Karina Elliott grateful for 'beautiful award' as she continues to advocate for deaf community.
An inspiring mum-of-three who taught herself to lip read after becoming deaf as a toddler has been crowned NSW's Mother of the Year.
And Karina Elliott said far from inhibiting her communication with her kids, her deafness makes her even more perceptive.
“Many mums have said they wish they could turn off their ears. I work hard to notice everything, so I catch the special moments and I am quick to see if they are in need,” she said.
“It’s pretty special that we have to have eye contact to communicate. Partly because of this, my kids and I are very in tune with each other.”
Ms Elliott, from Winston Hills in Sydney’s west, said she was grateful for the “beautiful award” as she was named Barnardo’s No. 1 mum.
“As mums, I think we do what needs to be done and don’t ever expect recognition. It’s really special to be recognised,” she said.
But she added the proudest moment of her life was when she saw her three children welcome their nine-year-old foster brother into the family with open arms.
Ms Elliott also teaches Auslan to help other people connect with the deaf community.
“She loves to advocate for the deaf community and teaches Auslan to anyone who wants to learn. She is absolute gold,” her friend Camara Holland said.
It was Ms Holland who nominated Ms Elliot for the award.
“Karina faces every challenge with determination and loves to give generously of herself,” Ms Holland said.
“Her incredible children are testament to her love and care. She’s the type of person that will drop everything for a person in need and has a home where she welcomes everyone — including all the children from the neighbourhood.”
Barnardos Australia chief Deirdre Cheers said Ms Elliott was a strong contender for the national award, which will be announced on May 9.
“It’s so important to honour Aussie mums who are caring for children, and providing them with love, support and the opportunities to thrive into the next generation,” she said.
(This article first appeared in the The Daily Telegraph.)