Introducing South Australia’s Most Inspirational Mum
Barnardos Mother of the Year SA 2018 Announced
Barnardos Australia is pleased to announce Sarah Ballie from Port Lincoln, South Australia, has been named Barnardos Mother of the Year SA 2018.
Sarah Baillie, 39, had a “rough childhood” and was living hand-to-mouth, when she made the courageous decision to take the steps required to give her children a better life.
Moving away from the negative influences in her life, the single mother of two relocated her son and daughter, secured paid employment and enrolled in TAFE to further her prospects.
When her family became financially stable, Sarah began to volunteer at a community mental health centre which inspired her to enrol in further study at university. Now a mother of four, Sarah works in a Special School and has one year of university left before completing her degree.
“Being married at 19 and giving birth to her first child at only 20, mum was forced to mature and become the inspiring woman she is today,” says her daughter and nominator, Kiara Baillie, 19.
“Mum had it tough, with very little money…she still tells me stories of how we would walk to the nearest McDonalds and share a Happy Meal, as that was all she could afford.
“If mum didn't decide to change her lifestyle and work hard for what she wants, my two brothers, step-sister and I would not be the people we are today.”
Sarah says the nomination came as a complete surprise, “I was shocked to learn I had been nominated for Barnardos Mother of the Year. To then receive the call and be told I would be named Mother of the Year for South Australia was truly touching. We all have hardship and times of need – but to be able to show my children that it is up to us to defy odds and make the decision for a better future is the best gift I could give them.”
David Levy from Barnardos Australia says, “Barnardos believes all children and young people deserve caring families in which they can grow safely and fulfil their potential. For 23 years, the Barnardos Mother of the Year awards have recognised amazing mothers in our community who have shown incredible dedication to their children against all the odds. We have been blown away by the inspiring stories we received this year and we would like to thank everyone who nominated a special mum.
For us, it is incredibly moving to see how Sarah shares the same philosophy as we do, her soul focus being on the safety and wellbeing of her children. We look forward to celebrating her commitment to nurturing our future generation at our national event in May.”
The final word must go to Kiara, who says “I could only dream about helping and affecting as many peoples' lives as mum has.”
Sarah now progresses to the National Ceremony held in Sydney in May, where she will join the other state and territory winners for the announcement of the Barnardos Mother of the Year 2018. It has been five years since a South Australian mother has taken home the national award.