Celebrating Molly Fergus: Young Victorian of the Year

Awards, Featured, Volunteer | Posted July 1, 2024
Celebrating Molly Fergus: Young Victorian of the Year

Today Molly Fergus was honoured with the prestigious Young Victorian of the Year Award. This accolade celebrates her exceptional dedication and tireless efforts as a carer and advocate for children, reflecting her profound impact on her community and the lives she touches.

Molly, a 30-year-old woman accredited in 2017, has devoted her life to caring for over 30 children, offering them stability, love and unwavering support. Her commitment goes beyond the typical responsibilities of a carer, earning her a reputation as a true champion for the children in her care.

One of the most remarkable stories highlighting Molly’s dedication involves Hannah*, a young girl who came into her care in September 2020 at just six months old. Hannah faced significant health challenges, including cerebral palsy and a compromised immune system. Molly has supported Hannah through numerous medical appointments and dozens of hospital visits and admissions, ensuring she receives the best possible care.

In July 2023, Molly’s advocacy ensured that Hannah’s newborn sister, Bianca*, was placed in her care just two days after birth. This decision kept the siblings together, reinforcing the importance of family bonds. Both girls have been thriving under Molly’s care since then, and with the support of DFFH and OzChild, permanency planning for both is now underway.

Molly’s dedication extends beyond physical care. She has taken meaningful steps to support the girls’ Muslim culture, connecting them with a local mosque and fostering their cultural identity. Despite facing challenging circumstances, Molly consistently supports the girls’ connection with their birth family, always advocating for their best interests. Her collaborative and open approach with the girls’ care teams highlights her commitment to holistic care.

In addition to her role as a carer, Molly is an active member of her community. She volunteers with the State Emergency Service (SES), serves as a mentor and trainer, and contributes enormously to local initiatives. Her multifaceted involvement showcases her dedication to making a positive impact in every aspect of her life.

During her acceptance speech, Molly said

“Caring for the children, experiencing their first smiles, first steps, first words –  feeling the weight of the responsibility intertwined with joy also comes with a sense of guilt too, because I’m not the one who should be experiencing these firsts – but I persist because these children deserve love, stability and a chance to thrive.”

Molly acknowledged in her acceptance speech how hard it is for the families of the children in care too telling the audience that those families are not alone, “I am on your team”

“We need more warriors in this world, so if you are sitting there wondering if you can make a difference, you absolutely can.”

Sarah Jordan, Molly’s Case Manager since 2020, describes working with Molly as a privilege. Sarah’s sentiment is echoed by many who have witnessed Molly’s relentless dedication and compassion.

“As Molly Fergus receives the Young Victorian of the Year Award, we celebrate not just her achievements, but the profound difference one person can make in the lives of many. Molly embodies the spirit of community, care and advocacy, setting a powerful example. Her story is a testament to the extraordinary impact of dedication and love in transforming lives.” – Dr Lisa J. Griffiths, OzChild Chief Executive Officer.

*Names of the children have been changed for privacy concerns.

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Acknowledgement of Country

OzChild acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live and work. We acknowledge their cultures are living ones, which relate to their ongoing connection to all things living and non-living on land, sea and sky.

We pay our respect to Elders past and present.

May the children of today lead us to a brighter tomorrow.

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