NEARLY 20 years since immigrating to Melbourne, Snjezanna Brcic is being recognised as a pillar of strength to her family and community.
Mrs Brcic, 50, has been named as the Barnardos mother of the year for her incredibly generous spirit.
While her two daughters, Ines, 28, and Ivana, 22, are grown up, they nominated their mum anyway.
Ines said her mum had been a maternal figure in the Frankston community since arriving in 1999.
After moving to Australia from war-torn Bosnia, the Brcics had to learn English, find jobs and make new friends.
Mrs Brcic decided the best way to integrate was through volunteer work.
While raising two young children, she signed up for an English language course and joined the Red Cross.
Ines said it was through giving back that her mum’s English started to flourish.
Mrs Brcic now works as a carer at a nursing home in Frankston, where she gives her “time, patience and so much love to others”.
She said the award was a lovely surprise.
“I’m lucky my daughters feel this way about me and they tell me all the time,” she said.
(This article was first published in the Herald Sun, Melbourne, Wollongong NSW and was written by Jayitri Smiles.)