

The Supporting Breastfeeding at ANU Working Group and the Australian Breastfeeding Association presented the café with the award - including stickers that they placed on their doors highlighting the venue is a breastfeeding friendly environment.

Speaking on behalf of ANU, Associate Director of Wellbeing, Tania Willis, said it's a very important occasion for ANU, as the University continues to work on its Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) strategy which encompasses more family-friendly policies and encourages more activities with staff, students and their families on campus.

"It's really important for women in our community to be able to feel included and feel safe when they are feeding their babies and very importantly is a great initiative as part of our diversity and inclusion strategy," she said.

"It's an exciting time for us."

Tania said she remembered breastfeeding her son, now 23 years of age, when he was a newborn.

"I do remember some of those things where you have to cover up and you didn't feel like you were welcome so I'd just like to take the opportunity of thanking the Lab to do this," she said.

Associate Professor Julie Smith, who is a member of the Support for Breastfeeding at ANU Working Group and has been working on the University's breastfeeding friendly workplace accreditation efforts, said having a new baby is delightful but also scary and hard work.

"The last thing a mother needs when she steps out the door in the morning is worry about where she can comfortably feed the baby without harassment. Making the ANU campus family-friendly helps make women feel welcomed on campus.

"Businesses that recognise that breastfeeding is a part of daily life for new mothers deserve our attention. 

"This Australian Breastfeeding Association Award, which we hope is to be one of many on our campus, is that recognition," Dr Smith said.

Of course it's not the first time breastfeeding and nurturing babies and young children has taken place on ANU grounds.

"Our First Australians have been caring for their little ones on these grounds for thousands of years, so it's highly symbolic that Kambri, which was named by these First Australians as a gathering place, should have this 'breastfeeding welcome here' award," Dr Smith said.

In order to be considered a breastfeeding friendly venue, the venue must meet criteria that includes; a welcoming attitude from staff and management, a smoke free environment and room to move a pram.

Canberra Group leader of the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA), Megan Fox, said it was exciting to be back at ANU which is working to become re-accredited as a breastfeeding friendly workplace.

The award was presented to the Lab as part of World Breastfeeding Week, the theme of which was 'empower parents, enable breastfeeding'.

"And I think that's just so important, to say every baby is different, every parenting experience is different so as long as we empower the parents to make the right decisions for their child at the time then things will go great," Megan said.

"Having the knowledge and confidence to breastfeed is usually the key to being able to make that a success."

If you are a business owner who is keen to find out more about the Breastfeeding Welcome Here program, including how to apply, you can find out more at https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/services/welcome

Information on ANU policies and initiatives in place for parents and carers of other family members can be found at http://genderinstitute.anu.edu.au/parents-and-carers. This web page also provides specific resources relating to breastfeeding (including parenting room locations), the ANU Parenting Spaces book - a printable guide that outlines the parent room locations on campus - a Google map of parenting spaces, and checklists for mothers and supervisors that cover how to support mothers breastfeeding on campus (provided courtesy of the Australian Breastfeeding Association's Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace accreditation program).

For a list of other Breastfeeding Welcome Here venues on campus, visit https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/services/welcome/venues?display_name=&state_province=1638&postal_code=&city=Acton.