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About Us

Make Life Better

What We Do

Hello! We're Australia’s leading Young Carer organisation, supporting young people who provide unpaid care for a family member affected by disability, chronic or mental illness, substance use or frail age, in VIC, NSW and QLD. Since our launch in 2009, 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 around Australia.

Across a range of direct support programs, both in-person and online, we're working to improve the quality of life of Young Carers across five key areas of risk: education, employment, mental and physical health, social wellbeing and financial literacy.

A young Maddy and her Co-Founder, Bec, sit proudly in front of a bright blue Little Dreamers poster the is pinned to the wall. The poster features our original Little Dreamers logo (a fairy silhouette holding a wand) and a collage of photos that are too small to decipher. Maddy wears a red beanie and a striped white off the shoulder top, and Bec on the right has long light brown hair and a fringe, with a light grey and pink t-shirt.

Our Story

Our story began when our Founder and CEO was just nine years old and 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.

Over a decade later and with more than 6,500 young people reached nationwide, 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.

 

Watch our Documentary
About Us

Young Carers

A Young Carer is someone aged 25 or under who provides care for a family member affected by disability, chronic or mental illness, addiction, or frail age.

We know from experience that being a carer can be an amazing thing. Young Carers often learn compassion, kindness and empathy from having a caring role, and develop an incredible bond with the person they care for. But being a Young Carer can also significantly impact on one’s education, social life, employment and mental and physical health. That’s where we come in!

Did you know?

  • It’s estimated that 1 in 10 young people in Australia are carers
  • Young Carers are twice as likely to be disengaged from work or study than their peers
  • Carers have higher rates of poverty than non carers
  • 2 in 3 Young Carers experience mental health challenges

 

More statistics

Our Team

Maddy's Headshot
Maddy

Founder and CEO

Erin's Headshot
Erin

People and Culture Manager

Sammy's Headshot
Sammy

Marketing and Communications Manager

Laura's Headshot
Laura

Head of Programs

Tasha's Headshot
Tasha

Family Support Manager

Lindsay's Headshot
Lindsay

Executive Manager (Carer Gateway)

Natalie's Headshot
Natalie

Branding and Communications Manager (Currently on Parental Leave)

Jasmine's Headshot
Jasmine

Graphic Designer

Rachel's Headshot
Rachel

Quality and Compliance Lead

Amy's Headshot
Amy

Peer Support Practice Lead

Tahnee's Headshot
Tahnee

Coaching Practice Lead

Richard's Headshot
Richard

Counselling Practice Lead

Jade's Headshot
Jade

Dream Experience Coordinator

Olivia's Headshot
Olivia

Volunteer Coordinator

Amber's Headshot
Amber

Young Carer Engagement Lead

Melanie's Headshot
Melanie

Young Carer Engagement Coordinator

Monika's Headshot
Monika

Family Support Worker (VIC)

Sasha's Headshot
Sasha

Program Lead (VIC)

Lisa's Headshot
Lisa

Program Lead (VIC)

Clara's Headshot
Clara

Regional Program Lead (Lismore)

PJ's Headshot
PJ

IT Administrator

Janine's Headshot
Janine

Young Carer Support Coordinator (Peer Support) Sydney

Brooke's Headshot
Brooke

Young Carer Support Coordinator (Peer Support) Brisbane

Kathryn's Headshot
Kathryn

Young Carer Support Coordinator (Peer Support) Bundaberg

Chantell's Headshot
Chantell

Young Carer Support Coordinator (Peer Support) Toowoomba

Beck's Headshot
Beck

Young Carer Support Coordinator (Coaching) Brisbane

Christina's Headshot
Christina

Young Carer Support Coordinator (Coaching) Bundaberg

Ashleigh's Headshot
Ashleigh

Young Carer Support Coordinator (Coaching) NSW

Erin T's Headshot
Erin T

Young Carer Support Coordinator (Coaching) Toowoomba

Melita's Headshot
Melita

Community Engagement Coordinator (QLD)

Elizabeth's Headshot
Elizabeth

Community Engagement Coordinator (NSW)

Gurpavan's Headshot
Gurpavan

Young Carer Counsellor (QLD)

Josie's Headshot
Josie

Young Carer Counsellor (QLD)

Niamh's Headshot
Niamh

Young Carer Counsellor (QLD)

