About Motherless Daughters Australia


Our aim is to connect and support women, girls, and families experiencing the distress and lifelong impact caused by mother loss. We believe that with support, guidance, and resources, motherless daughters feel less alone and more supported in their life journey. 

By providing a space to grieve in an empowering way and offering support while navigating the everyday and life's many milestones without mum, daughters are able to thrive, and individuals, families, and communities can become stronger together. 

Acknowledging women's lived experiences of mother loss is at the centre of our work. Connecting women of all ages and backgrounds to comfort and support each other in a non-judgmental space, Motherless Daughters Australia provides a first of its kind platform to facilitate important discussion that might not have been possible otherwise.

For us, it goes beyond the care and support of daughters and families; it’s about raising awareness of the often overlooked lifelong impacts of mother loss. The more aware that families, friends, and communities are of the impacts and what to look out for, the more we can all support daughters in coping with the loss of one of life's most vital relationships.


Mother loss can have a profound impact resulting in deep emotional scars and mental health challenges. There are millions of women in Australia coping with this loss.

Of the 12M women in Australia,
have lost their mothers.
women have experienced mother loss before the age of 44.


What We Do

Our work focuses on three core priorities:

Raise Awareness - we will educate the community to equip them with the skills to support women and girls who have experienced mother loss.

Connect - we create opportunities for women, girls, and children to build connections with one another and receive support to cope with the everyday and life's milestones without their mum.

Present Evidence - as a social impact organisation, we will research and always remain curious about our community’s experiences to inform future activities and services, so they remain relevant and valuable to our members.

We deliver on these areas of priority through a range of events, resources, and support programs.

Party Popper
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Private online community
Angel wings icon
Awareness programs
Illustration of two friends with arms around each other
Support programs
Illustration of a Journal
Commemorative initiatives
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Research and thought leadership

Our Vision

To be the leading national not-for-profit organisation that represents, informs, supports and connects women and girls whose mums have died.

Our Mission

To connect and inform women and girls whose mothers have died, by supporting them through life’s journey as they navigate the everyday, including life’s milestones, without their mum.

Our Values


Everyone processes their grief in their own way, at their own pace. We respect how our community chooses to cope.


We strive to understand the emotions of our community and create a space to share and be open, together.


Every daughter's experience is different. We will foster an environment where experiences and emotions are shared without judgement.

Collaboration and Connection

Together we’re stronger, so we’re committed to working closely with our community to provide the best possible support.


As a registered charity, we’ll provide you, our community and stakeholders, with transparency in all we do.


We’re on this journey ourselves, so we’re committed to being authentic and sharing our own journey with you.

Meet The Founders

Portrait of Danielle Snelling

Danielle Snelling

Danielle was 23 when her mother Rosa, aged 56, died from a rare form of gynaecological cancer in 2012. Rosa shared in the joy of Danielle completing her Bachelor of Education degree and encouraged her to follow her passion for teaching. Following Rosa's death, Danielle continued to pursue her teaching career in South Eastern Victoria. 

As Danielle had such a close and special relationship with her mum, she felt as though her whole world had fallen apart and found it difficult to contemplate the finality associated with death. Not knowing anyone her own age that had also experienced the loss of a mother left Danielle feeling misunderstood and lonely. 

Danielle longed to connect with another woman who was in the same shoes, but there was no support specific to losing a mother. 

While riding the waves of grief, Danielle decided to invest her time and channel her energy into creating the support network she would have liked available and to change the path for future motherless daughters. In 2013, she reached out on an American Mother Loss Facebook page with the hopes of finding a Victorian-based woman in the same shoes and who might share her vision to connect girls and women whose mothers have died.

Eloise Baker responded and the two met where they discussed all things mother loss. It was here the idea of Motherless Daughters was born.

Portrait of Eloise Baker-Hughes

Eloise Baker

Eloise was only 13 when her mother Janet, aged 47, passed away suddenly after suffering a heart attack in 2002. Janet was on her way home from work and had stopped by the local florist to buy a bunch of flowers for her own Mother's birthday, when she went into cardiac arrest.

Eloise grew up living with her dad, step mum, two older brothers and step brother in Melbourne. As a teenager, Eloise often longed to have her motherless life understood and supported by her fellow peers at an all girls school and also in the wider community. 

A chance online connection with Danielle made for an instant friendship and special connection In 2014, in fact, Danielle was a bridesmaid in Eloise's wedding. The opportunity to help create and establish Motherless Daughters Australia was an absolute dream come true for Eloise as its vision and ideas spoke strongly to her heart. 

