Hey Sunrise: an Aboriginal mum just won the Mother of the year award

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noelene lever 2018 barnardos mother of the year aboriginal

Hey Sunrise, an Aboriginal mother has just been awarded the National Mother of the year award.

If ever we are going to see the mainstream media pick up a positive Aboriginal news story, surely this has got to be it. At 78, Noelene Lever has taken care of no less than 50 Aboriginal and non Aboriginal children. She raised 5 of her own plus many more as a widowed foster mother. Her story is a tremendous tale of a woman’s love and strength that knows no bounds.

Noelene is a Bundjalung woman from Forster who spent many years as a young mum in Redfern. Over time she has taken in more than 50 children and often gave up her own bed, choosing to sleep on the couch so more of her kids could sleep on “the big bed”. Noelene made sure all the kids in her care were loved and loved equally. It didn’t matter if you were black or white, 2 years or 13 years old, Noelene’s love was always constant. Noelene also made a big effort to make sure those in her care maintained a connection to their own families too which sometimes involved travelling interstate to do so.

She was nominated for Barnardos: Mother of the year by Sarina Kapeli who was raised by Noelene since she was just two weeks old. Sarina says she is the woman that she is today because of Noelene. Noelene also gives credit to her mother who is still alive today aged 98. In fact Noelene’s extended family currently spans 6 generations that includes one great-great grandson, 34 great grandchildren and 30 grandchildren.

So now its over to you Sunrise, will you tell her story and congratulate Noelene on her award? If you need more time, perhaps you can feature her story during NAIDOC week as this years theme is “Because of her, we can”…

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