Media Release by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Carers recognised at national awards

Five outstanding carers were last night recognised at the inaugural National Carer Awards on the Gold Coast.

The National Carer Awards celebrate the contribution of carers across Australia by highlighting the work they do in helping people reach their full potential.

The Australian Government provided $50,000 to help establish the awards earlier this year and provided sponsorship to Carers Australia for all award finalists to attend the National Carers Conference.

The inaugural winners are:

  • Young Carer – Ellen Holmes (TAS)

  • Foster and Kinship Carer – Richard and Tracey Collard (WA)

  • Carer of an older Australian – Paul Windridge (NSW)

  • Carer of a person with disability – Judy Pattel (QLD).

Senator Mitch Fifield, the Assistant Minister for Social Services, praised the contribution carers make to communities across the nation.

“Almost 2.7 million Australians provide care to a loved one, providing support to older Australians, and people living with disability, mental illness or a chronic medical condition.”

“These Awards provide a valuable opportunity to put the spotlight on the role played by millions of Australians,” he said.

Minister Fifield also announced two new initiatives which are being developed in partnership with the NSW Government to help carers engage more in the community and workforce.

The National Carers and Employers Network will draw together a voluntary group of employers to champion jobs for carers. The network will promote strategies to break down barriers and make it easier to hire them.

A new app is also being developed for carers to document and translate their carer related skills into training and employment competencies.

“The app will help carers looking for jobs to showcase the array of new skills gained during their caring roles,” Minister Fifield said.