Black named Tasmanian Australian of the Year

Bernadette Black from Blackmans Bay was announced as the 2019 Tasmania Australian of the Year for her work as an Advocate for teenage parents, during a ceremony at Government House on Friday, November 16.

As a once 16-year-old mother, Bernie is the founder and CEO of BRAVE Foundation, Australia’s only national organisation, supporting and representing 8300 expectant and parenting teens each year.

This year, after over 12 years of lobbying Federal ministers and National Human Rights Commissioners, BRAVE Foundation was awarded $4.4 million to run a nationwide trial connecting 350 expecting and parenting teens to education and support opportunities.

With a strong sense of destiny, Bernie overcame adversity to finish her education; becoming a qualified nurse, up skilled her corporate governance capacity, enabling her to be appointed to Boards and strengthening her influence internationally to highlight acceptance and care around every person facing teenage pregnancy and parenthood, so that they can grow a healthy family.

Bernie has been awarded Barnardos Australian Mother of the Year and Telstra Tasmanian Woman of the Year.

Women took out all four titles at this year’s Tasmania Australian of the Year Awards, with Sally Wise from Molesworth awarded the Tasmania Senior Australian of the Year; Hobart’s Kirby Medcraft receiving Tasmania Young Australian of the Year; and Vicki Purnell from Devonport named the 2019 Tasmania Local Hero.

The Tasmanian award recipients will become part of 32 state and territory recipients from around the country who will represent their state at the national awards on January 25, 2019 in Canberra, where the four Australians of the Year will be announced.

(This article first appeared in the Kingborough Chronicle, Kingston TAS).

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