Congratulations to our Barnardos Mother of the Year Victoria finalist - Deb Saunders.

Deb Saunders

Nominated by her daughter, Kate Muir.

Deb Saunders was put on this earth to take care of others, according to those who know her best. The former foster carer “oozes motherness” and has an open-house policy that makes all who know her feel like one of the family. Deb’s unconditional love for all the children in her life is all the more remarkable given that she is a childhood- and domestic-abuse survivor who also lost her 17-year-old son, Jack, in a tragic accident 11 years ago.

Jack’s friends still visit Deb every year on his birthday.

She was nominated by her daughter, Kate Muir, who says her Mum is “one of the strongest women in the country”.

“I believe my mother should be mother of the year because of her incredible strength, commitment and generosity,” Kate says.

“My mum has dedicated her life to ensuring that young people and children receive all kinds of support for when they are experiencing hardships in life. She has helped dozens of young people reach their potential and avoid a rough path that could see them end up in juvenile detention centres.

“Despite raising four children independently, she took in numerous teenagers to foster to ensure that they had a caring and loving home.

“All three of her children have severe depression and mental health issues which she is constantly managing and ensuring they are supported and loved. She is admired for her perseverance and amazing mental and emotional strength to keep fighting in the face of adversity,” says Kate.