Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Support for Australia’s carers

The Australian Government will provide $2.6 million to deliver a national carer awareness campaign and a series of festivals for young carers to give them some time out from the demands of their caring roles.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Jan McLucas said the National Carer Awareness Campaign and the Young Carer Festivals initiatives are part of the Australian Government’s commitment to provide carers with every opportunity to take part in all aspects of economic, social and community life.

“As part of our National Carer Strategy, we are investing $1.6 million to deliver a national campaign to raise public awareness of the role and contribution of carers,” Senator McLucas said.

“Many carers tell me they feel their role is not well understood or appreciated, not just by government and the wider community, but even by their family, friends and neighbours.

“This was also the message we heard during the consultation undertaken to inform the design of the National Carer Strategy.

“Starting in the coming months, the National Carer Awareness Campaign will seek to raise the community’s awareness of the role of carers and the invaluable contribution they make to society, as well as promoting the benefits, services and supports available to them.

McCann Worldgroup will deliver the National Carer Awareness Campaign to June 2013 in consultation with carer groups.

“The campaign will also encourage hidden carers—such as those who see themselves first as parents, partners, a child or young person—to recognise themselves as carers.”

The Government is also providing $1 million for the Young Carer Festivals, with a festival to be held in each state and territory this year.

A consortium led by Porter Novelli Australia will work in partnership with Carers Australia and the Foundation for Young Australians to deliver Young Carer Festivals.

Senator McLucas said the festivals will be held for up to 5,200 young carers aged between five and 25 years.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics there are about 305,000 young carers under the age of 25 years providing informal care to people with disability.

“Their caring role requires them to take on responsibilities well beyond their years, from tasks such as shopping, cooking and cleaning to budgeting, managing medication and assisting with personal care such as toileting and showering,” Senator McLucas said.

“These festivals are a chance for young carers to take a break, meet new friends and have some fun.

The $60 million National Carer Strategy delivers on the Australian Government’s commitment to better respond to the needs of carers, and helps to ensure carers have the opportunity to take part in all aspects of society, including the chance to participate fully in work, community and family life.