Nicole, 51, was visibly moved as Shailene, 26, welcomed her on to the stage with some heartfelt words.
“You taught me through example to be mindful of each and every moment. What those moments teach us and offer us will stay with us forever,” Shailene said.
Taking to the stage to accept the award in front of a crowd which included her husband Keith Urban, Nicole admitted she gets “emotional these days, so much more than I used to.”
“I love you Shailene Woodley. Thank you for your love and your words tonight little sis,” Nicole wrote after the event on Facebook.
Speaking prior to the event about what motivates her, Nicole said her family was a huge encouragement.
"I think everything is motivated by wanting to take care of your children and carve a path for them and leave them with a sense of morality, dignity and accountability," Nicole told ET.
Nicole and Keith share two daughters -- Sunday Rose, 10, and Faith Margaret, 7, and Nicole is also mum to her 25-year-old daughter Isabella and 23-year-old son Conner, whom she shares with her ex Tom Cruise.