2019 Australia Day Awards


As we drove up to the gates of the prestigious Government house here in Adelaide, the streets surrounding were filled with people. Being one of the recipient's for the 2019 Australia Day award, I said to my husband, I had been told we could park in the grounds.

Now this house is no ordinary house, with security surrounding the gates, government officials and VIP's arriving, we suddenly had become what felt like royalty. 

As we drove through those gates, the people were lined up to get their names checked, we proceeded to park the car. For those who have never been into Government house or something similar this place is just divine. With well kept, green grass, water fountains and big tree's that had wooden benches to sit on underneath, the surroundings of the house were just magical within them selves.

We proceeded to walk to the front of the house were the function was to take place, upon our walk over, the sounds of a beautiful harp were being played - something my children had never seen or heard before. I told them how privileged we were to be in such an important place and to make it "relevant" to Ayvah's world, I said we were in the grounds of royalty, this is the Adelaide King and Queen's house. Her eyes lit up as she looked around and I could see she was slowly taking it all in.

Nick, Cure4CF foundation CEO Suzy Dimaline and chair, Jo Close.

I say it often but, my parents provide me with endless inspiration. From a child to now. I see my Dad and what he continues to go through, watching how positive he remains and to actually see him "walk the talk" would inspire anyone. He never feel's sorry for himself and truly has a heart of gold. 

Since becoming a mother, my eyes have been opened to see my mum in a whole new light. Mum is my strength, my courage and the reason I am a go getter - she is an amazing woman who I believe is the unsung hero. From her endless love for my family and I to her ability to just get on with things, Mum has taught me we have a choice, we make a decision and it is ok if it is not always the right decision, but what we should do, is take a risk. Mum has had many successes in her life, (I will have to write another blog about her) but through combining the power, support and love of my parents, I am one of 3 who are a true testament to our parents. 

From a distance, I see a man in the crowd, he was sat down on his own, concentrating. He looked very familiar, so I went over and introduced myself. Mickey O'Brien; a senior aboriginal man.   I had first met Mickey after he did the Welcome to the Country at the Newday Summit I attended last year.  He was wearing traditional clothing; a kangaroo skin cloak, possum skin headpiece, ochre and feathers. My children were very intrigued by his appearance and as he came over to meet my family, he was extremely welcoming and showed Ayvah his cloak, explaining to her it was a kangaroo once and she didn't hold back and felt the soft fur which was draped over him.

Mickey went onto perform the Welcome to the Country and what an experience this is to witness.

Having come from a very diverse background, my Dad being Torres Straight and a victim to the White policy all those years ago, hearing the traditional welcome was educational for everyone to respect and learn of the tradition. For my children to see this, I think was invaluable.  Ngaityalya Mickey.

In the prescience of His Excellency, the Honourable Hiue Van Le AC, as well as audience members of high importance, I felt privileged to be amongst one of those.

The  Awards being presented were as follows;  - South Australian Community Event of the Year - South Australian Young Citizen of the Year - South Australian Citizen of the Year - The Minister for Educations award for Leadership on Languages and cultures - Women Hold Up Half The Sky Award

What an inspiring group of people to have been recognised. Hearing Will Mcdonald, the MC read a brief introduction about each of the recipient made me feel extremely honoured to be in the presence of such wonderful people.

I personally feel honoured to have been selected as the South Australian Women Hold Up Half The Sky Award. The Women Hold Up Half the Sky award recognises an outstanding woman who has made a great contribution to the community, is part of the Australia Day awards and honours and is jointly coordinated by the Office for Women.

It is so important for us as Women to be able to voice our opinions, to share our passion and to be heard. I am determined to use my voice to help others around the world for them to see not only the importance of believing in yourself, but through resilience and hardship comes lessons.  Lesson's that we need to learn in order to go further in life.

Winning this award has recognised me in being a passionate advocate for the Cystic Fibrosis community, in raising awareness for this illness, for giving hope to other families that CF will not define who we are as a person, it is a part of who we are.  I am one of many Cystic Fibrosis warriors across the world, sharing my story - but we all have one, I will continue to be a platform to educate others and share other CF stories.

The award allows me to open up to a new audience and share my fundraising goals, that being, to raise funds for the Cure4CF Foundation whom I am an ambassador for. The foundation exist purely to raise funds to fund research being done Australia wide to cure Cystic Fibrosis. 

As I have entered my 30's I am more passionate than ever in ensuring I am apart of the journey, my role, is help raise as much money for the organisation, knowing it is being directed at research that will CURE CF. 

Finally, this award, allows me to pursue my personal goal.  I will continue to speak at organisation's and school's across Australia, teaching our children about resilience, shifting the mindset and how to be positive when you think you cant. Through sharing my stories, I know I can make a difference and I will make a difference. 

And to top it off, it is a milestone for Women in South Australia, as of December this year the Office for Women is celebrating the 125th anniversary of landmark legislation that enabled women in South Australia – for the first time anywhere in Australia – to vote in general elections, and to stand as members of Parliament.

After accepting my award from the Honourable Michelle Lensink, I proceeded with my acceptance speech.

Speaking in public is some thing I am love to do. I have the gift of the gab as my family would say. But when speaking in front of such an influential audience, I had 90 seconds to speak about 31 years of passion, experience and life looking forward.  I walked up to that microphone with only 1 thing I knew I was going to say; 

Cystic Fibrosis is the most common life threatening illness effecting Australians today. The rest...it just came naturally.

The end of the night concluded with bubbles, finger food and lots of mingling.  I am grateful for the many people I have crossed path's with and am excited to see what this next chapter unveils.

2019 is sure promising to be the start of something wonderful, I cant wait to bring you all on the journey that lies ahead.

CHECK OUT MY ACCEPTANCE SPEECH: https://youtu.be/Lgh5-3dXqAo


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