Samantha Payne

Co-founder and CEO of Pink Elephants Support Network

2022 NSW Local Hero Nominee

In 2015, after losing her baby through miscarriage, Samantha (Sam) Payne reached out to her friend Gabbi Armstrong to share her grief. Realising there was no support for early pregnancy loss or miscarriage available in Australia, the two decided to create it themselves.

Together, they founded the not-for-profit Pink Elephants Support Network. The name took its inspiration from elephants, which are said to form a circle of support with their trunks around a mother elephant if she loses her baby.

The organisation’s mission is to ensure no-one walks through pregnancy loss alone. Under Sam’s direction, it provides a personalised peer support program to help women through pregnancy loss.

With empathy, courage and tenacity, Sam also lobbied the federal government for three years to get more support for early pregnancy loss. This resulted in new legislation to add miscarriage to the compassionate and bereavement leave entitlement. Sam has received numerous awards including the 2019 Telstra Women in Business – For Purpose award in New South Wales.