Canberra and Region Multiple Birth Association (CARMBA)
turns 40 on 14 February 2013
Canberra and Region Multiple Birth Association (CARMBA) is a support network for parents, grandparents, legal guardians and expectant or adoptive parents of twins, triplets, or more! Our aim is to offer support and provide information to multiple birth families throughout the ante- and postnatal periods, the pre-school stage and the primary and secondary school years. CARMBA provides support which ranges from assistance for member families linked with volunteers from the community, to the loan of equipment and clothes to help reduce the costs of raising multiples.
Marilyn Olsen, Life Member of CARMBA says, “I was at the first meeting on 14 February 1973 then known as the 'Canberra Mothers of Twins Club'. With the passage of time the name changed to 'Canberra Parents of Twins Club'. In the early days it really was a support group for mothers who often were more isolated than today....- prams more cumbersome, no second car, and mostly no family support here. A great number of parents had very little notice (sometimes none) of the impending multiples as there was no ultrasound scanner in Canberra. One mum’s girls were undiagnosed and born in Cooma and I had just four days’ notice.”
Amelia Haddock, President of CARMBA says, “Valentine’s Day seems an appropriate day to celebrate CARMBA’s birthday, the birth of your children has got to be the day when love truly blossoms and you realise what you and your partner have created. It may have been a sign of the times that the meeting was held on Valentine’s Day but I think it is sign of how important it was to the volunteers that the club was set up.”
As the 40th anniversary of the club approached Marilyn said “I used to wonder sometimes in the early days why the club survived but with the passage of time I could see that there was that common connection between members that has given it longevity.”
CARMBA is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a number of events, including their famous annual Family Fun Day which is held during Multiple Birth Awareness Week (10-17 March). CARMBA volunteers are also organising the Australian Multiple Birth Association’s annual national convention in October.