I have recently been away on leave and have returned refreshed and excited at the prospect of where the carer sector is at the moment. I have reflected that in the last three years in particular we have seen increased awareness in the community, in business and with governments.
This broader awareness and understanding of carers is obvious in many ways. More people are identifying themselves as carers, carers are known about in the workplace and young carers are considered in schools; you will see information in doctors’ surgeries about carers, hear about them on the news, and read articles about them in magazines.
This increased awareness is very pleasing, however, we must be vigilant in making the most of the opportunities that arise out of this broader awareness. We must connect with the community, engage with carers to learn of their issues and represent them appropriately in our awareness raising and advocacy work.
This year our key national awareness raising week, Carers Week will be held from 14 – 20 October and launched by our Patron, Her Excellency the Governor-General, Ms Quentin Bryce AC, CVO. This year we encourage all Australians to ‘Be Care Aware’ – to learn about carers, what they do and how to support them. Activities and events will be run across the nation where you can get involved to support and learn more about the invaluable role that Australia’s 2.6 million carers play in our society.
Of course our awareness raising is informed by quality policy which is developed from strong research and engagement. Carers Australia is currently conducting a range of public forums, to engage with carers across Australia in order to discuss the design of a National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Thanks to the very generous support of Pollie Pedal 2012 we are currently undertaking research to better understand the current situation of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers and how the isolation that they so often experience may be reduced. We are also working on research about carers in the workplace and how carer workplace experience may be improved. Both of these pieces of research will inform our engagement practice and our advocacy.
Carers National News is our voice to you - it is where we inform you of what we are doing, how we go about doing it, what our position is on a range of carer issues and what we hope to achieve.
I hope you enjoy reading it and if you have something you would like us to know about tell us on our forum.
Bye for now,