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. 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. It's our vision to create a world in which every Young Carer is supported by someone or something by 2030.
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.
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
Founder and CEO
National Marketing and Communications Manager
Partnerships and Fundraising Manager
Head of Program Design
State Manager (VIC)
Family Support Work Manager
State Manager (NSW)
State Manager (QLD)
National Branding and Communications Manager
Senior Intake and Support Coordinator (VIC)
Intake & Support Coordinator (VIC)
Family Support Worker (VIC)
Family Support Worker (Geelong)
Senior Intake and Support Coordinator (QLD)
Intake & Support Coordinator (QLD)
Family Support Worker (QLD)
Intake and Support Coordinator (NSW)
Family Support Worker (NSW)
Teens and Young Adults Portfolio Lead
Respite Portfolio Lead
Education and Employment Portfolio Lead
Lived Experience Lead
Community Engagement Coordinator (QLD)
Regional Program Coordinator (QLD)
Community Engagement Coordinator (NSW)
Chief Barketing Officer
Tom Levi GAICD: Chair
Principal at Nous Group
Michael Gilbert: Treasurer
Senior Finance Business Partner at Australia Post
Co-Founder at Not a Pony, Head of Digital and Funday Sweets
Rosie Thomas OAM
Co-Founder of PROJECT ROCKIT
Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group
"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."
"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?"
"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."