Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

More support for carers in our communities

Carers Australia, Children with Disability Australia and the Mental Health Council of Australia will share in $327,000 in Australian Government funding to seek the views of carers and inform the Government’s policy development.

Carers Australia will receive $150,000 including funding to be distributed to state and territory carer associations to carry out workshops with carers as well as an online forum to help the Australian Government develop the National Carer Strategy.

Children with Disability Australia are a new disability organisation representing the views and interests of children with disability and their families and will receive $25,000 to engage with carers of children with disability.

We hope with these consultations, the Government will be able to get a real insight into what carers, and the people they care for, need to live healthy, rewarding lives.

As well, the Mental Health Council of Australia will receive $152,000 to conduct a follow up survey of around 1,200 mental health carers as part of their Carers Engagement Project.

Last year I launched their first survey to examine the extent to which the current mental health service system is meeting carers’ expectations.

This survey will continue to provide the Government with valuable information so we can better support people with mental illness and their carers.

The Australian Government has taken national leadership in recognising and supporting carers in this country by leading the development of the National Carer Recognition Framework.

The Carer Recognition Bill 2010, introduced into Parliament on 17 March 2010, recognises that all carers should have the same rights, choices and opportunities as other Australians.

We are working with states and territories, as well as organisations and carers, to develop the National Carer Strategy, which is due to be delivered by the end of 2010.

This Strategy will shape the long-term agenda for reform, guide policy development, and the delivery of services for carers.