Terese Edwards from the National Council of Single Mothers and their Children Inc of Hilton, SA is the winner of the Unsung Hero award at the 2019 HESTA Community Sector Awards.
Awarded for her work advocating for single mothers, connecting them to vital services and a support network of women using social media to help them overcome isolation, hardship, and violence.
Terese said the most rewarding aspect of her work was helping women around Australia who are isolated or in need by linking them to support services and organisations.
“It’s so much more than a job, we run on love and determination. My day revolves around women who head up a sole parent family whilst contending with enormous challenges such as financial hardship,” said Terese.
“Social media allows me to reach women from across Australia 24/7. Our Facebook page provides single mothers with an important connection, especially those who are isolated geographically, socially, or financially, as well as those who may be affected by domestic violence.”
Terese also advocates on issues impacting single mothers to ensure that they are represented fairly in Government policy review and development.
“For women across Australia, our advocacy is a statement to say we’re hearing you and we’re trying our best. It’s such a privilege to help women who are often in really terrible situations and have them come back and ask how they can pay it forward,” said Terese.
Terese said she will use the prize money to continue her advocacy work and to attend conferences and inquiries addressing these issues with other single mothers so that their voices and views are heard.