Barnardos Australia is the leading child protection charity in Australia and 2016 sees them celebrate mothers with the Barnardos Mother of the Year award in it’s 21st year.
The Barnardos Mother of the Year award is the charity’s flagship campaign, aiming to drive a social movement around the importance of mothering.
Barnardos Australia is a non-government, non-denominational charity at the forefront of child protection for over 130 years. Barnardos work with families and communities facing issues such as violence, poverty, mental illness and homelessness to keep children safe at home. Barnardos Australia’s extensive range of services include, family and domestic violence support, mental health support, emergency accommodation, parent education, counselling, foster care and adoption.
We were fortunate to find out a little more about Laura Waldhuter, South Australia’s State Finalist.
Laura Waldhuter, 28, is living proof that a big heart can’t be broken. A survivor of domestic violence, Laura is now in a safe and loving relationship with her husband, with whom she suffered the tragic loss of their first child, born at just 18 weeks. The couple has since had three healthy children – and keeps filling the house with more. In 2015 Laura became an emergency foster carer of four children. More recently she has taken on the permanent care of three siblings, who otherwise may not have been able to stay together. Laura is now the proud mum to six children under the age of six years, some of whom have special needs.
What was your immediate reaction to finding out you had been nominated?
I was shocked. I thought “why have I been nominated? Surely there are thousands of other mums more deserving than me!”
Can you tell us a little about yourself and why you were nominated?
I am a mum and foster mum to six children under the age of 6. Like Barnardos, I am passionate about giving children the best chance at life and all the love and care they need.
What does the nomination mean to you?
I am so humbled to have been nominated for Barnardos Mother of the Year. It is lovely to know that others notice and admire what you do for your children. To me, I am just a mum, the same as millions of other mums around the world. My home is just a little fuller than most.
Do you think becoming a state finalist for Barnardos Mother of the Year will change your life?
I hope that becoming a finalist will not only change my life, but also the lives of many children. If just one person decides to help children and families through foster care, by hearing my story, then that is enough for me.
Can you tell us a little about your favourite memory of being a mother?
There are so many. Hearing your little ones playing happily together outdoors. One of my favourites was watching my shy little boy stand up in front of his school and say the lines of his play with all the confidence in the world. It really is the little moments that count.
What do you think has been your biggest mothering achievement?
I haven’t had much time to accumulate achievements compared to the other nominees’ haha! Definitely though, seeing how a stable and loving family environment helps children to thrive in both their development and general wellbeing is one of the most rewarding things for me.
If you could give one piece of advice to mothers everywhere what do you think would be the most important one you could give?
We all know that being a mum is no walk in the park, whether you have one child or half a dozen. When the going gets tough, look for those little moments of bliss within the chaos and use them to get you through.
If you are chosen to go to Sydney are there any things you feel you just have to fit in while you are over there?
I have never been to Sydney, so the Harbour Bridge is a definite must see. Seeing the breathtaking sights of the Blue Mountains are also high on the list of things I would love to do .
For more information about the Mother of the Year award or to nominate go to www.MotherOfTheYear.com.au
For more information about Barnardos Australia or to donate go to: www.barnardos.org.au