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 youths, 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 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

Kat's Headshot

General Manager

Tasha's Headshot

State Manager (VIC) (currently on maternity leave)

Carla's Headshot

State Manager (NSW)

Tu's Headshot

State Manager (QLD)

Nat C's Headshot
Nat C

National Head of Programs

Emma's Headshot

National Marketing and Events Manager

Cath's Headshot

Virtual CFO

Amanda Shilkin's Headshot
Amanda Shilkin

Virtual People Manager

Laura's Headshot

Education Program Manager (VIC)

Cassie's Headshot

Impact Measurement and Research Analyst

Nat M's Headshot
Nat M

Graphic Designer

Adam's Headshot

Operations Coordinator

Taylar's Headshot

Events and Fundraising Coordinator

Steph's Headshot

Volunteer Coordinator

Miranda's Headshot

Family Support Worker (VIC)

Amber's Headshot

Family Support Worker (VIC)

Gee's Headshot

Regional Family Support Worker (VIC)

Yuval's Headshot

Big Dreamers Coordinator

Mary's Headshot

Family Support Worker (NSW)

Katie's Headshot

Program Coordinator (NSW)

Jennie's Headshot

Education Program Manager (QLD)

Dee's Headshot

Program Coordinator (QLD)


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 McLeod

Group Financial Controller | Forever New Clothing Pty Ltd

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

Ballarat here we come!!! 🙌☀️

We’re so so excited to see everyone tomorrow evening at our Ballarat Family BBQ event!

Come on down and meet Gee, Tay and the rest of the Little Dreamers team 👋 as well as fellow Young Carers and their family members. There’ll be prizes, games, food and fun - all in one evening! 🎉

If you haven’t registered yet, there’s still time! Head to 👉 bit.ly/LD-ballarat ✨


Our Sydney Young Carers Festival is here! 🎉🎡

Join us in NSW Youth Week for a magical evening with the stars ✨ Strike a pose on the red carpet as you enter Madame Tussauds and snap photos with some of the world’s biggest celebrities! 📸

Tickets cost $10 per person, and Young Carers registered with Little Dreamers attend for free.

Don't miss out 👉 bit.ly/youngcarersfestival-syd


Meet ✨@melliyu✨our fantastic final panelist for our upcoming International Women's Day breakfast.

With an honours in Psychology, and no stranger to the commercial world through her entrepreneurial endeavours, Melissa is a truly empathetic and inspiring speaker and leader 🎤

Melissa’s overall purpose is to leave others in a better position than before meeting them 💖 Having lost her late partner to suicide, Melissa harnesses life experience to advocate for causes relating to suicide an awareness prevention.

At 27, she listened to her gut instincts and took the plunge to start her own company, @mcoevents, and is also the Founder of @egoexpo_au, an annual two-day expo for independent and growing brands in streetwear fashion and urban culture 💪

We just can't wait to hear more!

Book your tickets here 👉 bit.ly/iwd-breakfastwithchampions (we’ve also got the link in our bio)

#IWD2021 #LDDreamBig

Beanbags and Big Dreamers ✨🥰 ...

Second time lucky! 🤞

We're excited to announce the new date of our Valentine's Family Picnic, which will now take place on Sunday 28 March from 11am-2pm 💖

While it's not quite Valentine's Day anymore, we think every day is a good day to celebrate those we love!

For those who have already purchased a ticket, these will automatically be transferred across to the new date 🎟 If you can't attend on this date, please send us a DM and we'll organise your refund!

Book at ➡️ bit.ly/LD-ValDay

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