As a result, Ellie Moir (19) is now a finalist for the national award, which will be held in February.
Ms Moir has been a full-time carer for her mother, Lynette Hallam, since August 2009 when she was hospitalised after becoming suddenly ill and unable to walk, speak or otherwise take care of herself.
After months of uncertainty, she was diagnosed with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.
Although her mother has good and bad days, the teenager is responsible for all her general assistance and runs the household.
She is the only income-earner and manages the household finances, bills, meals and cleaning, as well as travel to and co-ordination of appointments.
Ms Moir, who herself has Ehlers Danlos and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndromes, is heading into second year at university studying psychology.
Requiring physical rehabilitation, she has muscle deterioration and can not walk long distances or play sport, and needs special seating for comfort and posture while sitting her exams.
With her limited mobility, Ms Moir completes all her lectures online, attending campus for tutorials two days a week, according to her sister Krista, who nominated her for the awards.
“Ellie never complains about her carer responsibilities, even though I know she struggles to meet her own health needs on top of managing mum’s,” she said.