Barnardos Mother of the Year ACT 2018 Announced

Introducing Australian Capital Territory’s Most Inspirational Mum

Barnardos Australia is pleased to announce Dianne Brookes from Crescent Banks, Australian Capital Territory, has been named Barnardos Mother of the Year ACT 2018.

Dianne Brookes was a young mother of three daughters in their teens when the unthinkable happened. At just 38 years of age, she suffered two strokes which left her paralysed on her left side.

The courageous mum underwent intensive therapy to regain the ability to speak and to walk independently, although she was unable to regain the use of her left arm.

Throughout this incredibly challenging time, Dianne continued to be a pillar of strength and positivity to her three girls, who are now in their 20s, raising them on her own and extending her voluntary care to others in need.

Now 49, Dianne volunteers at Camp Quality for children impacted by cancer, St Vincent’s Food Vans to feed the homeless, and Orange Sky mobile laundry service for homeless people. She also collects personal hygiene products to make up ‘dignity’ packs for the homeless.

“My mum is the definition of courage,” says her daughter and nominator, Kellie Brookes, 25. “Through the good and bad times, she manages to find the positive.

“My mum never expects recognition for what she does, but it’s about time she is recognised for her generosity and for being her.”

Dianne says the nomination came as a complete surprise, “I have never really thought about the struggles or challenges we have faced as a family – I focus on the task at hand and what needs to be done to improve the situation. I am so blessed to have incredible children, and I’m proud of the beautiful women they have become.”

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 Dianne 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 Kellie, who says “If I grow up to be half the woman she is, I’ll be happy.”

Dianne 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. For the past 23 years, an Australian Capital Territory mother has never been awarded the national title. It could all change this year.