Today marks the end of National Carers Week 2022. Carers Australia thanks the Australian public, in particular the carer community, for their passionate engagement with the millions of reasons to care. We hope that the momentum gained for carers this week moves the nation toward meaningful change, and that the community continues supporting, listening to, and advocating for carers now that National Carers Week is over.
Carers Australia celebrated National Carers Week by lighting up the National Carillion and Old Parliament House on Monday night. National Carers Week was then launched on Tuesday by Governor-General David Hurley. The launch included speeches from the Governor-General, Olympic swimmer and carer Bronte Campbell, and Carers Australia CEO Alison Brook. It featured a moving performance by Faith Kayrooz, a Karingbal woman from Queensland who is also a young carer and singer. The launch also included the unveiling of an artwork by Sarah Richards, a Ngiyampaa woman who founded Marruwuy Journeys to promote healing through art.
In his speech at the launch, the Governor-General said, “I want to thank Carers Australia for raising awareness of these issues, and for your strong advocacy, both now and over the last 30 years for carers.”
“There’s a website you should read and just check out what’s happening in this particular part of the world, if you’re not already doing it. I’d urge all Australians to do that,” the Governor-General said of the National Carers Week website.
Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth announced a campaign to raise awareness of the Carer Gateway. “With the tag line, ‘Help for those who might never ask’, the campaign acknowledges that many people don’t always identify as a carer, and for those who do they may not always feel like they can reach out for the support they need,” said the Minister.
Carers Australia launched an educational audio series about My Health Record for carers, and reflected on 30 years of National Carers Week with the first Vice President of Carers Australia, Ally Dench. We also raised awareness of issues affecting carers such as lack of recognition, access to inclusive employment, and low levels of wellbeing, which were highlighted by new research from this year’s Carer Wellbeing Survey. Events occurred across the nation to celebrate carers, many of them hosted and organised by our member organisations.
After an exciting week of awareness and engagement, the community is now challenged to continue working towards better outcomes for carers. In her address at the National Carers Week Launch, Ms Brook said, “It’s my hope that in a future national Carers Week, a CEO of Carers Australia will be here, reporting with great relief and jubilation, that actually, there is no difference between carers wellbeing and the wellbeing of other Australians. That they have no barriers to education and employment, that they’re well connected socially, and that financial disadvantage is a thing of the past.”
Now that #NationalCarersWeek has come to a successful end, Carers Australia continues to focus on this goal. Our work, and the work of the Australian community when it comes to carers, will not be finished until it is realised.