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Dad of the Year Award Winner Announced

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(0 votes) proudly announces the winner of the inaugural Dad of the Year Award.

The Dad of the Year award is designed to celebrate ordinary dads who are hands on parents, who roll up their sleeves and “have a go” at all aspects of parenting. We want to acknowledge the dads that fully participate in parenting duties and by doing this encourage other dads to get involved and be “hands on” as well.

To be Tacklenappy’s Dad of the Year you don’t need to be a celebrity, have won a gold medal at the Olympics or found some missing genome. You just have to be a dedicated dad that has impressed his wife or partner with his “daddying” skills throughout the year.


Dad of the Year Award proudly sponsored by:

mr gift logo received nominations from a range of dads across Australia and each nominee typified an Aussie "hands-on” dad.

We had 10 finalists and congratulate each of these nominees for their parenting achievements.

Bruce - "It takes the stress out of my day knowing they are having fun and sharing these special early months together as I know a lot of babies don't get to spend much time with their dads."

Ralph -"While he might not remember to change the kitty litter and empty the bin every day he remembers to tell his daughters and myself that he loves us morning, afternoon and evening and that is so much more important."

Andrew - "I couldn't be more proud of him, he's an amazing father!"

Mason - "His daddying job ends when he tucks our twins in at night and reads them a story....Unless they wake up during the night."

Lee - "Lee has pitched in with practically everything, he changes nappies, baths children, does laundry, cleans floors, runs the kids around to their varying sports events and cooks dinner more often than I do."

Leith - "He is adored by his little daughter. From the time she was born, nothing has been 'too much trouble', spending quality time with her – playing, reading and always there to give her encouragement."

Nathan -"Honestly...all in all, I couldn't ask for a better father for my children. And I think the world should to know. That's why I'm nominating him for your father of the year competition."

Stephen -"Stephen totally looks after both Oscar and me, he's an awesome dad who totally spoils his family! Oh and did I mention when not at work Stephen always changes the poo-ey nappy?!"

Kevin -"Kev does the cooking every night after coming home from work, doing bath & bed routine. He always tries to make these as interesting as possible even now that I am 14 weeks pregnant and suffering from nausea. He has cooked and cleaned up every night for the past 8 weeks. He must be sooooo knackered."

Tony - "On weekends he gets up at 7am (without waking me) for our daughter's first feed of the day just so I can sleep in when he needs it more than me!"


Each finalist impressed us with their selflessness and love for their children and families. Each finalist will receive an ABC for Kids DVD generously provided by ABC Babytalk.

We were lucky enough to bring together a judging panel of parenting experts:

  • Penny Johnston presenter of ABC Babytalk
  • Kristina from Bambino Box Australia
  • Lana Hirschowitz Editor of
  • Julie Taylor for Tacklenappy
  • Kerrie Gottliebsen from Tweddle Australia
  • Elise Easdown from What’s on 4 - Australia

Click here for more information about our judges.

We asked each of our judges to vote “Brownlow” style, scoring the best dad three votes, with two and one vote being allocated to the next in line. The dad with the most votes wins. Each of the judges remarked that it was a very difficult decision and the spread of votes across the nominated dads reflected this.





The Winners

Third Place - Mason (6 votes)

The judges said:

  • Kat’s nomination of Mason tells of a man whose life would have been changed in an instant with the premature arrival of twin babies and a gravely ill wife. Mason rose to the challenge to be the champion for all three of them – and still is.
  • Twins are always hard work, and it's great that you're such a fantastic dad that helps out. We were so touched by your selflessness when you waited 3 days for your wife to hold your precious little girls first!
  • For his ability to start fatherhood right from the start despite the medical complications and the insight to wait for his wife to hold the babies first – that got me! congratulates Mason and wishes him a very happy Father's Day today with his two girls. Mason was nominated by his wife Kat.


Kat's Nomination 

Hi Chubba,

I'd like to nominate my husband, Mason Hill for Tacklenappy's Dad of the Year.

For starters we have two year old that already is a huge challenge in itself!!

Mason was Dad of the Year in my book from the day they were born. Our twins were born early at 33 weeks due to me having Pre-eclampsia. Unfortunately, my health did not improve after giving birth.  I was shipped to the top floor of the Mercy to High Dependancy, and our new born daughters were shipped to the 2nd floor to NICU. Dad was running frantically between floors trying to make sure all of his girls were ok.

I did not get to meet our daughters till 3 days after they were born. During these first few days dad was offered the opportunity to hold his daughters...he refused. Even though he was desperate to cuddle his tiny girls, he wanted mum to be the first to have that privilege.

From then on Mason got right in there. Changing nappies while the girls were in the Incubators, with all their monitors and tubes and things. With their bums so tiny you used a cotton ball rather than a wipe. Bathing these tiny little girls, feeding and getting right in there for the 5 weeks they were in the Special Care Nursery.

But the novelty did not where off when his daughters come home. He continues to change nappies (even the pooiest of the poo ones). And bathing is still his job (giving mum time to cook dinner).
His Daddying job ends when he tucks our twins in at night and reads them a story...unless they wake during the night!!



