updated 10/11/2006 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 10/11/2006 AT 10:40 AM ET
“Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin’s widow Terri and daughter Bindi made their first big trip away from their home at Queensland’s Australia Zoo on Wednesday – to attend the Nickelodeon Australian Kids’ Choice Awards 2006 at Sydney’s Entertainment Centre, where they both got slimed.
“Bindi’s been looking forward to this for a long time, so we’re really glad to be here,” Terri, 42, told reporters.
Asked how she’s been holding up since her husband’s death from a stingray barb on Sept. 4, Terri replied: “You know, it’s wonderful to have a focus on a special night. And I know Steve would have been proud.”
Arriving on the event’s “orange carpet” in the late afternoon, the 8-year-old girl, who spoke so memorably at her father’s Sept. 20 memorial service, tightly held her mother’s hand, though otherwise the two looked relaxed and signed autographs for the fans.
“I’m going to slime my mum,” Bindi said before the awards ceremony kicked off, “that might be really fun.”
The Irwins presented the final award of the night, Fave Aussie, an honor that initially was to have been made by Steve Irwin. “I am the smallest presenter, but I get to give the biggest award,” Bindi told the crowd during the show.
The winner, singer Guy Sebastian, was competing in the category against fellow singer Anthony Callea, Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe and Nicole Kidman.
“I think Bindi is an inspiration to young girls,” Sebastian said. “To come through grief and handle it the way she is handling this … she is so brave.”
Per tradition, as Sebastian’s name was announced and he walked onstage he was covered in green goo and gold feathers. He said he looked like “a Ninja Turtle after a pillow fight” – one who then got hugged by Bindi, who also slimed herself in the process.