PADBURY great-grandmother Mary Tanner is as “proud as a peacock” of her 10 children after two won awards in their respective careers in as many years.
Seventh-born Bernadette Williams has followed in her older sister Angie Monk’s footsteps, winning the excellence in leadership title at the WA Disability Support Awards last month.
Mrs Williams’ win, on April 29, comes almost a year after Ms Monk, who is the patient blood management clinical nurse consultant at Joondalup Health Campus, won the Australian Nurse of The Year Award in 2016.
Mrs Williams said it was a celebration for the whole family as their mother had raised them to “be the best that they can be”.
“I always wanted them to have a good education, be independent and treat other people as you would your own,” Mrs Tanner said.
Before having children, Mrs Tanner herself was a nurse – a career three daughters followed.
Mrs Williams is the respite services co-ordinator at the Ability Centre, where her brother Geoff also works. Other siblings have careers in law, fashion, business, public service and finance.
They are scattered around Perth, Ireland, England and Sydney, and have given Mrs Tanner 22 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren so far.
Mrs Williams oversees respite support services with a team of 45 people for about 200 families, and one of the youngsters with whom she shares a close bond, Darce Luke, nominated her for the award.
Darce described Mrs Williams as someone who had always been there for her.
“Bernie is the person who has made everything happen for me – I would not be where I am or who I am today if it wasn’t for her,” she said.
Mrs Williams said she had been working at the Ability Centre for about 15 years and said she was “still smiling” days after receiving the award.
“It was a wonderful honour because there are so many wonderful people in our profession, all just as deserving,” the Mullaloo resident said.
“There are so many vulnerable children out there and families that need support and I’m so fortunate that I’m in a position to offer that support through my work.
“I’ve seen children from little and growing up; I’ve helped them in every stage of their lives (but) I receive far more than I could ever give.”Mrs Williams said they planned to hold a Mother’s Day high tea at her mother’s house this Sunday.
TWO Black Swan Health employees, Nadia Bamasri and Chris Black, of Duncraig, were recognised at the WA Disability Support Awards last month.
Nominated by a participant in the Partners in Recovery program, the pair were joint finalists in the ‘Excellence in improving participation’ and ‘Excellence in advocacy and rights promotion’ categories.
They won the latter for advocating for the rights of individuals with disability, as well as empowering consumers to advocate and providing opportunities to do so with support.
They also received the inaugural ‘Overall award for excellence’, which was selected from 130 nominations.
“I am just so humbled and grateful that the judges deemed us to be outstanding in what we see to be our day-to-day work,” Mr Black said.
Rachel, a nominating client, described the pair as showing “genuine care and a willingness to do whatever it takes to better our lives and help us pursue our goals”.
Black Swan Health chief executive and managing director Terina Grace said she was proud of the results that staff achieved in improving the lives of individuals with disabilities.
With services in Joondalup and Osborne Park, the organisation provides NDIS services for individuals with physical, intellectual sensory, autistic and psychosocial disabilities.
The WA Disability Support Awards, now in its ninth year, drew more than 130 nominees from 58 disability support organisations across the sector.
Hosted by National Disability Services WA and the Disability Services Commission, the awards were conceived in 2009 with the aim of building the reputation of the disability sector.
NDS WA State manager Julie Waylen said the awards set an important benchmark and celebrated the positive impact support workers from the disability sector could have on the lives of people with disability.
“It’s a great career choice for those looking for meaningful challenges and those who want to have a real and profound impact on the lives of people with disability, their families and carers,’’ she said.
“It’s about giving assistance that recognises the person, respects their dignity and encourages them to live a good life.’’