Season’s Greetings from Carers Australia

As we prepare to farewell another year, we here at Carers Australia wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your support this year and wish you the most wonderful festive season.

Whatever is beautiful. Whatever is meaningful. Whatever brings you happiness. May it be yours this holiday season and throughout the coming year. Many of you will be caring for loved ones during this time, but we hope you all get the chance to unwind and recharge.

Our Deakin office will be closed from 21 December until 2 January.

We know the holiday period can be a difficult time for some, if you need support you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.


Leadership changes at Carers Australia

In late November, Sonia Bhojwani was elected President of Carers Australia and Mark Morrissey as Vice President. Dr Peter Langkamp and Ara Cresswell left the organisation at the end of an incredibly successful period as President and CEO respectively.

During Ara’s time as CEO, she has driven the organisation to new heights of advocacy, prominence and engagement, working collaboratively with governments, oppositions and cross-benchers to ensure that the concerns of carers are understood and recognised at the highest levels.

Together with Dr Langkamp as President, Ara has left the organisation in excellent shape and we would like to thank them for their remarkable contribution.

Mary Reid will be the interim CEO until a new CEO is appointed.


Young Carer Bursary profile

Meet Summer Farrelly (centre), one our 2019 Young Carer Bursary recipients. This twelve-year-old is passionate about breaking down stereotypes around disability and making the community inclusive for everyone.

Summer and her family are on the autism spectrum, which can make it challenging for them to understand and communicate with the world around them. But Summer has developed a number of initiatives to promote inclusivity, including her chicken therapy program.

Summer’s mum, Cynthia Farrelly, has said that Summer has benefited greatly from the Young Carer Bursary.

“Being a bursary recipient has helped Summer really shine. She has accelerated in all aspects of her life [and] the bursary has helped her access the extra education support she needed,” she said.

Summer also received the silver award at her school’s award ceremony for all subjects in her year level.

You can read more about the Young Carer Bursary here.


Supporting carers in higher research study

La Trobe University is leading a major national project to improve access, support and outcomes for carers studying at Australian universities.

This research follows a La Trobe pilot study that found carers who are studying at university can face barriers around flexibility of curriculum, travel, finances and stigma on campus. Despite evidence of educational disadvantage, little is known about the strengths and challenges of carers who are also studying.

La Trobe University is currently conducting a survey for people who have studied at an Australian University while providing unpaid carer and support to family members or friends. The survey results will help develop university policies and practices to better support carers at university.


Respite re-introduced to the NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has introduced a number of practical changes to the scheme.

Included within these changes is respite once again being included in the NDIS language. The National Disability Insurance Agency has introduced the word ‘respite’ into the title and description of all Short Term Accommodation and Assistance line items. This has been abbreviated to ‘STA and Assistance (incl. respite)’ in the Support Catalogue and Provider Portal.

Participants can purchase respite services as a short-term accommodation support to give unpaid carers a break from their caring responsibilities.

You can read more about the changes to the Support Catalogue here.


Lifeline via text

A new text helpline by Lifeline is reaching young people aged under 25 at risk of suicide at an unprecedented rate, with four times more texting a counsellor compared to calling.

Although suicide is the leading cause of death for young people aged 18-24, only 7 per cent of the million contacts to Lifeline’s telephone hotline comes from this group. In contrast, 37 per cent of contacts via a new text helpline came from people under the age of 25.

A review of the program found the anonymity of text conversations made people seeking help feel safer, more in control, less distressed and more confident in their ability to cope after the intervention.

There are plans to expand the texting service to 12 hours per day and potentially extending it to a 24/7 service within two years.

You can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, or via text on 0477 13 11 14 (available 6pm - midnight AEST, seven days a week).


International Day of People with Disability

Carers Australia joined hundreds of organisations, schools and businesses across Australia to recognise International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) in early December.

IDPwD aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate their achievements and contributions.

The theme for IDPwD 2019 was ‘Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda’. The theme focuses on the empowerment of persons with disabilities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pledges to ‘leave no one behind’ and recognises disability as a cross-cutting issue.

You can find out more about IDPwD here.

bottom left bottom right