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.

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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.

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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
George

Partnerships Coordinator

Cassie white
Cassie

Impact Measurement and Research Analyst

Yuval
Yuval

Big Dreamers Coordinator & Programs Facilitator

Miranda
Miranda

Programs Facilitator

Phil
Phil

Programs Facilitator

Itai
Itai

Programs Facilitator

Dog
Daisy

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
Sally McLeod

Group Financial Controller | Forever New Clothing Pty Ltd

Amanda
Amanda Shilkin

People and Culture Manager | Luxury Escapes

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

Major Partners

Community Partnerships

Donors

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Big Dreamers UNITE 💪 Last Sunday, our Big Dreamers met Aylin, Noah, Amelie and Naomi from last year’s cohort. We had an awesome day making gingerbread houses, learning more about each other and getting inspired for what the future holds! 💫 #LDDreamBig ...

Self-care, it’s not a luxury. What’s one self-care goal you’re setting for yourself this week? 💭#LDDreamBig
Via @blessingmanifesting
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👋 Carers spend a lot of time putting others before themselves. Our challenge for you this weekend: Call up a carer and ask how they are. A little gesture can go a long way 💛 #LDDreamBig
Via @timothygoodman
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Jingle (and mingle) all the way! 🎄🎅 Last night was a celebration of all the special humans who have contributed to Little Dreamers over the past year. Last night captured the spirit, love and excitement of this organisation and we couldn’t be more grateful 🥰 #LDDreamBig ...

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