Special honour for grieving mum after horror crash
The mum of three children killed in a horror car crash last year has dedicated her National Mother of the Year Award to all women grieving the loss of a child.
Leila Abdallah, paid tribute to all mothers ahead of Sunday's celebrations, telling The Daily Telegraph: "mum is the most powerful word anyone can say".
The Sydney woman lost three of her six children when they were hit and killed by a drunk and drugged driver last year.
It was a tragedy that rocked Sydney but the aftermath has not only been the story of heartbreak but Ms Abdallah's words of forgiveness and bravery have unified the community.
In accepting the award Ms Abdallah said she "prayed for the driver without ceasing" and "looked at him with eyes of compassion because I am a mother."
"Mothers know how to love and forgive, any mother will tell you losing a child is one of the hardest pain," Ms Abdallah said.
"It is unimaginable but you never actually surrender or give up.
"They're still present in our lives.
"I'm a mother of six children, while they may not all be here with me physically, they are a constant presence in my life."
Ms Abdallah dedicated her award to all women grieving the loss of a child.
"I dedicate this award to all the bereaved mothers who have lost a child," she said.
"From a miscarriage, to a stillbirth, to a child loss, to an infant loss, to a tragic loss.
"I would like to wish you all a happy mother's day, you are all special and a gift to the world.
"You are all powerful and influential, happy Mother's Day."
The Abdallah family is currently fighting for a memorial to their children at the Oatlands crash site.
The national mother of the year awards are decided by Christian organisation FamilyVoice Australia, after the charity Barnardos ended its association with the award.
FamilyVoice Australia NSW state director Gregory Bondar said "we're delighted to have chosen Leila given the circumstances in her life that she has endured".
Originally published as Special honour for grieving mum after horror crash