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“Brave supported me in getting my driver’s licence by helping me get my hours up – Danni helped organise all of that,” Ella said.
“I get really anxious so we went through a lot of different instructors until we found one who was close by and just lovely.”
Ella is mum to Nash, 2, and is expecting her second baby in May with fiancé Lochlen.
She joined Brave’s Supporting Expecting and Teens Program while she was pregnant with Nash after a referral by her midwife.
“I always wanted to be in some kind of young parenting program or group because at the time I had no idea what I was doing. (It was good) knowing that I had someone else to go to,” she said.
“I was close with Danni and looked up to her. We have stuff in common and I could relate to what she was saying.”
Danni supported Ella to achieve her goals of gaining her driver’s licence, improving her mental health, getting a job and returning to school to study her HSC. She is studying her HSC three days a week at St Philip’s Christian College for Young Parents.
For Ella, getting her licence was a big milestone.
“I felt like I was getting somewhere and doing something for my family. I had to keep relying on other people to take me everywhere – appointments and things. So it felt really good.”
For Ella, the SEPT program also opened up opportunities she never thought possible, such as attending the Early Years Summit 2023 in Canberra, being involved in a documentary on young parents and featured in a magazine.
“There was a lot of opportunities I wouldn’t have had. I got the opportunity to go to the Early Years Summit. It was really cool that Canberra wanted to know the insights of young parents,” she said.
“The documentary was about getting rid of the stigma of young parenting.”
“I feel like people don’t get why young people have babies – they were raised in a different way in a different generation. But I don’t care what people think. It’s my life and I have always wanted to be a mum.”
Ella said that despite the challenges of parenting, she loves being a young mum.
“Because I am more active than I would be in my 30s. I know what my society was like; I was raised in this generation, so I know what it is going to be like for my kids. And I get to love them longer.”