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2019, in the words of our CEO

December 24th, 2019

Categories: Blog

I don’t believe in horoscopes. I’ve always thought they rely on people making tenuous connections between a very general paragraph and something very specific that’s going on in their life.

But at the beginning of 2019, I saved my ‘year ahead’ horoscope just as a test. And maybe, just maybe, I am now starting to believe in horoscopes!

Sagittarius
23 November – 1 December
It’s set to be an amazing year for you – one of your best in over a decade. Pretty much everything you touch may turn to gold over the next 12 months, but you’ll also be blessed with the wisdom and grace to let things go out of your life that no longer have a place in it.

It goes on to talk about finances, love, boundaries and the “underlying thread of tenacity and perseverance” that will get me through any highs and lows over 2019.

I started this year thinking and knowing in my gut that it was going to be our biggest one yet. 2018 brought with it a new office space, new staff, new programs and new funding…so why should 2019 be any different?

This year was like nothing I could have ever expected. 13 new staff members, three new board members, yet another office space (this time three times the size of the last), over $700k raised, two new programs, one signed contract for interstate program delivery, 2,500 Young Carers positively impacted.

I would like to take this moment to thank the people around me, the people who literally picked me up off the floor when it felt too big, the ones who celebrated with us when we pushed through and the ones who put in the elbow grease every single day.

To the Little Dreamers team, this year has taken everything you have to give. You have achieved more than my wildest dreams thought possible and you have always done so with a smile. Thank you for the Monday Morning Meetups, the drop-in meditations (that I promise to go to in 2020), the picnics in our courtyard, the pumpkin carvings and impromptu karaoke parties in our office. Most importantly, thank you for believing our mission and for dedicating yourself to improving the quality of life for Young Carers around Australia.

To the Board, let’s just take a moment to remember when we were talking about needing to bring in more money or we would be closing…only 20 months ago. Now we’re negotiating federal government tenders, planning for 10+ new staff in 2020 and reshaping the way Young Carers are supported around the country. Thank you for the late-night phone calls, weekend catch ups, board meetings with pizza and your belief in both myself and the business.

To my family, 10 years ago you believed in me enough to think that Little Dreamers could be so much more than just an idea. You are at every event, every fundraiser and you love our families and Young Carers as much as I do. Thank you for trusting me, supporting me, feeding me and sometimes even running errands for us. You are the whole team’s surrogate family and I don’t think I could ever thank you enough for that.

Finally, to our Young Carers and your families, this year I have seen some of you graduate from high school, move into new jobs and university courses, speak in parliament, become a TV sensation and blow people away sharing your story at our Gala. Each time one of you sends through an update or shares a celebration with us, I tell every person that I can. You are the reason we all do what we do and I am so beyond proud of you. Thank you for changing my life.

We turned 10 years old in 2019. We always knew it would be a big one. So, what does that mean for 2020? Prepare yourselves, it’s going to be MASSIVE.

In January alone we have two new staff members starting, three holiday programs, two retreats, interviews for new hires around Australia and a new program launching. 2020 will see Little Dreamers in two new states, with regular in-person peer support groups, it will see us keynote at an international conference alongside king of Young Carer research (and all-round legend) Saul Becker, it will see us push the boundaries of policy and advocate for the development and launch of a National Care Act. 2020 will see the Little Dreamers team travel to four different countries, four states, supporting 3,600+ Young Carers.

We have learnt a lot in 2019. We have learnt what to do and most importantly, what not to do. We are leaving this year stronger, more determined and more passionate than ever before. We are heading into the next year with a commitment to care for Young Carers. Refreshed, renewed and reinvigorated to do more, work harder, smarter and better.

To everyone in the Little Dreamers family, we wish you a very healthy and happy New Year. Be safe and take care of those around you. May the year ahead bring only good health, happiness, love and adventure.

With love and big dreams,

Maddy

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