The official launch of National Carers Week 2016 takes place today, kick-starting a week which gives all Australians an opportunity to let Australia’s 2.8 million carers know they count!

Carers Australia CEO, Ara Cresswell, said, “This National Carers Week we’re asking all Australians to let carers know they count by saying thanks to them for all they do, and to show their support for a carer‑friendly Australia.

“Unpaid carers make an enormous contribution to our country, and not just through the more than $1 billion per week replacement value of the unpaid care they provide. During this week alone, carers will spend 36 million hours caring for a family member or friend.

“National Carers Week helps us raise awareness of the issues faced by unpaid carers, without whom aged care and disability care would simply be unaffordable.”

The official launch of National Carers Week, which runs from 16 to 22 October, will take place at Merewether Surfhouse, Newcastle and will be attended by a number of people, including Ms Cresswell; former NRL Knights footballer, Alex McKinnon; his carer and fiancée, Teigan Power; Member for Newcastle, Sharon Claydon; Deputy Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Jason Dunn; and The Voice finalist and carer, Amber Nichols.

There are more than 2.8 million carers across Australia who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends with a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue, or who are frail aged.

You can let carers know they count by saying thanks via the National Carers Week website at