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Inspiring mum wins SA award for caring for more than 90 foster babies

Dawn Jennings first opened her home to foster children, some as young as two days old, in the early 1980s and continued until her retirement in 2020.

A Modbury Heights retiree who cared for more than 90 foster babies while raising her own four children has been recognised with the Inspiring South Australian Women’s Award for 2021.

Dawn Jennings first opened her home to foster children, some as young as two days old, in the early 1980s and continued until her retirement in 2020.

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink presented the award to Mrs Jennings on January 18 as part of the SA Australia Day Awards 2021 ceremony at Government House.

“In these most extraordinary times, Dawn is an inspiring reminder of how important it is to care for those who need our support and the remarkable difference that one person can make to the lives of many,” said Minister Lensink.

“This award is an opportunity to celebrate South Australian women from all walks of life who are the unsung heroes in our community.

“I congratulate Dawn and every woman who was nominated this year – thank you for enriching our South Australian community.”

Mrs Jennings was nominated for the award by her friend Pam Griffin, who described the devoted carer as a quiet achiever.

“Most mothers look back on the first few months and remember how tiring they were – Dawn did the first three months 91 times,” said Mrs Griffin in the nomination.

“Women like Dawn are often overlooked. We need as a society to recognise them.”

In addition to the main award, an Emerging Leader Award was jointly awarded to young volunteer surf life savers Caylin Bristow and Laura Campbell, who together developed a “surf sisters” camp for the young women members of the Christies Beach Surf Life Saving Club.

An Emerging Leader Commendation was also awarded to young Roxby Downs nurse Kaitlin Purcell for her pioneering role in starting women’s football teams.

For more information on the Inspiring South Australian Women’s Award, please visit australiadaysa.com.au/pages/inspiring-south-australian-womens-award.

2021 Recipients
• Inspiring South Australian Women’s Award – Dawn Jennings
• Emerging Leader’s Award – Caylin Bristow and Laura Campbell
• Emerging Leader’s Commendation – Kaitlin Purcell

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