Eloise has faced many of life's milestones without her mum, but was fortunate enough to have had her maternal grandmother by her side supporting her for most of these milestones until 2020 when she passed away. In 2020, Eloise became a first time mum to daughter, Matilda.

Our Board

Michelle Cox


Michelle is a podcast host, an author, a speaker, a board director and a ceramist. This mix of business smarts, creativity and curiosity comes out in every conversation you have with her.

Michelle’s career spans 25 years of executive leadership and includes a wealth of in-depth experience in a variety of National and Global Executive roles across a range of industry sectors. Previously holding CEO, COO & CMO roles for several well-known brands, as an entrepreneur at heart, she has also started a number of companies throughout her career.

These days Michelle has a ‘portfolio career’ which means she gets to do lots of fun, interesting things every day that are incredibly varied. She’s a Non-Executive Director on the board of ASX listed Experience Co (ASX:EXP), recently finished a term on the board of BSA Limited (ASX:BSA) and held a Director role on the Board of Tourism Tasmania for eight years.

Having sat on boards for over twenty years, this is the first board I have a strong emotional connection to and I'm thrilled to build upon the incredible work done before me. Having personally experienced the profound loss of my mother when I was 26, I deeply resonate with MDA's mission to support and connect women and girls who have lost their mums. If an organisation like MDA existed when I and my young siblings lost our mum, our lives would have been much different. We would have had support and understanding from others who comprehend the profound loss when you lose your mum prematurely. I feel honored to be the Chair of this board and work with the founders, Danielle and Eloise to serve our members at such a difficult time in their lives.”

Julie Borninkhof

Julie leads with heart and purpose, combining her love of people and creativity with her passion for mental health reform, resulting in the development of quality person centred support for people in need.

Since becoming a mum at the age of 41, Julie has reflected on how the time we have with our children can influence their experience of the world and their attachment to others. For so many this time is all too short, and that is why organisations such as MDA are fundamental in being there and advocating for women and their supporters.

As a Clinical Psychologist, CEO of Perinatal Depression & Anxiety Australia (PANDA), and a nationally recognised leader in clinical governance, health care and mental health reform, Julie brings a wealth of expertise. Having worked across a range of health care settings, Julie’s extensive track record of organisational growth, governance and accountability, community engagement and advocacy place her in an ideal position to support the growth of MDA. Julie is “thrilled to be a Board member of this great organisation”.

Portrait of Mark Woolley

Mark Woolley

Mark has worked in both the corporate and not for profit sector and has a passion for bringing business and community together. He is a lawyer with extensive experience in providing advice on major property/planning transactions and advising on property and governance related issues.

Mark connected with Motherless Daughters through his wife’s experience; “both my wife and mother had amazing close relationships with their mothers who they talked to just about every day. The bond between them was incredible and I wish MDA had existed then so that there had been an opportunity to engage with other daughters when their mothers passed.”

Over the course of his career, Mark has been part of executive leadership teams and led professional service teams. Mark brings expertise in developing national capabilities and competencies.

Tim Allman

Tim is currently a partner of a major accounting firm and has provided professional services and advised clients across many industries in both Europe and Australia. Tim is a Chartered Accountant and Registered Auditor with a strong focus on corporate governance, risk management, and finance reporting.

Prior to joining the MDA board Tim was the audit committee chair of an independent not-for-profit organisation that works with people to enhance their mental health and wellbeing. Tim is the father of two daughters in their twenties and has a passion for empowering young women to succeed and realise their true potential; “When I met Danielle and Eloise for the first time I was absolutely blown away by their passion and commitment for the work they were doing to support young women to cope with the loss of their mum”.

Tim grew up in Jersey, a small island which is part of the United Kingdom and moved to Brisbane, Australia in 2002 which he now calls home


We are honoured to have the following supporters believe in our vision to be a national not for profit organisation that represents, informs, supports and connects women and girls whose mothers have died, to help navigate the everyday and life's key milestones.

Fundraising for us

We are grateful for any support, but before you engage in any fundraising on our behalf, there are some legal requirements set out in different Acts across Australia that govern how fundraisers can raise funds for charitable purposes.

If you are interested in fundraising for us, check the fine print and submit the form on the below page.





Motherless Daughters Australia acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the traditional owners and custodians of the land, sea and nations and pay our respects to elders, past and present.
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