Barnardos Mother of the Year ACT finalist, proudly supported by ALDI Australia.

ACT finalist Lynne Sheville - nominated by daughter Nicola.

In her daughter’s eyes, Lynne Sheville, 53, “has some sort of superpower”. As a mother, teacher and now cyber-safety educator, Lynne has spent her adult life fighting for a safe future for children and empowering them to overcome adversity to realise their full potential.

Lynne’s daughter and nominator, Nicola Sheville, 27, is “amazed her [mum’s] hair isn’t completely white” given the parenting challenges Lynne has overcome.

“I experienced serious bouts of depression and anxiety before being diagnosed with ADHD that contributed to not only these psychosocial conditions, but abysmal behaviour as a teenager, emotional dysregulation and impulsive choices,” said Nicola.

“My sibling, Will, who also has ADHD, has experienced a number of mental health challenges and came out as transgender, identifying as non-binary.

“My brother Steve, we like to joke is the easiest child, but he has faced challenges of his own and Mum has been there every step of the way.”

According to Nicola, Lynne has gone to infinity and beyond to support all of her children, including joining organisations in the ACT dedicated to raising awareness of LGBTI people to support her child Will.

Lynne has also supported other family members and friends in difficult times, offering her home as a safe haven until they get back on their feet. This includes her own sister and Nicola’s friend, Laura O’Shea, 28.

“I stayed over at their place all of the time, until one day I just stopped going home. At no point did Lynne ever make me feel unwelcome or uncomfortable. She treated me like one of her own, one of the only adults who did not let me down or use me in some way,” Laura said.

After raising three children alone, Lynne completed a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree while working fulltime. She now works for the eSafety Commissioner, ensuring that parents, children and educators have access to information on the safe use of social media and the internet.

“My mother is easily one of the most inspiring people I've had the pleasure of meeting,” said Nicola.

“If it weren't for her, my mental health and undiagnosed ADHD would have certainly destroyed me, but now I have two degrees, am successful at work, am aware of my rights as a person with disability and can see a future I never believed I would live to see."