Barnardos Mother of the Year TAS 2018 Announced

Introducing Tasmania’s Most Inspirational Mum

Barnardos Mother of the Year TAS 2018 Announced

Barnardos Australia is pleased to announce Joan Bellinger from Burnie, Tasmania, has been named Barnardos Mother of the Year TAS 2018.

At 84, Joan Bellinger by all rights should be enjoying her retirement years as a grandmother of 10, having spent a good 60 years raising her four children to adulthood, supporting her husband during his career as a police officer and building her own career as a school teacher.

Yet when her 48-yer-old son-in-law was diagnosed three years ago with Frontotemporal Dementia, Joan shelved her own needs to step in to support her daughter’s devastated family in the face of the trauma and the upheaval it has caused.

“Both my parents are in their eighties, but they have been with us every step of the way and given immense financial and emotional support, even caring for my husband and children, so that I can continue to work full-time,” says her daughter and nominator, Lynne Butler, 50.

“My mother in particular has stepped into the role of my best friend, supporter, advocate, sounding board and the person who is available for me and my family 24/7.

“I am continually left speechless and amazed by the number of ways my mother is able to provide me with support, love and care. I could not continue to function and provide my husband and children with the support they need, without my mother.

Joan says the nomination came as a complete shock, “I didn’t expect anything like this would ever happen to me... especially at the age of 84. All I can hope for is that my children, my grandchildren – and someday their children will see that life is a gift, and we need to enjoy every moment of it.”

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 Joan 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 last word must go to Lynne, who says “She is the reason I am coping and there is no way I can ever put into words how much this woman means to me. Thank you mum, for being my everything.”

Joan 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. Last year, Carol Edmunds also from Burnie Tasmania took home the national title – will Joan keep the title in Tasmania this year?