Leila Abdallah honoured as 'Mother of the Year'

‘Leila has demonstrated grace, charity, and peace beyond measure’

Christian lobby group Family Voice launched its “National Mother of the Year” Awards in the lead up to Mother’s Day – and the inaugural winner is Leila Abdallah.

“I was surprised,” Leila said about learning of her award. “I was overwhelmed. It’s amazing.”

Leila Abdallah (together with her husband Danny) captured the hearts of Australians last year when her three children (Antony 13, Angelina, 12 and Sienna, 8) and niece, Veronique, were tragically killed by a drunk driver on 1st February 2020.

Since then, the couple have become something like spokespeople for Christian forgiveness. They have publicly expressed forgiveness for the driver and also established i4GiveDay – an annual day encouraging people to forgive others – at a launch with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, on the anniversary of the deaths this year.

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“Throughout the 14-month ordeal of investigation and trial, Leila Abdallah has demonstrated grace, charity, and peace beyond measure despite the horrific loss she and her husband have suffered and continue to suffer,” Family Voice said about its first National Mother of the Year.

“There could be no better example of how to deal with such a significant and life-changing family disaster than Mrs Abdallah has demonstrated, even though her heart must still be breaking daily because of the loss of three of her precious children. Yet she continues to express forgiveness rather than seek revenge when addressing the media.”

Leila said she she considered “mother” to be “one of the greatest titles in the world”. She said she has steadily taken pride in being a mother, and living for her kids.

“Kids are a gift to us and the biggest joy any parent can have,” she said. “I’m blessed to have these amazing kids.”

Leila dedicated her award to all those bereaved mothers who have experienced the grief of losing a child – be it through miscarriage, a still birth or the loss of any child.

FamilyVoice is a politically conservative Christian lobby group, running current campaigns which oppose legislation that makes euthanasia legal, regulates legal abortion, and prohibits vilification.

FamilyVoice describes the purpose of the new Mother of the Year Awards as being “to honour mothers … to highlight the importance mothers’ play in the development of the child, and to recognise that mothers make a positive impact at home, work, church and in the family.”

The selection panel from FamilyVoice also awarded Adrielle Van Hassel from Queensland the award for Young Mother of the Year (for mothers up to 25 years of age). Adrielle was celebrated for choosing to become a mum at 16 “instead of being pressured into aborting the baby” – and despite lacking support from the father.

“Adrielle recognised that life is life in and out of the womb. She says it is important to nurture life and has made her family stronger as they have grown closer together through this experience. She is an inspiration to other young women to take up the cause to protect life and family as a mother,” said Family Voice.

And South Australia’s Anthea Adams was awarded the prize in the open age category for grandmothers.

Anthea’s husband is a chaplain in a motor sports club, and together they have nine children and 21 grandchildren – plus another grandchild due this month.

“She has so much godly wisdom and does not just share it with us but is often counselling others and ministering to other wives and mums” wrote her daughter in her nomination.

“She is committed to her marriage – my parents have been married for 41 years (coming up to 42 in June) – and having a stable, godly marriage is such a tremendous blessing to us all!”

The awards were announced yesterday on talkback radio Sydney’s 2GB and 4BC Ben Fordham’s Breakfast Show.