HEYWOOD woman Sue Lovett has cared for about 20 children at various times, and recently received recognition on national television for her important role in their lives.
Her most well-known charge is Jamaine Jones, who she stood alongside for a video interview after his debut AFL match, representing Geelong on May 26.
She was touched when Jamaine, 19, acknowledged the huge impact she has had in his life since he started living with her and her family several years ago.
Her love is strong and evident, but formalities not so critical for Ms Lovett.
She acknowledges that her house is fun and noisy, and she swears a lot, so when one of her granddaughters called out to her as the interview with Jamaine was being filmed, she poked her tongue out at her, with the moment captured on screen.
It was a light-hearted second alongside a celebration of Jamaine’s spectacular game on the big stage.
In a story Jamaine wrote for sports journal PlayersVoice he reflected on unhappy times with his biological family before he was sent to live at a group home in Mildura.
When Ms Lovett agreed to take him in, he was delighted to have more freedom and new “siblings” to spend time with, and took up playing football in Geelong where they lived at the time, loving it.
Her good work with Jamaine and others was acknowledged just days after Jamaine’s AFL debut; Ms Lovett received a request to name a table at a formal Indigenous event in Geelong after her.
“For me and all the kids who grew up in community, you’ve been one of the most loved and respected women to have an impact on our lives,” the requesting community member said.
Ms Lovett said she was “very humbled” by the acknowledgement even though she hadn’t lived in Geelong for several years.