Congratulations to Leanne Philipsen!!   The winner of the 97.3FM Sunday Mail RBWH Thanks Mum Competition and now the 2010 face of the RBWH Mother’s Day Appeal.

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Leanne is an amazing woman.  She is mum to four children of her own and eight foster children! Leanne was nominated by her daughter Kylie who has just become a mum herself. Now Leanne’s kids can be proud every time they drive down Bowen Bridge road, where her portrait graces a huge billboard directly across the road from the RBWH!

The winner was announced live on air by 97.3FM on Friday at the unveiling of the billboard, and we were there to capture the excitement!

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We have had a fantastic time photographing the five finalists of the Thanks Mum competition, and helping raise awareness and much needed funds for perinatal research undertaken by the Perinatal Research Centre at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

Each of these ladies are amazing in their own right, and it was a real privilege to give them a chance to feel special. Their day of pampering started at Hare’s Hair where they had their hair done. Then off to us at the studio where they enjoyed some champagne while Bruce Rehbein of Makeup Master did the makeup. They chose their favourite outfit, before we started the possible “billboard shot” and then did some outside portraits.

Each of these women deserved to win.

Leanne came to the Studio feeling a little nervous about having her photograph taken as she had never had a professional portrait taken before. However by the end of the photo shoot, Leanne was relaxed and having such a great time, although she was conscious of getting to school to collect the kids – I guess it’s true that a mother’s work is never done!

Frances was nominated by her daughter-in-law Stacey, who came along with grandson Jack to support Frances for the Portrait session. Frances needed no encouragement, she was a natural in front of the lens.  It was an exciting day for Frances’ grandson Jack who was celebrating his third birthday. He thought it was great eating cakes and chocolates while watching his Nanny Fran smile and pose for the camera.

Julia was both surprised and impressed with her oldest son Andrew who, at just 26 years old, nominated her as Brisbane’s best mum.  They have had both dealt with serious illness and this was his way of saying ‘Thanks mum’. Julia said she holds a very strong bond with both of her boys and couldn’t have asked for a better mother’s day gift.

Teresa had wanted to become a teacher from an early age but, like many mothers, had put her families needs first. At 49 years old Teresa fulfilled her dream and completed a teaching degree and is now happily teaching a year four class at a North Brisbane school.  It was her eldest daughter Emma who is also a teacher who nominated Teresa.

Kelli was nominated by her husband of 17 years Jason, who came along with Kelli for the portrait session. Kelli jokingly referred to Jason as her chauffeur as she sipped on champagne and had her make up done.  Jason looked adoringly at Kelli the whole time. You could tell he loved her just as when they were married 17 years ago!

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Happy Mother’s Day to you all!

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