IMG 8071

Our Woman of the Month: Jessica Smith OAM

In the lead up to Mother's Day, we are celebrating all women who stand in the gap for children everywhere.

Our woman of the month, Jessica Smith is a voice for children that are under-represented in society .

An incredible story of triumphs and tribulations, Jessica was born missing her left arm and then suffered a horrific accident as a toddler sustaining burns to 15% of her body. In spite of her trials, she defied odds and went on to represent her country in the sport of swimming for seven years, culminating in her selection onto the Australian Paralympic team in 2004. Since retiring from her international swimming career Jessica has gone on to become an internationally recognised advocate for positive body image, diversity & inclusion, and disability awareness.

Jessica is also the mother of three young children. Her journey into motherhood inspired her to write a series of children’s books about disability and acceptance. After growing up with limited resources on these topics, Jessica wanted to create characters that represent what kids see in every day life.

IMG 8070

We asked Jessica a few questions about Motherhood, her responses were beautifully raw and real.

What does Motherhood mean to you?

For me Motherhood is about surrendering to the notion that I’ll never fully understand my children and therefore it’s about learning and growing together. My role as a mother is to be the best role model I can, so that my kids see me at my highest and lowest and everything in between, because this will allow them to sit with all of their own thoughts and feelings which is crucial for evolving.

How are you using your freedom to fight for the freedom of others?

I truly believe that as a parent I have a responsibility to protect all children, not just my own. So I will use my voice and my platform to ensure that children everywhere are respected and protected. Of course I can’t help every child on the planet, (and that hurts), but it means never ever turning a blind eye to any child in need in my immediate surroundings.

Over 2 million children are sold into slavery each year. As a Mother, how does this make you feel?

As a mother I am so overcome with grief when I think about how many children are sold into slavery each year. My heart hurts so much at the thought of any child not being able to simply experience an innocent childhood. I just cannot comprehend how anyone could be so cruel. I’ve cried so many tears thinking about how horrible our world is, and it just makes me hold my own kids so much tighter. I wish I could save every child, I really do - knowing that I can’t is gut wrenching.

21% of trafficking victims are children. We are fighting against this devastating statistic. You can too make a difference. Stand in the gap for children everywhere by joining us in the fight for freedom.