A BEELIAR girl has been announced as a state finalist for the National Carer Awards.
The awards recognise the work of unpaid carers.
Olivia Faliti, who is nominated as a young carer finalist, is the primary carer for her mum Natasha, who has multiple sclerosis.
The condition took Ms Faliti from an ordinary life to dependence on a wheelchair in just six months.
Ms Faliti said Olivia (15) always went beyond what was asked of her.
“Olivia is there to hug us and listen to us,” she said.
“She makes sure we are all cared for, especially her brother, and she has an eye on him at all times.”
With maturity beyond her years, Olivia is unperturbed about the situation.
“Now that I’m old enough, I’ve taken a part-time job at Coles to earn some extra cash,” she said.
“When I have any spare time, I like to do swimming and kick-boxing which keeps me fit and helps with my self-defence skills.”
Outside of her day-to-day duties, Olivia goes to school, is involved with community projects and also hosts reading groups at a local primary school. She said her long-term goal was to be an orthodontist.
Winners will be announced in February.