The Halverson family of Ballina (clockwise, from left) Laquinta, Jacinda, Ethan, Daniel, Fabian, Saraya, dad Justin, mum Renee and baby Gabriel are finalists in the Messy Meals competition.
The Halverson family of Ballina (clockwise, from left) Laquinta, Jacinda, Ethan, Daniel, Fabian, Saraya, dad Justin, mum Renee and baby Gabriel are finalists in the Messy Meals competition. Doug Eaton

Family of 10 in a real mess

MEAL times are understandably a busy and somewhat messy time at the Halverson household in Ballina.

You see, there are 10 people in the family.

It gets so messy, mother of eight, Renee, entered the family into a national Finish Quantum dishwashing product competition for the title of Messiest Meals in Australia.

The Halversons are one of three finalists in the running to win $25,000.

But the entry has deeper significance for the family than just the novelty value.

Kiwi-born Renee recently suffered some chronic illnesses, forcing husband Justin to leave his job to care for her full time.

And with eight children - aged from 2-22 years - the past couple of years have been a struggle, to the point where they haven't had a family holiday.

That was the motivation for Renee to video a "normal" family meal time, which got the nod from the judging panel.

Should they win, the family have their sights set on a break on a 12-berth houseboat on the Gold Coast.

"That's the only place where we would all fit," Renee said.

She said the family holiday would be a "dream come true", as they have been eyeing off the houseboat for some time.

"We would love to give this to our children," she said.

As for the Messiest Meals title, Renee joked it would be embarrassing.

"But we do this every day, and every meal," she said.

"Even takeaway can be messy."

You can vote for the Halversons on the Messy Meals website messymeals.com.au.

Just before our deadline last night they were coming last, so go for it.


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