John Curtin Medal for foster carer
CARINE resident Fay Alford and Susan Saleeba help children in two difference countries and last week came together as recipients of the prestigious John Curtin Medal.
Ms Alford has welcomed more than 90 foster children into her home and has advocated for the rights of children and families for three decades.
Ms Saleeba established Nakuru Hope in the Kaptembwa slums of Kenya in 2008 and provides education, food and medical support to nearly 300 children and their families.
Curtin University has awarded 43 medals since 1998 to people who have contributed to society and demonstrated former Prime Minister John Curtin’s qualities of vision, leadership and community service.
Ms Alford, who is on the board of Kinship Connections that helps Aboriginal children transition out of State care, said she would never forget her time living in a children’s home from the age of eight.
“But that sent me on my journey of fostering,” she said. “I’ve always had a strong community focus around the wellbeing and protection of children.”
Ms Saleeba said she was grateful she had been able to do the work she did in Kenya, but it had not come without sacrifice.
“It’s not been easy but the sacrifice is worth it to give education, food and medical supplies to these kids,” she said.
In 2014, Ms Saleeba started her new school in the heart of the slums and opened an orphanage for abandoned and abused children on the same site.
Later that year, with the help of supporters, she bought a farm to grow food to provide 2000 meals a week.
Curtin chancellor Colin Beckett with John Curtin Medal award winners Fay Alford and Susan Saleeba, and Curtin vice-chancellor Professor Deborah Terry.