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 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
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Our Team

Maddy's Headshot
Maddy

Founder and CEO

Kat's Headshot
Kat

General Manager

Tasha's Headshot
Tasha

State Manager (VIC) (currently on maternity leave)

Carla's Headshot
Carla

State Manager (NSW)

Tu's Headshot
Tu

State Manager (QLD)

Nat C's Headshot
Nat C

National Head of Programs

Emma's Headshot
Emma

National Marketing and Events Manager

Cath's Headshot
Cath

Virtual CFO

Amanda Shilkin's Headshot
Amanda Shilkin

Virtual People Manager

Laura's Headshot
Laura

Education Program Manager (VIC)

Cassie's Headshot
Cassie

Impact Measurement and Research Analyst

Nat M's Headshot
Nat M

Graphic Designer

Adam's Headshot
Adam

Operations Coordinator

Taylar's Headshot
Taylar

Events and Fundraising Coordinator

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)

Jennie's Headshot
Jennie

Education Program Manager (QLD)

Dee's Headshot
Dee

Program Coordinator (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

Meet Mawada ⭐️

Mawada joins Little Dreamers as our newest placement student! 🙌

Mawada is humble, positive, and motivated, and her hobbies include art and reading 📖

Her ultimate Dream Experience is to travel in hot air balloon, go Bungee jumping, or have dinner with Nelson Mandela.

To Mawada, "Little Dreamers is a bridge that connects young people and helps them on their journeys." ❤️

#LDDreamBig #MeettheTeam
...

Our very first Big Dreamers retreat in NSW kicked off yesterday! 🏄☀️

We can’t wait to continue learning and bonding with this incredible crew of Young Carers over the coming days and months 🙌 as well as our superstar Team Leaders joining us on the journey! ⚡️

#LDDreamBig #BigDreamers
...

🍔We have some exciting news! We're on the Local Matters Jar at Grill'd
South Yarra. 🎉

🍔Each month, in every Grill'd restaurant, the jars promote three community groups to support.
🍔With every burger ordered, a Local Matters token is handed over to drop into the jar of ones choice.
🍔At the end of the month $500 is split between the groups ($300 for 1st, $100 for 2nd and 3rd), with a total of $70,000 given back to the community every month! ✨

How can you help?
1️⃣ Head over to Grill'd South Yarra
2️⃣ Eat one of their delicious burgers (or salads)
3️⃣ Pop your token in the Little Dreamers jar! 🌈

🍔 To find out more about Local Matters visit: www.grilld.com.au/about/localmatters

#LDDreamBig #Grill’d #SouthYarra #ChapelSt #Burgers #Grilld
...

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