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About Us

Gidget Foundation Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to support the emotional wellbeing of expectant and new parents to ensure they receive timely, appropriate and specialist care.

Gidget was the nickname of a vibrant young mother who tragically took her own life while experiencing postnatal depression, a diagnosis that she kept to herself. In her honour, her family and friends created Gidget Foundation Australia, which evokes Gidget’s warmth and lively spirit.

Perinatal depression and anxiety are recognised mental health conditions affecting 1 in 5 mothers and 1 in 10 fathers. They impact around 100,000 Australians each year, with maternal suicide being a leading cause of death amongst expectant and new mothers.
A beautiful young lady wearing a hat.

Gidget's Story

Gidget was the nickname of a vibrant young mother who tragically took her own life while experiencing postnatal depression, a diagnosis that she kept to herself.
Together, her loving family and friends created Gidget Foundation Australia determined that what happened to Gidget would not happen to others. As a teenager, she could often be found sporting a black and white polka dot bikini on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. It was here that she was given her nickname Gidget as she looked similar to Sally Field’s character in the 1960s American sitcom, Gidget.

Remembering Gidget

Gidget is remembered as fun, charming, elegant, affable, cheerful, a perfectionist, and ambitious. Her bright personality was matched by her love of colour, in particular red — red shoes, red dresses, red nail polish, red lippy. This is why the Gidget Foundation Australia logo features a flower, a red gerbera. It’s symbolic and a tribute to Gidget.

Gidget left the world too early, though she has left a remarkable legacy. In the words of Gidget’s Mum, Sue Cotton, “Gidget Foundation Australia came into being because of Louise, but it’s not about my little girl anymore. Gidget Foundation Australia is all about the other ‘Gidgets’ and guys out there suffering. Let’s all do whatever we can to get them to start talking.”
Gidget's sisters, Simon Short, and Jacqui Cotton and Gidget's mum Sue Cotton
Gidget's family (L to R), Sister, Simone Short, Gidget’s Mum, Sue Cotton and Sister, Jacqui Cotton
"She was beautiful. She was fabulous. She was amazing. I wish that she was here today. She would have loved to be in this enormous room but we are all here because she isn’t. Her name was Louise. She was the first of our three daughters."
Sue Cotton, Gidget Ladies’ Lunch 2017
Read Sue’s full speech

“Since 2001, the Foundation has supported expecting and new parents who are experiencing perinatal depression and anxiety and I am immensely proud of our history and believe wholeheartedly in our future.”

David Cotton, Gidget’s Father


Our Journey

At the heart of Gidget Foundation Australia is Gidget. A vibrant young mother who tragically took her own life while experiencing postnatal depression, a diagnosis that she kept to herself.

From this inconceivable tragedy, her family and friends gathered on a beach in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, grieving, yet determined to keep her legacy alive and support other parents in need. These incredible people are called Our Founders, and our journey began with them.

It was a movement which gained momentum.

Since 2001, our Founders: Zarnie Berthold, Libby Bowditch, Jacqui Cotton, Stephanie Hughes, Lou Hunter, Kim Mouret and Simone Short have raised significant funds and driven awareness of perinatal depression and anxiety to support expectant and new parents across the nation.

In 2012, Gidget Foundation Australia was registered as a charitable organisation, led by Our inaugural Board. Among others, renowned perinatal specialists, Dr Vijay Roach (Chair) and Professor Bryanne Barnett AM (Director) dedicated themselves to our cause, working closely with Director, Jarrod Bowditch (Gidget’s best friend) and Company Secretary, Simone Short (Gidget’s sister and current Chair). The organisation’s inaugural Managing Director, Catherine Knox, combined her lived experience, passion and expertise to voluntarily guide the Foundation.

Today, Gidget Foundation Australia, led by our CEO, in conjunction with the wider Gidget team, work tirelessly to achieve our mission. The Foundation is made up of many wonderful groups of people - our community.

Gidget’s legacy is immeasurable, and the reason our journey began. The expectant and new families supported nationwide by Gidget Foundation Australia are the reason our journey continues...