About Us

Make Life Better

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.

Holiday Program

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

Founder and CEO

Tasha's Headshot

State Manager (VIC)

Carla's Headshot

State Manager (NSW)

Alex's Headshot

State Manager (QLD)

Nat C's Headshot
Nat C

National Head of Programs

Steph 's Headshot

National People and Culture Manager

Emma's Headshot

National Marketing and Events Manager

Nat M's Headshot
Nat M

Graphic Designer

Laura's Headshot

Education Program Manager

Miranda's Headshot

Family Support Worker

Amber's Headshot

Family Support Worker

Yuval's Headshot

Big Dreamers Coordinator

Cassie's Headshot

Impact Measurement and Research Analyst

Cath's Headshot

Virtual CFO


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 McLeod

Group Financial Controller | Forever New Clothing Pty Ltd

Amanda Shilkin

People and Culture Manager | Luxury Escapes

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


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We met Alex a couple of years ago. Alex is a primary carer for his mum, who has a condition called Transverse Myelitis and is permanently in a wheelchair. This means that Alex takes on lots of extra household duties and care tasks, in addition to being very committed to his studies. Alex is determined, hard working and humble, and his mum Amanda is also a superstar (and a former wheelchair basketball champion)! Alex has participated in a range of our programs, including Holiday Programs, Mentoring and most recently, Big Dreamers, and we've watched him develop from a quiet kid who found it difficult to articulate his caring role to his friends and teachers, to someone who recently shared his story on national television with Waleed on @theprojecttv (and also sang karaoke in front of an audience at our retreat)! We're so proud to be part of Alex's journey! 💫 #YoungCarer #LDDreamBig ...

Why fit in when you were born to stand out? 🙌
Via @artofbrilliance #LDDreamBig

We're pretty fortunate to have the support of some amazing organisations like the ones you see above to help make our Welcome Packs so special! 🥰 These vouchers are what Young Carers will receive when they newly apply for support with us (as well as some pretty cool Little Dreamers merchandise and a little bit about what we do)! If you'd like to become a Welcome Pack sponsor too, send us a message! 🙌 ...

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