Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Celebrating Carers Week 2012

Joint Media Release with:

  • JENNY MACKLIN MP, Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Minister for Disability Reform

The Australian Government has marked the start of Carers Week by announcing a new group that will guide the implementation of the National Carer Strategy.

The Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin and the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas announced members of the National Carer Strategy Implementation Reference Group at the official launch of Carers Week (14 – 21 October) at Old Parliament House today.

“The Australian Government knows just how important the role of carers is in the lives of many Australians, and that’s why we are committed to supporting our country’s 2.6 million carers,” Ms Macklin said.

“At the heart of our efforts is the Australian Government’s $60 million National Carer Strategy, launched in August last year, which delivers on the Government’s commitment to better respond to the needs of carers.

“Of course our $1 billion investment in the first stage of a National Disability Insurance Scheme take account of the goals and aspirations of carers, and will support carers of people with disability in their caring role.”

The National Carer Strategy Implementation Reference Group will meet twice a year and continue to progress initiatives under the strategy.

“The group is made up of carers’ representatives, as well as members from the not-for profit and carers sector—people who have first-hand experience, and know what’s important to ensure carers feel supported in their critical role.

Members include:

  • Lucille Bloch, Alzheimer’s Australia
  • Ara Cresswell, Carers Australia
  • Damian Griffis, First Peoples Disability Network
  • Jane Henty, Mental Health Carers Arafmi Australia
  • Jenny Upton, National Disability Services Limited
  • Dwayne Cranfield, National Ethnic Disability Alliance
  • Tim Moore, National People with Disabilities and Carers Council
  • Lynne Strathie, National Rural Health Alliance
  • Vera Somerwil, National Seniors Australia
  • Lesley Westlake, Partners of Veterans Association of Australia WA
  • Janne McMahon, Private Mental Health Consumer and Carer Network
  • Judy Bentley, carer representative
  • Lois Gatley, carer representative

Three reports outlining the progress made and future priorities under the National Carer Strategy were also released today.

These are the National Carer Strategy Implementation Plan, the National Carer Strategy Progress Report and the 2011–2014 Action Plan.

“The progress that we have made and our future focus in implementing some of these priorities are highlighted in three reports we are launching today,” Senator McLucas said.

“Our government has delivered a number of important initiatives in the first year since the National Carer Strategy was introduced.

“The progress report shows our CareAware campaign has been very successful in raising public awareness of the role of carers.”

“Our Young Carer Festivals, which gave young carers the chance to relax and socialise with other young carers, attracted a fantastic response.

“And we have expanded Carers Allowance to include the more than 2,000 additional carers of children with Type 1 diabetes aged between 10 and 16 years.

“Of course we have more work ahead of us, but the progress report shows some encouraging and positive results towards achieving our goals.

“We will continue to monitor our progress through the National Carer Strategy Implementation Reference Group, which we’re appointing today, and which will meet twice a year.

Carers Week runs from Sunday 14 October to Saturday 20 October.

More than 500 events are occurring across the country to celebrate Carers Week.

For more information on Carers Week events, go to