Well, what a journey the last three days have been! I am still in total disbelief, honoured and very humbled to have been awarded the 2019 Tasmanian Local Hero title at Government House in Hobart. Congratulations to all the inspirational nominees and category winners, with each and every one working tirelessly to enhance the lives of others in some way.
What a thrill it was to have my good friend of many years Brenda Hodge give the Welcome to Country at the beginning of the ceremony. on Friday. I don't know who was more emotional when I was named the winner.
It was very hard to try and gather my thoughts and speak in an intelligible manner. Although we had been briefed on what to expect the minute we sat down in the ceremony, everything flew out the window.
I will work very hard that over the coming year as I continue to honour the legacy of baby Bridie Connelly. “A person is a person no matter how small”, is the quote from Dr Suess that I use on the little card that accompanies each Bridie’s Blossoms package. Each little soul deserves to be wrapped with love, however brief their time on earth may be. Anna and Steven rest assured that Bridie’s legacy will continue to grow and expand as long as I am able and a succession plan is put in place.
The real heroes here are the heartbroken parents trying to piece back their shattered lives following the stillbirth or miscarriage of their much long for child. Although I did not have the opportunity to speak about it at the Tasmanian Australian of the Year Awards ceremony in Hobart on Friday equally important heroes to me are those women and children at the Warrawee Women’s shelter who flee family violence and are trying to piece their lives back together and the women diagnosed with gynaecological cancers as they fight to regain their health. More recently my fidget quilt project is making a real difference in our hospitals as they provide a calming activity in a strange and stressful environment.
A big thank you to my Mum, Betty, and my wonderful husband Philip. Without Phil I would not be able to do what I do. There are many friends and family who will not think twice when I ask them if they can deliver quilts and packages for me. People, many I have never met, have been very generous with their gifts of fabric and more recently bits and pieces for the fidget quilts.
Many many thanks to those who have sent me messages of congratulations. I know I haven't replied to you all but please know that they mean the world to me.