Vicki Purnell OAM


2019 TAS Local Hero

When the daughter of a friend gave birth to a stillborn child in 2013, Vicki Purnell found a unique and compassionate way to help. Another friend had told her how, when her daughter had lost a tiny baby, the hospital simply did not have the resources to present it to her in a compassionate way.

With her talent for sewing, Vicki formed Bridie's Blossoms, creating beautiful outfits for stillborn babies and keepsakes for parents. Since 2013, she has delivered more than 460 Bridie's Blossoms packages to six Tasmanian hospitals and funeral homes. The garments are designed for ease of dressing fragile little babies.

Vicki's service is unique in Tasmania; everything is handmade, with materials purchased from her own pocket. Vicki has expanded into creating personalized memory quilt keepsake packages and until recently worked with a local woodwork guild to fit-out and line hand-crafted wooden coffins.

Vicki uses her skills to ease the trauma for parents of stillborn babies and help farewell them with love and dignity.