NSW Father Of The Year Named
31 August 2012 at 2:07 pm
The founder of the Not for Profit Pillar of Strength organisation has been named the 2012 NSW Father of the Year.
The father of two, Gary Sillett, was presented the award by The Shepherd Centre and NewsLocal. Sillett was nominated by his wife for being a ‘pillar of strength’ to his family following the loss of their newborn son.
“It’s wonderful to receive an award which acknowledges everyday dads for their commitment to their families and their contribution to making their community a better place. I’m truly honoured,” Sillett said.
The experience of losing a child led Sillett to develop his organisation that offers a support network to fathers experiencing infant illness and bereavement.
The Shepherd Centre CEO, Jim Hungerford said Sillett exemplifies the spirit of the NSW Community Father of the Year Award.
“Gary has not only provided great support and guidance for his family, but he has also provided an invaluable support service for the wider community. We couldn’t have chosen a more admirable father,” said Hungerford.
Pillars of Strength provides an informal peer-to-peer support service and respite for fathers during significant family trauma.
Starting at Royal North Shore Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in August 2011 it has since rolled out to Royal Women’s Hospital NICU and Sydney Children’s Hospital. It is also accessible to bereaved dads across NSW and the ACT.
Pillars of Strength provides time out for dads via sporting activities, in-hospital support (through financial assistance and the provision of short term accommodation) and acts as a conduit to connect fathers to other complementary services and information.
The Shepherd Centre is a Not for Profit organisation inaugurated in 1970 to teach hearing impaired children to speak and listen.