Ovidia is 61, with two children aged 40 and 38 and two grandchildren aged four and two and a half.
She has always worked with young children, starting as a volunteer in early childhood services and now as a director at Dee Why Children’s Centre three days a week and as an educational leader at North Harbour Children’s Centre two days a week.
“I love working with children. I’ve been doing it for 31 years. It’s my passion. Last year I graduated with a Bachelor of Early Childhood, something I’ve been wanting to do since I was very young.”
“Working full time and studying wasn’t easy – it took me five and a half years but I am so proud of that achievement. I knew it would help me to understand my work even better. It’s enabled me to see things in children that perhaps I didn’t see when my own kids were young. I have an even deeper knowledge and perspective now.”
Ovidia’s two adult children have greatly benefited from her focus and considerable experience with children’s learning and development. When they were young, she spent a lot of time involving herself in their sporting pursuits and encouraging a love of learning and reading.
“I tried my best as a mum, hoping in the future that they would have a good outlook on life.”
“I’m very proud of my son who was Dux of Year 10 and of my daughter who is now an architect. That’s a big achievement in a man’s world. There weren’t many girls in that field and there was a real gender gap 15 years ago when she started up. I gave her a lot of emotional support.”
“Now I’m a bit of a reference base for my kids, as far as their own kids are concerned. I understand where they’re coming from and how busy they are.”
Let’s celebrate all mothers
Young, old, foster mums, grandmothers: Ovidia believes all kinds of mums deserve to be looked after and celebrated on Mother’s Day for the irreplaceable, incredibly important work they do for future generations.
“We like to get together as a big family unit on Mother’s Day: my brother and my children and the grandkids, and we take my mother out for lunch. She has dementia now and is in a nursing home. She’s starting to forget the grandchildren, so we get together often to remind her who everyone is, but she still likes to go out to lunch and enjoys dressing up.”
About: 'Those who mum' series
Meet 40 women across Australia, from as far as Cairns in North Queensland to Baldivis in Western Australia, as part of a 40-part editorial and portrait series that celebrates the faces of women and mums from across Australia.