Daisy's Headshot
Daisy

Chief Barketing Officer

Our Board

Tom Levi GAICD: Chair's Headshot
Tom Levi GAICD: Chair

Principal at Nous Group

Michael Gilbert: Treasurer's Headshot
Michael Gilbert: Treasurer

Senior Finance Business Partner at Australia Post

Dana Rochwerger's Headshot
Dana Rochwerger

Co-Founder at Not a Pony, Head of Digital and Funday Sweets

Rosie Thomas OAM's Headshot
Rosie Thomas OAM

Co-Founder of PROJECT ROCKIT

Darren Lomman's Headshot
Darren Lomman

Business Owner

Esther Nelson's Headshot
Esther Nelson

Legal Counsel

Our Ambassadors

Elise Pulbrook's Headshot
Elise Pulbrook

Dena Kaplan's Headshot
Dena Kaplan

Ariel Kaplan's Headshot
Ariel Kaplan

Gemma-Ashley Kaplan's Headshot
Gemma-Ashley Kaplan

Little Dreamers Australia

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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."

Young Carers, do you know whose Country you are living on? Wherever you are in Australia, you’re on the lands and waters of Australia’s First Peoples.

Understanding and acknowledging the traditional owners of your local areas is a powerful opportunity to show respect for the continuing connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to Country, and an important step towards reconciliation.

Share with us in the comments whose Country you`re posting from!

You can find out whose Country you’re on by visiting the AIATSIS website: https://aiatsis.gov.au/explore/map-

Always Was, Always Will Be 🖤💛❤️

#NAIDOC2024 #NAIDOCWeek
...

This NAIDOC Week, dive into the rich history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with these highly recommended books! Whether you`re looking to educate yourself or simply appreciate the incredible voices of First Nations people, all of these works offer a unique perspective and invaluable insights into Indigenous Australia.

❤️ Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe - This classic critically acclaimed book challenges the conventional understanding of pre-colonial Aboriginal life, presenting evidence of agriculture, engineering, and complex societies.

💛 Growing Up Aboriginal in Australia, compiled and edited by Anita Heiss - A powerful anthology featuring stories from diverse Aboriginal voices, providing a glimpse into the experiences of growing up Aboriginal in Australia.

🖤 The Welcome to Country Handbook: A Guide to Indigenous Australia by Professor Marcia Langton AO - An essential guide for anyone wanting to learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, history, and protocols.

❤️ Finding The Heart Of The Nation (2nd Edition) by Thomas Mayor - This book explores the Uluru Statement from the Heart, sharing the journey of its creation and its significance for all Australians.

Happy reading! 🖤💛❤️ #NAIDOC2024 #NAIDOCWeek
...

🖤💛❤️ This NAIDOC Week, let`s show our support for First Nations owned businesses! Here are just a few of our many favs to check out:

Clothing the Gaps: A community brand managed by health professionals that celebrates Aboriginal people and culture.
@clothingthegaps

Haus of Dizzy: Proud Wiradjuri woman Kristy Dickinson creates bold, playful, statement-making jewellery that celebrates and honours Indigenous culture.
@hausofdizzy

Chocolate on Purpose: Sharing culture through storytelling with chocolate, educating on the traditional use of the botanicals by our First Nations People.
@chocolateonpurpose

Trading Blak: A collective of Aboriginal-owned businesses working together to advocate transparency when trading in culture and empower mob to succeed on their own terms.
@tradingblak

#NAIDOC2024 #NAIDOCWeek
...

NAIDOC Week is here, and we’ve rounded up a list of fantastic accounts to follow! Show your support for First Nations organisations, learn about their rich history and culture, and help spread the word by giving these amazing groups a follow and a share 👇

Youth Organisations:
Koorie Youth Council | @koorieyouthcouncil
Culture is Life | @cultureislifeorg
Korin Gamadji Institute | @koringamadji

Aboriginal-led Organisations:
Common Ground | @commongroundfirstnations
Black Rainbow | @blackrainbowaus

Youth Allies:
Foundation for Young Australians | @fya_org
Youth Affairs Council Victoria | @yacvic
PROJECT ROCKIT | @projectrockit
Minus18 | @minus18youth

Let’s celebrate and support our First Nations communities this NAIDOC Week! 🖤💛❤️
#NAIDOC2024 #NAIDOCWeek #SupportFirstNations
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Calling all 13-17-year-old Young Carers in NSW2 & QLD!

Looking to learn about wellbeing and ways to wind down? Join our free Wind Down Wednesday program! Gentle stretches, meditation, self-regulation & more! Sessions start July 31st and run for six weeks on Wednesdays between 5-6 pm. 🧘

Express your interest by July 24th! Find the link to register in our bio 👆
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