Astrid Hocking

Foster care advocate and anti-violence campaigner

2023 NSW Senior Australian of the Year Nominee

Astrid Hocking is so extraordinarily passionate about protecting vulnerable children that she fostered more than 90 children over 24 years, ranging from emergency stints to long-term stays.

The former teacher made herself available whenever care was needed and some of her charges remain part of her extended family.

Astrid knew that foster carers needed better training and support, so she helped lobby the State government. This led to the launch of Connecting Carers NSW in 2008.

Astrid worked with the organisation for many years, providing ongoing training and support across the Hunter Valley and the state.

While she’s given up her paid role, she works just as hard as a volunteer. She’s Chair of Hearts and Hands Community Development, raising awareness of violence and child abuse.

The not-for-profit partners with an orphanage in the Philippines to rescue children from trafficking and empower disadvantaged communities to earn an income to become self-sustaining.