What does breastfeeding mean in 2020?

MEDIA RELEASE: 18 June 2020

Mums and healthcare workers resonate with rising student artist’s work sharing the diverse and unifying moments of breastfeeding

Australian mums and healthcare workers have recognised a rising Melbourne student artist for her work highlighting the unity of motherhood and breastfeeding - no matter your race, religion, or colour.

Hundreds of mums and healthcare professionals have selected Madeline Hughes from Holmesglen Institute as the winner of Medela’s ‘Mother’s Milk in Art’ competition for her poignant and timely piece, Every Journey is Beautiful.

Selected from eight finalists in the competition, Madeline’s work resonated most among mums and healthcare workers, coming at a particularly important time.

“Every mother has her own - and shared - journey with breastfeeding. Every Journey is Beautiful is about bringing mothers of diverse backgrounds together, showing breastfeeding is completely normal in every culture,” Ms Hughes says.

“I wanted to ensure every mother and child was different as every journey and every child is different, but the one thing they all share is the nourishing and nurturing that comes with breastfeeding.

“Every mother has joys, struggles, triumph and sometimes “try again later” moments with breastfeeding. I have learnt this sharing with my two cousins who have babies and listening to their stories with breastfeeding.

"Now more than ever, mothers need to know they are not alone in their journey with breastfeeding…there are mothers everywhere who are going through a similar experience."

The Mother’s Milk in Art competition is a collaboration with Victoria’s largest provider of vocational and higher education Holmesglen Institute, and Medela Australia as joint efforts to normalise breastfeeding and support students in these COVID-19 times.

Mothers and healthcare practitioners from all over Australia took part in choosing the winner of ‘Mother’s Milk in Art’ via social and online media – with Ms Hughes’ work taking the overwhelming majority.

Runner up included Christopher Brandl Lopez who was inspired by the symbolism of the tree of life "representing the nature of natural progress and a child’s journey through life and how they grow roots, flourish, and will soon be strong enough to survive on their own."

Holmesglen Institute’s Graphic Art and Illustration Lecturer Ian Forss said he was delighted as many people as possible are seeing the students’ talents on a national platform.

“Art is one of the most powerful ways for sharing the diverse complexities of an emotionally rich issue like breastfeeding in Australia, especially during COVID-19,” Mr Forss said.

“It’s been a tough time for the arts community and no doubt for breastfeeding mothers also. So, I can’t think of a more appropriate time to launch this program across Australia. Well done to Madeline and Christopher and all the students who took part.”

About Medela’s ‘Mother’s Milk in Art’ program

Every year Australia’s leading TAFE, Holmesglen Institute, that offers a wide range of arts and design courses and Medelateam up to bring ‘Mother’s Milk in Art’ – an arts competition where students share the powerful impact of breastfeeding.

Usually displayed and judged at the Asia Pacific Breastfeeding and Lactation Symposium in Melbourne, student winners are chosen by the attending healthcare professionals.

But with COVID-19 restrictions cancelling this year’s event, Medela opened the competition to mums to also join in choosing the winning artworks via social media.

“Madeline’s work reflects the unity of motherhood and breastfeeding - no matter who you are, where you are from, and where you are. We want to sincerely thank Mr Ian Forss and the students from Holmesglen Institute in embracing this project, and heartily Congratulate Madeline and Christopher on being selected as the winners,” said Jarrod Percy, Managing Director of Medela Australia.

“Mums are united in giving the best for their babies, something we are passionate about here at Medela and is more powerful now, than ever. We’re so grateful for all the mums and healthcare practitioners who helped select Madeline’s piece as the winner.”

Madeline will receive $600, and Christopher will receive $300.

For more information visit www.medela.com.au

About Medela Australia:

Medela was founded in 1961 by Ollie Larsson and headquartered in Switzerland.  Medela today is led by his son Michael Larsson.

Medela has actively been supporting Australian mothers, babies, and their families in Australia for more than 19 years through its distributing partners.

About Holmesglen

Holmesglen is a leading Australian provider of vocational and higher education and one of the largest government owned TAFEs in the state of Victoria. We offer over 500 industry training, certificate, diploma and degree programs across six locations and eight campuses. Locations include Chadstone, City, Moorabbin, North Melbourne, Glen Waverley and Eildon. As a multi-award winning institute, you can learn more and do more at Holmesglen. holmesglen.edu.au

For more information on Holmesglen Institute’s Arts and Design courses, visit https://holmesglen.edu.au/Courses/Arts-and-Design/

Media contacts:

Katie Martel, Croft PR, +61 413 780 545, katie@croftpr.com

Danyelle Nolan, Croft PR, +61 408 410 930, Danyelle@croftpr.com

Holmesglen media contact:

Richard Roach, +61 3 9564 1830, Richard.roach@holmesglen.edu.au