Mulu Mihreteab wins National Carer Awards for Victorian Family Carer of the Year

Our award-winning Baptcare client, Mulu Mihreatrab cares for her daughter Heaven at least 20 hours a day.

Mulu and Heaven, disability, asylum seekers

THE National Carer Awards 2015 has recognised Mulu Mihreteab from Ascot Vale as Victoria’s Family Carer of the Year in a ceremony hosted by The Hon. Gabrielle Williams MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Carers and Volunteers, at Parliament House in Melbourne on Monday, 30 November.

Mulu is the sole carer for her severely disabled daughter, Heaven Zerai, aged 13.  Living with a range of medical conditions that includes Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, Ventricular Septal Defect and Congenital CMV Infection, Heaven requires constant supervision and around the clock medical care, being unable to walk, talk or feed herself.

Originally from Eritrea, Africa, Mulu and her family lived in Sudan before moving to New Zealand as a refugee where she became a citizen.  In 2001, they relocated to Melbourne so that Heaven could receive medical care at the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Adding to the complexity and challenges they face on a daily basis, Mulu and her family were declined permanent residency status in 2011.  As a result, Mulu has faced enormous financial hardship, being able to access just $260 per fortnight from Centrelink despite having extensive caring responsibilities and expenses.  Heaven’s fragile lung function prevents her from travelling and returning back to New Zealand, where Mulu’s other children attend school.

Mulu’s caseworker, Rose Indomenico from Baptcare’s Family Services who nominated Mulu for the Award, is amazed at the level of dedication and love she shows each and every day to her six children.

“Mulu has had an incredibly challenging life since Heaven was born.  I have worked with Mulu and her family for over nine years and she continues to inspire me with her positivity and dedication.  Heaven requires nursing level medical care and Mulu has effortlessly been able to learn the skills to be able to continue to care for Heaven at home,” said Ms Indomenico.

Mulu receives pastoral care, disability support and respite care assisted by Baptcare’s Family Services