National Carers Week is about recognising and celebrating the outstanding contribution unpaid carers make to our nation and New South Wales. It provides an opportunity to educate and raise awareness among all Australians about the diversity of carers and their caring roles.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the Department of Communities and Justice and Carers NSW have jointly agreed that the Carers Week grants for 2020 should not go ahead. We understand that this will be disappointing to the approximately 400 carer and community groups that submitted applications for small grants for Carers Week celebrations. However, the safety of carers and the community is the key consideration. The funding that would have supported these grants will be used for other carer support activities.
Carers Week will be celebrated in NSW this year, but unfortunately not in the usual way. Grants for local carer events will again be available in 2021. For more information, please contact Carers NSW by email email@example.com or the Department of Communities and Justice on 02 8753 9339 or at CarerSTR@facs.nsw.gov.au
Events during carers week 2019
Last year, the NSW Government explored what it means to be a carer, and also how businesses can be part of a carer's support network.
The following events were held during Carers week:
Monday 14th October – Carers Morning Tea with Minister Gareth Ward & Carers and employers pop-up in Martin Place
The Hon. Minister Gareth Ward MP Ward held a Morning Tea at Parliament House on Monday 14 October, to recognise and celebrate the contributions carers make in NSW.
A pop up stall also took place at Martin Place on Monday 14 October.
DCJ and Carers NSW staff provided information to the public about carers in NSW and how they can be supported in the workplace via the Carers and Employers program. There was also an opportunity to write public messages of thanks to carers.
Local carers week events
The NSW Government supported 491 local carers week events across NSW. These local events allowed carers to come together, and celebrate and connect with other carers in their community. Information about these events can be found on the Carers NSW website.
In 2019, we also interviewed some carers about what being a carer means to them. We asked them how they seek support, both in their careers and personal lives. Watch to find out more.
Jenny – carer for her Mother
‘I’m really grateful to be a carer for my mum because I find it really rewarding and really meaningful’.
Jenny became a carer for her mum when she had a stoke 10 years ago. Since then, Jenny has finished university, begun her career and is currently in the process of completing further study. All whilst caring for her mum.
As a carer from a CALD background, Jenny says she advocates for her mum to ensure she receives access to the right information, so she can make informed choices about supports that suit her.
Jenny says: ‘my advice to other carers would be to make sure you take the time out to look after yourself, because that’s the only way that you’ll be able to look after yourself’.
UTS: a workplace that values carers
UTS supports both staff and student carers to achieve their career and academic goals, and be the best carers they can be.
UTS’ carer program manager, Priya Viswanathan says: ‘We value our carers, we want our carers to feel respected and included in our university community’.
As an employer and learning institution, UTS understands the unique perspective that carers bring both to work and to the classroom.
Carer and UTS employee, Tania, agrees. She says: ‘I find working at UTS rewarding and fulfilling because they value my experiences as a carer’.
Ian – carer for his son
‘I had to really help Jack in the early days, and then after a really quick period of time, I realised he was really helping me become a better human being’.
When Jack was diagnosed as being autistic, Ian’s wife was starting her business. So Ian took time out of his career in broadcasting to become Jack’s full time carer.
Ian says at the time he had no idea what a positive experience being a carer would have on his life. He says that his decision to become Jack’s primary carer increased his depth as a human being.
Ian says: ‘It’s been a fantastic journey and we have really grown together, and I think now, Jack pretty much cares for me’.
Dianne – carer for her mother, daughter and brother
“My main message to Aboriginal People and connected communities, when they are caring for a loved one, is to do it together”
Dianne became a carer at nine years old, when her mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia. She also cares for her daughter who lives with autism, and for her brother who is part of the deaf community.
Dianne’s positivity and passion for caring are clear when you meet her. And she uses this passion and experience to advocate for carers and people living with a disability.
She regularly shares her story to help others understand that they’re not alone.
Dianne says: “The lessons I have learnt as a carer is to never feel isolated, always experience being with someone and sharing a story”.