‘Wonderful role model’: Popular Sunrise presenter named Aussie Father of the Year

One of Sunrise's popular hosts has been named as this year's Australian Father of the Year. Source: Facebook - Sunrise

He’s much loved on the show and it seems Sunrise sports presenter Mark Beretta is just as loved outside of work too as he’s been named this year’s Australian Father of the Year thanks to his strong family values and ongoing commitment to community-focused initiatives. The award was announced today by The Shepherd Centre, a leading children’s charity supporting kids with hearing loss.

Sunrise hosts Sam Armytage, David Koch and Natalie Barr, as well as his family, paid tribute to Beretts, as he’s affectionately known, on Wednesday morning, congratulating the hard-working presenter and father-of-two on his achievements as a father and as an avid member in the community.

Beretts’ daughter 15-year-old Ava led the tributes, saying: “He’s quite funny, he’s really good at being a dad… I’ve very proud of my dad, I think he’s a very good guy.” Meanwhile, his wife Rachel praised her husband’s positive approach to life, adding: “Mark has a tremendous thirst for life which I think is infectious. To watch our children grow up seeing that thirst for life is incredible.”

She added: “A good dad doesn’t sweat the small stuff, a good dad makes you laugh, a good dad no matter how tall and big is strong of heart and makes you feel like you are protected, you are loved, you are cared for, and it’s that sort of big arms around you feeling and he gives us that, all three of us.”

Meanwhile, Sunrise host Armytage also honoured the veteran journalist, adding she’s “proud to call him my mate”, while Kochie went on to explain how Beretts is “one of those people that you could sort of depend your life on”. Barr then added: “He’s a great guy, he’s one of the best guys, really… I love him. He’s a wonderful dad, Ava and Daniel are lucky to have him. Congratulation Beretts.”

Many fans on social media were also quick to congratulate the sports presenter, with one writing: “Congratulations Mark l don’t think there is anyone more deserving of this award .You are indeed a wonderful role model.”

Another added: “Congratulations, you deserve all the recognition possible.You are a wonderful person who goes above and beyond for others. While a third wrote: “I don’t know you personally but i can see how you come across and the special things you do are amazing well done.”

Meanwhile, in an earlier statement Beretts said he was humbled to be awarded Father of the Year, saying: “This is a huge and unexpected honour! Being a dad is a tremendous privilege and I am very grateful for a wife and kids who teach me so much. Becoming a dad is a special experience and it does change your life in a very fulfilling way – all my favourite memories involve my family.

“So many dads out there are doing a great job with their families and I am regularly inspired by the role they play in bringing up brilliant Australian kids. I take my hat off to fathers across Australia for all they do; they deserve a pat on the back.”

Other Aussies who have been awarded Father of the Year in the past include fellow Sunrise host Koch, entrepreneur Dick Smith, former New South Wales premier Mike Baird, Governor-General of Australia of Australia David Hurley, high-profile GP Dr Jamal Riff, basketballer Andrew Gaze and Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond.

Koch also added: “It is an enormous honour to be chosen Father of the Year. I could not think of a better father to represent all us dads than Beretts. No one’s perfect but he is way ahead of most of us.”

He continued: “His two gorgeous children, Ava and Dan, are a wonderful testament to the parenting and love of Mark and Rachel. Every time Mark talks about his kids, his eyes light up. He takes such an interest in, and devotes so much time to supporting, the lives of Ava and Dan that he is a role model to all dads.”

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