It’s been almost 10 years since Australian wildlife expert and star of The Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin died, but his absence is still felt every day by his daughter, Bindi Irwin.

The young woman, who charmed audiences last year while competing on – and winning – Dancing With the Stars, celebrated her 18th birthday Sunday and shared two heartwarming tributes to her father on Instagram in honor of the special day.

The first photo shows Bindi as a baby with her mom and dad. In the caption she wrote about how much life has changed for her and her family since the day the picture was taken, but noted that “one life ingredient has remained, unchanged, unbreakable. That is the unconditional love that is shared between my beautiful little family and the loyalty we have to eachother and everyone else who has taken this journey with us.”

Hello lovelies. Well today marks 18 years of life for me, here in Australia and I really don’t know where to begin in thanking so many people for an unforgettable journey so far. So I think that I’ll start here, with this photograph. This photo was taken within the first year of my life. To be perfectly honest life has changed in a million ways since this photograph was taken. Along the way we gained another incredible part of our family, my brother Robert. Our conservation work with Wildlife Warriors took off around the world. Our home, Australia Zoo continued to expand and has become the greatest zoological facility on planet earth. Our Dad, Mum’s soulmate and a superhero for us all, passed away. However, since this photo was taken, 18 years ago, one life ingredient has remained, unchanged, unbreakable. That is the unconditional love that is shared between my beautiful little family and the loyalty we have to eachother and everyone else who has taken this journey with us. I don’t think that when this photo was taken even my beautiful parents could have known what life would evolve. I know that I am endlessly grateful for the love and light I have been given since Day 1 of my life.

A photo posted by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin) on

Bindi has followed in her father’s footsteps, making it her life mission to carry on his legacy of education and conservation.

“I have so much happiness in my heart for the journey to come,” she continued in her second post, which shows her playing with a young tiger cub. “Being 18 and embarking upon my adult years, I can’t predict what life will have in store for me. All I know is that I will try my very best to make a difference in this world with each moment that I’m given.”

“Life is constantly evolving and I’m determined to find the light and love around every corner and share this with everyone who is a part of my story,” Bindi concluded her post. “Thank you so much to every single soul who took the time to read these last two posts, it means so much. I can’t wait to see what is yet to come.”

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