Carers Australia celebrated both our 20 year anniversary and the launch of our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) at a dinner event in Canberra on 15 May 2013.
The night coincided with the announcement of legislation enacting a Medicare levy increase to fund DisabilityCare Australia, and was a great celebration, with music by Dale Huddleston and dancing by the Wiradjuri Echoes Dance Group.
The evening was attended by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Minister for Disability Reform, The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Mitch Fifield, Shadow Minister for Disabilities, Carers and the Voluntary Sector, carers and family and friends of Carers Australia.
Ngunnawal Elder, Mrs Agnes Shea, offered the ‘Welcome to Country’ and Bidjara and Birri-Gubba Juru Elder, Dr Jackie Huggins, launched Carers Australia’s first RAP. The RAP will be used to formally implement steps in our ongoing commitment to reconciliation and the better representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers, raising awareness of their needs and the issues affecting them.
A highlight of the evening was an entertaining discussion between Mrs Joy Ambrose and Caroline Mulcahy CEO of Carers Australia, Victoria. Mrs Ambrose, an inaugural member of the Carers Australia Management Committee (1993), spoke of her experiences in the very early days of the carer movement. Mrs Ambrose travelled from Ararat in regional Victoria to join us for the evening.
Carers Australia President, Dr Tim Moore, spoke of the history of Carers Australia and highlighted the progress of the last 20 years. Dr Moore commented that while we have achieved much, there is still more to be done, drawing particular attention to the need to better support young carers and carers of people with mental health issues.