COVID-19 Update: We’re sad we can’t see you face-to-face, but we’re working hard to provide you with online support alternatives to our current programs during this time. Click here for full information regarding the current changes.

About Us

Make Life Better

What We Do

As Australia’s leading Young Carer organisation, we work with young people who provide unpaid care for a family member with a disability, illness or addiction across a range of direct support programs.

Over the past 10 years, we’ve become a game changing force in the Young Carer space, developing internationally recognised best practice programs and changing the lives of thousands of Young Carers. From cities to rural farms, we work in every corner of Australia, ensuring Young Carers are never left out, forgotten or lonely.

We’re working to improve the quality of life of Young Carers right across the country, with an ultimate vision to ensure that every single Young Carer around the world is supported by someone or something by 2030.

Holiday Program

Our Story

The Little Dreamers story began when our Founder and CEO was just nine years old. She asked the very question that still drives us today: “Who cares for the carers?”

Maddy Buchner grew up caring for her younger brother, who had a range of chronic illnesses, and her mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer. At nine years of age, she identified a gap in the support system for Young Carers and began to raise awareness through fundraising events and stalls. This eventually culminated in a business plan for an organisation called Little Dreamers, way back in 2009.

More than ten years later and over 5,000 young people reached, we’re now Australia’s leading Young Carer organisation. Across a range of key support programs co-designed with young people in caring roles, we’re breaking down barriers and empowering youths, with a vision to ensure that every Young Carer around the world is supported by someone or something by the year 2030. We’re also working towards the creation of a peak body for Young Carers and the introduction of a National Carer Act in Australia (did you know that this is yet to exist?).

About Us

Who is a Young Carer?

A Young Carer is someone under the age of 25 who provides, or intends to provide care for a family member with a disability, illness, mental illness or an addiction.

While Young Carers often learn compassion, kindness and empathy from having a caring role, being a Young Carer can significantly impact on one’s education, social life, employment and mental and physical health.

  • 1 in 10 Australian youths are Young Carers
  • Carers Australia estimates 2 to 3 Young Carers in every Australian classroom
  • 50% of Young Carers live close to or below the poverty line
  • 40% of Young Carers do not finish high school
  • 60% of Young Carers are unemployed
  • 2 in 3 Young Carers experience mental illness
  • Young Carers have been named in the top 4 most marginalised youth populations in Australia
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Our Team

Maddy's Headshot

Founder and CEO

Tasha's Headshot

State Manager (VIC)

Carla's Headshot

State Manager (NSW)

Alex's Headshot

State Manager (QLD)

Nat C's Headshot
Nat C

National Head of Programs

Steph 's Headshot

National People and Culture Manager

Emma's Headshot

National Marketing and Events Manager

Nat M's Headshot
Nat M

Graphic Designer

Laura's Headshot

Education Program Manager

Miranda's Headshot

Family Support Worker

Amber's Headshot

Family Support Worker

Yuval's Headshot

Big Dreamers Coordinator

Cassie's Headshot

Impact Measurement and Research Analyst

Cath's Headshot

Virtual CFO


Chief Barketing Officer

Our Board

Trevor Givoni's Headshot
Trevor Givoni

Clinical Psychologist | Department of Education and Training

Little Dreamers
Rebecca Smith

Head of Marketing | Thankyou ANZ

Michael Thurin's Headshot
Michael Thurin

Management Consultant | A.T. Kearney

Dana Rochwerger's Headshot
Dana Rochwerger

Search Manager | Innovate Online

Sally McLeod

Group Financial Controller | Forever New Clothing Pty Ltd

Amanda Shilkin

People and Culture Manager | Luxury Escapes

Zoe Nasr

People and Culture Director at Remedy Drinks

Make Life Better

Our Advocates

Little Dreamers

"Young Carers are some of the most resourceful and resilient people around. Heavy responsibilities rest on their shoulders and they face and overcome challenges, often daily, that most adults would struggle to solve. We should champion all children and young people in caring roles, recognise their talent and support them to have the choices and freedom that the rest of us take for granted."

Little Dreamers

"There is an emerging consensus that around 10% of children and young people are Young Carers. They are involved in various caring roles for an ill or disabled relative/parent in their family, such as showering them, helping them to the toilet, keeping an eye on them, etc. These children represent a hidden army of young people who are also family carers. They will be on your street, in your community, in your schools . . . . can you see them yet?"

Little Dreamers

"If you’re a young adult caregiver, I implore you to share your story. Make yourself known. This may mean opening up to a friend, forming an online peer support group, or meeting with your state representative. Whatever you do, however seemingly big or small, is incredibly important in ensuring that the world knows that you serve an invaluable role as a young adult caregiver. Your acts of sacrifice are courageous and inspiring, particularly in a society that increasingly argues that today’s millennials are selfish and narcissistic. You are irreplaceable. You matter."

Our Ambassadors

Dena Kaplan's Headshot
Dena Kaplan

Ariel Kaplan's Headshot
Ariel Kaplan

Gemma-Ashley Kaplan's Headshot
Gemma-Ashley Kaplan

Alicia Banit's Headshot
Alicia Banit

Michael Short's Headshot
Michael Short

Our Partners


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It's officially June and we're gearing up for Rock Around the World taking place in less than 3 weeks' time! 🌏 🙌

Rock Around the World is a live virtual marathon that unites participants with one common goal - achieving an entire lap around the world (all 40, 075km) in just 24 hours!

Register now at

Learn more about the other charities taking part:
#RockAroundTheWorld2020 #RATWChallenge #StrongerTogether

Today is Prader-Willi Syndrome Awareness Day. We support two beautiful families touched by the condition, so we wanted to take some time to help spread awareness about this extremely rare syndrome.

Worldwide, there are only approximately 400,000 people diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome. It's a lifelong condition and although lots of research is being carried out, there currently is no cure.
PWS is a non-inherited condition that's linked to the deletion or incompleteness of genes on the 15th chromosomes. This leads to neurological changes which cause altered growth patterns and development with associated cognitive disability and obsessive eating patterns.

There are no known reasons for the genetic accident that causes this condition, but medical professionals are learning more and more about PWS everyday, and there is hope. Hope that, through increased knowledge, we can help all people with this condition to live a fuller life despite their limitations and boost the possibility of finding a cure.

To find out more and lend your support, you can head to: 🌟
#pws #praderwillisyndromeawareness #praderwillisyndrome

This year's theme for National Reconciliation Week (27 May - 3 June) is 'In this Together'. Although it was announced last year, the theme couldn't be more relevant or important given what’s happening around the world right now 🌏
On our journey to reconciliation, every one of us has a role to play, and in playing our part we collectively build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and cultures.
Whether in a crisis or in reconciliation, we really are all #InThisTogether ❤️💛🖤
#NRW2020 #InThisTogether2020

The amazing @jancowen at our IWD breakfast back in March! 🙌 We’re dreaming of the day we can have all these amazing individuals in one room again (and host more breakfasts)! 💕 #IWD2020 #LDDreamBig ...

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