Nina shows sisterly love

Sisters Nina Malkos, Mia Wilkes and Ellie Malkos.Picture: Martin Kennealey   d446919
Sisters Nina Malkos, Mia Wilkes and Ellie Malkos.Picture: Martin Kennealey d446919

NINA Malkos (10) loves learning with her baby sister Mia Wilkes (2), who she helps care for.

“She is lots of fun and cheeky,” Nina said.

“I learn new things with her.”

Nina’s mother Nancy Wilkes and sister Ellie Malkos (7) nominated her for the 2015 Young People Who Care Awards and she is a finalist in the young carer eight to 13 category.

Mia has septo optic dysplasia, optic nerve hypoplasia, motor delay and global development delay, so her older sister helps to feed and dress her. Nina has learnt Braille and keyword signing to communicate with Mia, and prepares breakfasts for herself and Ellie.

Musically talented, she also plays the piano and clarinet and received a scholarship to the School of Instrumental Music. Her mother said they were very proud of Nina and she was “an inspirational young lady”.

The Young Vinnies group from Sacred Heart College in Sorrento is a finalist for the caring in the community group category of the awards. It includes about 150 students aged 11 to 17 who volunteer and support several charities, organisations and individuals or families.

Through the group’s participation in these projects, the students interact with both children and families of different ethnic backgrounds and socio-economic groups, promoting a more inclusive and dynamic society.

“The students give of their own time and energy and they, as those they empower, learn the joy of giving and expect nothing in return, other than seeing the happiness they bring to others,” nominator Rossana Hywood said.

Award winners will be announced at the State Theatre Centre on December 8.