Media Release by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Carers Week 2014

The Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator Mitch Fifield today joined His Excellency General the Hon. Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC to officially launch Carers Week in Sydney.

Speaking alongside the Governor-General, Senator Fifield said carers play a vital role in the lives of many Australians, and in our communities more broadly.

“Providing care to a loved one in need – whether it be due to age, disability or mental illness – is a role that many Australians will take on at some stage during their lives.”

“Almost 2.7 million Australians fulfil a caring role. Carers Week is a great time to stop and reflect on the role carers play in our society,” Senator Fifield said.

“Improving the lifetime wellbeing of carers and combating social isolation is critical. We want carers to remain connected to our community and to our workplaces, and to be able to participate in all aspects of social and economic life.”

“Today I am also very pleased to announce that applications for the Young Carer Bursary Programme are now open,” Senator Fifield said.

The Young Carers Bursary Programme was an election commitment which will support young carers to complete or return to education while continuing their caring role.

“There are over 300,000 young carers in Australia who look after people with disability, people with medical conditions, or older people in need of care,” Senator Fifield said.

“Young carers often have to juggle part time work, caring responsibility and study. Too often, when they are pressed for time, it is their education that is pushed aside.”

“We want to make study a little easier for young carers,” Senator Fifield said.

The Programme is being delivered with the support of Carers Australia. Applications for bursaries will be accepted until 9 November 2014.

“We are committed to ensuring carers have the support they need and that the immense contribution they make is recognised,” Senator Fifield said.

“I encourage all Australians to take the opportunity of Carers Week to consider participating in one of the many events taking place across the country, and to take some time out to discuss and learn more about unpaid carers and the role they play in our society.”

Carers Week 2014 runs from 12 to 18 October and will feature morning teas, fundraisers and workshops across the country. For more information on Carers Week events, visit

For more information on the Young Carers Bursary Programme, visit