Originally from Melbourne, Bernadette Black lives with her family in Tasmania. She is the CEO and Founding Director of Brave Foundation, qualified nurse, professional speaker and Board Director as well as Ambassador to many community organisations.
Bernie, unexpectedly fell pregnant at 16 and experienced first-hand the stigma associated with a teenage pregnancy and the lack of support and education.
“Throughout my pregnancy, so many people looked at me critically and judgmentally and made me think that I should be embarrassed and ashamed. I desperately searched for support and inspiration from others who had been in my situation but found none,” says Bernadette.
She promised herself three things:
Bernadette’s book ‘Brave Little Bear’ is a personal story that details her experience of being a teenage mother to qualifying as a Registered Nurse and ultimately to becoming the Barnardos Australian Mother of the Year.
Bernadette says it’s crucial that children know they’re valued. “If children have that belief in themselves then it doesn’t matter what the world throws at them because they’ll be able to handle it. So I wrote the book to show others that through perseverance and determination you can overcome life’s challenges and fulfill your dreams.”
Of her book, Bernie says “I have written this book hoping that it will bring a message of inspiration, hope and perseverance to people facing teenage and unexpected pregnancy and parenthood. They will see that their future can be filled with aspirations and dreams for themselves, and now, their new child. Life is the key. Live it well. Dream big, live big and succeed big. It certainly is possible, even in the face of adversity.”
Following this the Three Promises paragraph also under content in Bernie’s story is needed as follows:
It is really important to make yourself 3 personal promises now for after you have your baby. Write down these promises with your teacher or chaplain, and then ask them to help you to work out how to get there. As Bernie Black’s (the CEO of Brave Foundation) year 10 teacher said to her, ‘the journey might be different now, but the destination can stay the same.’ This is the same with you.
An example of three promises from Bernie Black:
These promises can be anything, from becoming a hairdresser, to enrolling in a TAFE course, writing your own story, to becoming Prime Minister! We encourage you at Brave Foundation to write these down somewhere special, share with a trusted person and keep this to look at as the years roll on. You will be able to show this to your child one day and tell them your story!
Share your story and three promises with us at Brave Foundation firstname.lastname@example.org
Brave Foundation is here to help you, no matter what stage you’re at.
Head over to our specialised page for guys experiencing teenage pregnancy and parenthood. Help is here.
Somebody close to you has fallen pregnant. You may think this is an experience you never thought you would be a part of. Please know, you will be ok, and the future of your family can still be a bright one.
Your role as a friend can help so much. See this section to get some advice and hear some stories.
Information for secondary school and health care professionals.