Friday, 15 April 2016

Barnados Mother of the Year Ceremony 2016

It's exactly a year ago today since I was awarded Barnados Tasmanian  Mother of the Year.  It's been the craziest year and it has gone so fast, but it's also been an amazing year as it has given us such a big boost.  It was lovely to have something so special happen to us, after a hard few years. 

I've been talking to some of the other state finalists who I met at the national final in Sydney, and we all feel the same way about our year coming to an end. We've all had mixed emotions about it all as it was such an exciting year for all of us, and we are sad that it's all over.  All of us had been through some really hard things and it was so lovely to be spoiled, even though all of us didn't feel like we deserved it.

When Barnados asked if I would be able to go along to the Tasmanian ceremony this year to help out, I was more than happy to.  I remembered how nervous I was on the day, and seeing some friendly faces there made a lot of difference.  The ceremony was held in the Premier's Reception Room in the Executive Building again, but the Premier wasn't able to be there.
It was nice to chat to the MC - Georgia Love who is a reporter and news presenter for WIN TV.   She was also the MC last year so it was lovely to talk to her. She was keen to hear how my year had been, and what I had been up to.  We had a laugh when I told her and the other finalists how I would pretend to casually read the Woman's Day in the staff room at school, knowing full well that an article about the state finalists was in there.

It was so lovely to meet this years state finalists.  All of them were so lovely and had very different stories.  Denisa was so lovely and just so happy and overwhelmed to have been nominated and in the final.  Her last name is Woolley and I was chatting to her husband and we are pretty sure that we must be related, as their family is from the Huon Valley which is where my Nan grew up (she was a Woolley).
Helen was also so happy to just be nominated by her granddaughter.  She has given up a lot to care for her grand children, and was a beautiful lady.
Amanda wasn't meant to live more than a few days, and was never meant to have children because she is severely disabled. She has a 7 year old daughter, and she's also pregnant with their second child. Her husband was so lovely and so proud of her and what she can do despite her disabilities. He was very keen to hear all about Sydney and what I got up to at the national final.

Amanda was announced as this years Tasmanian finalist and she was very surprised and excited.  It was so lovely to see how excited her daughter and husband were.
I'm so glad that I got to go along and be a part of the ceremony, and to hear the stories of some amazing women. 
Last year we had a good laugh that all my friends who came along to the ceremony ate all the morning tea, while I was out with the media.  Some of them even went along to an amazing bakery next door called Daci and Daci while I was doing interviews. I didn't find out about this till later, so I still stir them up about eating all the food and having fun without me. 

Because I missed out on going to Daci and Daci last year, I didn't want to miss out this time, so I organised to catch up with my friend Chelsea after the ceremony.  She's moving to Sweden with her family in a few weeks, so I knew it would probably be the last time I would see her before they leave. 

There were so many amazing slices, cakes and delicious options for lunch. It was very hard to choose.

We decided to take a selfie so we could sent a pic to our friends who went there without me last year, and she cracked me up as I saw myself and complained 'I look so fat!' and then she said 'but at least we have cool glasses!'.  Thanks for the chat Chels. I hope that your adventures in Sweden are all you hope it to be.

Now that my year as Tasmanian Mother of the Year is over, I feel like I need another adventure so we have something to look forward to. It's hard to come down from such an amazing year, especially when the reality of life hits over and over again.   If only every year could have something so special and exciting happen. I don't think I will ever be able to compare anything to last year. I'm so grateful to Barnados (and Reeve for nominating me) for such an amazing experience.  I  have made friends with some amazing women and have so many amazing memories which I'll never forget. 

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