Second Place - Leith (8 votes)

The judges said:

  • Leith deserves special mention because he was nominated by not just his wife but his mother-in-law as well. His role as a dad is obviously something he just loves and is made even more special because he has experienced such a tragic loss.
  • A lot of blokes step into caretaker and mountain of strength mode when tragedy strikes, often keeping their own pain to themselves. Leith has stood up not once but twice after losing two of his beautiful children. He’s lucky to have a lot of shining lights in his life, including a young daughter who’s own grief has been softened by her father’s words. Leith’s expecting another child in September, we wish him and his family the best.
  • It is a special man who is so admired by his mother-in-law! Trudy and Helen’s nominations make it clear how dedicated Leith is to his whole family: a family whose strength and love must have been tested during times of incredible sadness.
  • Gotta love a MIL that can acknowledge how great her son-in-law is!
  • Anybody who gets nominated by their mother-in-law must be an amazing father congratulates Leith. Leith was nominated by both his wife Helen and his mother-in-law Trudi. Leith will receive a $25 Gift Voucher from


Trudi's Nomination 

 I suppose it is unusual for a person to nominate their son-in-law for ‘Dad of the Year’ but that is what I am going to do.  I nominate Leith Jackson.  This truly special man is an inspiration and he makes me so proud.  Apart from being a wonderful husband for my daughter, he is adored by his little daughter Chelsea.  From the time she was born, nothing has been ‘too much trouble’, spending quality time with her – playing, reading and always there to give her encouragement, especially now as she enters her school years and always tells her to ‘have fun’ before she goes for her swimming lessons.  You only have to look at her gorgeous little face to know how much she loves her Daddy.  Leith was a tower of strength to my daughter when they lost two very special babies (Emily 2009 and Timothy 2011), when he too must have been hurting immensely. 

As for me, well he is a true ‘friend’.  I have had my problems too and Leith has always been there as a shoulder to cry on and offer words of encouragement.  He always sees the good in people and for this alone, I truly admire him.  We always get on so well, even though me being a ‘Pom’, causes no end of rivalry!!

At the end of September they are expecting another child, and I am sincere when I say that this child will be blessed with a Daddy who has been and will be – so very special.


Helen's Nomination

The most amazing dad anyone could really ever ask for. A dad who believes that their children comes before anything in your life. A dad that will read a book or 2 every night before bed, a special cuddle and a kiss, a dad that enjoys making his daughters lunch for school in the morning and giving a special treat that mummy doesn't know about. Daddy that sits on the side of the pool and encourages me to do the best I can and "have fun" during my swimming lesson. "Daddy is special to me as he makes me feel better when I get upset that my brother and sister are in heaven and not here playing with me". He takes me for rides on my bike and lets me win the bike race every time. My husband is truly a wonderful man and the best dad to our 3 coming on 4 beautiful children with 2 of them ~Emily~ & ~Timothy~ as sleeping babies. Our lives are complete with him. We love him so very much.

Regards Helen (Wife) & family

Father to Chelsea & ~Emily~ & ~Timothy~


The winner though was a standout with 4 x best dad votes.

TackleNappy Dad of the Year 2012

Lee (12 votes)

The judges said:

  • You have to love a guy who takes on a single pregnant mum with a 9 year old and a 3 year old, then goes on to have three more children, provides respite foster care for vulnerable families and who is currently helping care for an abandoned 5 month old baby who’s not sleeping. This man currently has seven kids under one roof and has been with his partner for nearly ten years. Many would have walked. Give this man a medal.
  • Lee and Erin are inspirational! To not only look after your own children, but to look after and raise a small tribe would be hard work. Great work Lee, our hat goes off to you guys.
  • Erin’s nomination of Lee told of an incredibly selfless and giving man. I was moved by her description. It takes an incredible type of person (family) to be able to provide respite foster care.
  • Amazingly selfless and loving human being. congratulates Lee for winning the Dad of the Year Award. Lee was nominated by his wife Erin.

Erin's Nomination

I would like to nominate my husband Lee as dad of the year. When I first met Lee (almost 10 years ago now) I was a single mum with a 9 yo daughter and a 3 yo autistic foster son...I was also pregnant with a little girl. He has always accepted those children as his own and we have 3 boys together.

We do emergency and respite foster care and on Jan 20 this year we had an emergency placement of 3 young children...My oldest has left home so this gave us 8 children in the house...the placement started as a weekend placement but stretched into 6 months. (they moved in with their grandmother 2 weeks ago). These kids were severely traumatised by the life they had before coming into care and there were lots of behavioural issues.

And then over Easter we were asked if we could look after an 11 month old baby for 10 days while his regular carers went on holiday. No Problem...only his regular carers never took him back and he is still living with us from Easter til a couple of weeks ago we were up to 9 :)

Lee has pitched in with practically everything, he changes nappies baths children, does laundry, cleans floors, runs the kids around to their varying sports events and cooks dinner more often than I do. With the foster bub being only 5 months younger than our own youngest...and neither of them sleeping through...he has done his fair share of night shifts and last week he even did a 700km round trip (day trip) to take some furniture to my oldest daughter in Perth. He is a kind compassionate man with a big heart.


Lee will receive a $50 Gift Voucher from, a prize pack, will be offered a place on our judging panel for the same award next year, and will be interviewed by TackleNappy in our own unique style (see "A Beer With...").

We're extremely proud of all our finalists and happy that we've been able to acknowledge all Aussie dad's for their efforts.

Click here for more background on the Award.

- Chubba & Bucky

Last modified on Friday, 12 April 2013 11:29

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