About Us - Little Dreamers Australia

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 11 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 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.

More than ten years later and over 5,000 young people reached, Little Dreamers is 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 youth, with a vision to ensure that every Young Carer around the world is supported by someone or something by the year 2030.

Our Impact
About Us

Who is a Young Carer?

A Young Carer is someone aged 25 or under 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
Learn More

Our Team

Maddy's Headshot
Maddy

Founder and CEO

Kat's Headshot
Kat

General Manager

Carla's Headshot
Carla

National Strategy and Development Manager / State Manager (NSW)

Emma's Headshot
Emma

National Marketing and Events Manager

Cassie's Headshot
Cassie

Impact Measurement and Research Analyst

Cath's Headshot
Cath

Virtual CFO

Amanda Shilkin's Headshot
Amanda Shilkin

Virtual People Manager

Tasha's Headshot
Tasha

State Manager (VIC)

Tu's Headshot
Tu

State Manager (QLD)

Nat C's Headshot
Nat C

National Carer Gateway Manager

Laura's Headshot
Laura

Education Program Manager (VIC)

Nat M's Headshot
Nat M

Graphic Designer

Adam's Headshot
Adam

Operations Coordinator

Taylar's Headshot
Taylar

Events and Fundraising Coordinator

Emma C's Headshot
Emma C

Dreamers Hub Editor

Steph's Headshot
Steph

Volunteer Coordinator

Miranda's Headshot
Miranda

Family Support Worker (VIC)

Amber's Headshot
Amber

Family Support Worker (VIC)

Gee's Headshot
Gee

Regional Family Support Worker (VIC)

Yuval's Headshot
Yuval

Big Dreamers Coordinator

Mary's Headshot
Mary

Family Support Worker (NSW)

Katie's Headshot
Katie

Program Coordinator (NSW)

Amanda's Headshot
Amanda

Family Support Worker (NSW)

Jennie's Headshot
Jennie

Education Program Manager (QLD)

Dog
Daisy

Chief Barketing Officer

Our Board

Michael Thurin's Headshot
Michael Thurin

Board Chair |

Management Consultant | A.T. Kearney

Trevor Givoni's Headshot
Trevor Givoni

Clinical Psychologist | Department of Education and Training

Dana Rochwerger's Headshot
Dana Rochwerger

Digital Acquisition Manager | Bared Footwear

Sally
Sally McLeod

Group Financial Controller | Forever New Clothing Pty Ltd

Zoe
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

⭐️ We're seeking Young Carers aged 14-18 to join our next Big Dreamers program in VIC! ⭐️

🌈 Every 6 months, we have the privilege of welcoming 15 fresh faces into our Big Dreamers Program, equipping them with lifelong tools and skills and watching them form incredible friendships.

If you've seen some of our previous Big Dreamers photos + videos from retreats, workshops and graduations, you'll know that this is a pretty special program 🥰 and we can't wait for our next one beginning mid year!

To register your interest, contact Yuval 📧 yuval@littledreamers.org.au

#LDDreamBig
...

☀️ Maddy and Gee met with Carers NT today in sunny Darwin to discuss support for Young Carers in the Northern Territory.

Check out their amazing couch that was hand painted by Young Carers! 🎨

Thanks so much John and Jane for having us! 🙌
#LDDreamBig
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👋 Meet your trivia hosts, Adam and Symon!

Adam and Symon have been a regular fixture on Aussie TV screens since 2015 when they made their debut on ‘Gogglebox’ 📺

The duo were approached for casting five years ago while they were out at a pub, and their relatable quips and funny commentary made them fan favourites for 10 seasons until they left the show in 2019.

🎙 Since then, they have maintained a presence with their own podcast called The Adam & Symon Show.

In March 2020, they made their return to the small screen, landing their own show on Fox Footy called ‘Premierships and Footy Trips’ that involved them interviewing AFL stars ⭐️ Most recently, you could also catch them on I’m a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!’

We have limited tickets available for the night! To register, head to 👉 bit.ly/LDtrivia21
...

⭐️ Trivia Question 5 ⭐️

🤸‍♀️ Answer in the comments below (closest guess wins) and enter the draw to win an epic prize pack from BOUNCEinc containing 10 free passes for you and your friends!

🚨A reminder to grab your tickets before they're all sold out!🚨 They won't be available much longer...

Register here 👉 bit.ly/LDtrivia21

#LDDreamBig #TriviaNight
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