Carers Queensland champions The CARE Program
It is no secret that electricity and other utility price rises are putting a strain on household budgets, nor that carers feel these pressures more commonly than most. In Queensland, 47 per cent of carers have an income of $40,000 or less per year, considerably less than the median income in Queensland of between $49,452 and $56,680.*
Carer socio-economic disadvantage was also highlighted by the recent publication of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s report ‘Investing in care: Recognising and valuing those who care’.
In a proactive approach to helping carers combat the cost of living, and harnessing corporate Australia’s involvement in supporting carers as part of their social responsibilities, Carers Queensland has recently launched The CARE Program.
This program allows businesses to partner with Carers Queensland to deliver savings on products or services to members of Carers Queensland. For more information visit www.carersqld.asn.au
*Carers Queensland Quality of Life Audit 2012
Carers ACT has been focusing on ways to encourage initiatives to support carers and their families, and one area is post-school options for people with disability.
Branch Out Café established last year at Carers ACT in Holt is creating job-ready foundations for six young adult trainees to learn skills and gain confidence in hospitality. This year the trainees have been presented with their Nu Skills certificates bringing them one step closer to participating in supported or open employment.
Carers ACT has also joined Six Seeds, a new project with four other community organisations and private sector support that focuses on developing commercially sustainable and viable horticultural and culinary businesses.
The NDIS (now known as DisabilityCare Australia) journey continues to evolve in the ACT with the ACT Government signing an historic agreement which will see the full implementation of DisabilityCare Australia in the ACT.
The ACT is already a launch site for DisabilityCare Australia, supporting around 5,000 Canberrans and starting in July 2014. Full rollout will be achieved in 2016 -17
We have been involved in DisabilityCare Australia Q & A carer forums, responding to consultations, promoting current topics, news and developments and with Dee McGrath, Carers ACT CEO on the ACT National Disability Insurance Scheme Expert Panel a voice for carers is assured.
An important issue for carers of people with a mental illness in the ACT is the review of the ACT Mental Health (Treatment and Care) Act 1994. Carers ACT is strongly advocating that carer rights and carer recognition are included in the second exposure of the Act, released in early April.
The draft WA mental health legislation and the NSW review of its Mental Health Act have provided useful precedents for carer inclusion. Helping Carers ACT with this work is former ACT Chief Magistrate Ron Cahill and a major law firm. You can keep informed about our mental health carer work at www.carersvoice.com.au or subscribe to Carers Voice E-bulletin at firstname.lastname@example.org
The first few months of 2013 have proved to be very exciting and eventful for Carers NSW.
In February, we officially opened our new Coffs Harbour office at 2/2 Lyster Street. The office opening was attended by the local MP, Andrew Fraser and Aunty Bea, an Aboriginal elder and carer along with staff from our Coffs Harbour, Sydney and Dubbo offices. The office is now up and running and provides advice and support to carers in Coffs Harbour and other towns around the NSW North Coast.
In March, we held our biennial conference which focused on the themes of caring, working and living. The conference was attended by over 200 delegates from Australia and overseas including our keynote speakers Professor Sue Yeandle, Professor Luke Clements, Professor Robert Cummins and Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick.
Also in March, Carers NSW carer representative, Nan Bosler OAM was named as one of twelve NSW Seniors Week ambassadors. We were very proud of Nan’s appointment and were delighted that carers were being represented during such an important week.