Mum of 10 honoured by Barnardos

January 31, 2018

Tammy Wilesmith with two of her 10 children Michael (left) and Bailey. Michael nominated Tammy for the Barnardos 2018 Mother of the Year.

Parenting one child can sometimes be a tough gig, but for Tammy Wilesmith raising 10 children as a single mum is still a joy.

The Berrigan mum is so appreciated by her children, her oldest son Michael, 24, nominated her for the Barnardos Mother of the Year 2018 award.

The winner will be announced in May, however Tammy has already received recognition.

She was selected as the Mother of the Week from other nominees submitted in early January.

The humble nominee said all she is doing is trying to raise well behaved children who respect their community.

‘‘It’s old school parenting, making sure they stick to the rules,’’ she said.

‘‘I’m firm with my children and have taught them to accept responsibility.

‘‘I do my best to guide and teach my children not to make mistakes.

‘‘I don’t have any favourites, I love them all equally because they’re all different.’’

In addition to Michael, Tammy is mum to Johnna, 22, Brendan, 20, Bailey, 18, Joshua, 17, Xavier, 8, Christian, 6, Piper, 4, Malia, 3, and Stiles who is seven months old.

With two children living away from home — Brendan in Sydney and Johnna in Dubbo — the parenting job should be a little easier for Tammy. But she said with her youngest four having autism, every day is a challenge.

She said looking after the children is not nearly as tough as facing community perceptions and misunderstandings about the condition.

However, with the help of staff at Berrigan Public School, the pressures are gradually easing.

‘‘Gillian Arnold and Venita Bacchetto have been life savers,’’ Tammy said.

‘‘They are so supportive and care for my children deeply, and they are such beautiful women for doing that.’’

Michael said nominating his mother for the award was a way to reinforce to her she is doing a fantastic job.

‘‘I just thought it was about time she received some recognition for being the mum she is,’’ he said.

‘‘There are people who can’t do what she does.

‘‘I saw these awards as a way to say thank you to mum.

‘‘There are many times we might be shopping and I tell her to buy a nice dress and shirt.

‘‘She’s always putting herself last so she certainly deserves it and if I could give her a medal I would.’’

Nominations for the Barnardos Mother of the Year close February 11. For more information or to nominate another worthy local mum, go to

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