About Us

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What We Do

Little Dreamers is Australia's leading Young Carer support organisation.

We recognise that not all young people in caring roles label themselves as a carer, because it’s just something that they do. That’s ok! We have six tailored direct support programs that work with Young Carers and their families to enhance their quality of life and overall wellbeing.

From cities to rural farms, we work in every corner of Australia ensuring Young Carers are never left out, forgotten or lonely.

We're also passionate advocates for Young Carers, with a big focus on Government policy and school and workplace carers accreditation.

About Us

Our Story

“Who cares for the carers?” The Little Dreamers story began 18 years ago with this very question.

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 would eventually culminate in a business plan for an organisation called Little Dreamers.

Ten years later and more than 5,000 young people reached, Little Dreamers is now Australia’s leading non-profit for Young Carers. As a face for political reform, Little Dreamers is working towards the creation of a peak body for Young Carers. Across key support programs co-designed with young people in caring roles, we’re breaking down barriers and empowering young people in caring roles, with a vision to ensure that every Young Carer around the world is supported by someone or something by the year 2030.

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 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 marginalised youth groups in Australia
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Our Team

Maddy's Headshot
Maddy

Founder and CEO

Nat's Headshot
Nat

Head of Programs

Carla's Headshot
Carla

Programs Coordinator NSW

Tasha's Headshot
Tasha

Family Support Coordinator

Ned's Headshot
Ned

Family Support Worker

Steph 's Headshot
Steph

Operations Manager

Emma's Headshot
Emma

Marketing and Events Coordinator

Natalie's Headshot
Natalie

Graphic Designer

George's Headshot
George

Partnerships Coordinator

Cassie's Headshot
Cassie

Impact Measurement and Research Analyst

Yuval's Headshot
Yuval

Big Dreamers Coordinator & Programs Facilitator

Miranda's Headshot
Miranda

Programs Facilitator

Phil's Headshot
Phil

Programs Facilitator

Itai's Headshot
Itai

Programs Facilitator

Daisy's Headshot
Daisy

Chief Barketing Officer


Our Board

Trevor Givoni's Headshot
Trevor Givoni

Clinical Psychologist | Department of Education and Training

Rebecca Smith's Headshot
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


Make Life Better

Our Advocates

About Us

"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."

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"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?"

About Us

"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

Major Partners

Community Partnerships

Donors

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We had an awesome day on Friday with the Ernst & Young team, who helped us organise some super-special Dream Experiences for our Young Carers! 🙌
Our corporate volunteering days are all about creating more awareness for Young Carers, engaging the community and leveraging connections to make our Dream Experiences one-of-a-kind. DM us if you’re interested in getting involved! #LDDreamBig #EYCareDay
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Meet George ⭐️
George takes on a brand new role at Little Dreamers as our Partnerships Coordinator! George would describe himself as glass-half-full, charismatic and creative💡He loves initiating conversations with new people, learning different accents and exercising, and his favourite food is potato. In his new role, George is most excited about meeting the families and communities that we work with on a daily basis. And his ultimate Dream Experience is to go to the moon! 🌙 #MeetTheTeam #LDDreamBig
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“The purpose of World Kindness Day is to look beyond ourselves, beyond the boundaries of our country, beyond our culture, our race, our religion; and realise we are citizens of the world.” 🧡 #worldkindnessday #LDDreamBig ...

QLD and VIC - this one's for you! 🌟 We're on the lookout for some very special humans to join Little Dreamers in the coming months. If you're humble, hungry and kind, and have a passion for impacting the lives of young people, you'll probably fit in pretty well here 🙌
Check out our opportunities: littledreamers.org.au/careers/
P.S. Did we mention we have an office dog? 🐶
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“It has been life changing to be part of a group that allows me to express who I am and explore who I want to be.” 👏
Our Big Dreamers program gives Young Carers the chance to explore their identity outside of their caring roles, challenge their ideas, discover their passions and explore new opportunities.
It all starts here 👉 bit.ly/BigDreamers2020
#LDDreamBig
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