Top Carers in Australia Recognised
17 November 2014 at 3:51 pm
Five carers have been recognised as inspirational leaders at the inaugural National Carer Awards on the Gold Coast.
The National Carer Awards celebrated the contribution of carers across Australia by highlighting the work they do in helping people reach their full potential.
The inaugural winners were:
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).
Assistant Social Services Minister ,Senator Mitch Fifield, said the winners of the awards were an example of 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,” Senator Fifield said.
“These Awards provide a valuable opportunity to put the spotlight on the role played by millions of Australians.”
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.
He said the National Carers and Employers Network would 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.
“One of the things that we reflect on as we gather, is how do we help carers to remain connected with the workplace. How do we help carers get back into work when their caring responsibilities are at an end”, he said.
“There are many pieces to that puzzle. Obviously respite is part of the puzzle. A big piece however is having employers that are flexible enough to take on carers and work with them in their particular situation.
“Employers who will have an open mind. And if they do have an open mind, they will realise there is an incredible talent pool, that comprises carers in Australia, that they are currently in large measure denying themselves.
“We who know carers know that carers who are given the opportunity to work alongside their caring responsibilities are great employees.”
A new app is also being developed for carers to document and translate their carer related skills into training and employment competencies.
“The new app will help carers to demonstrate the skills that they have obtained to help them look for jobs to showcase the array of new skills they have gained by virtue of being a carer and those skills they already possessed,” Senator Fifield said.
“These are just a few of the practical steps to try to improve the prospects of people who are carers when it comes to employment.”