Written by Katie Brown, Year 10 work experience student, East Doncaster Secondary College and Madeleine Buchner, Founder and CEO of Little Dreamers Australia
Have you heard the words “Carers Week” being floated around lately? Not really sure what it means or why people are talking about it? Well we’ve got the low-down just for you!
Carers week is an annual celebration, recognising carers and the challenges they face and conquer on a daily basis. Did you know that there are 2.7 million Carers in Australia? This makes up a huge 11% of the total population in Australia. The unpaid value of this care to Australia is over $1 billion per week, $60.3 billion per year . Carers devote so much of their time and energy into helping others that they have often little time at all to focus on themselves. While it is a carers responsibility to look after others, whether they be a special parent or special sibling, we all have an embedded responsiblily to care for ourselves. Fun fact, 3 in 4 carers don’t feel their selfless role in our community is valued or even fully understood . THIS IS WHERE WE COME IN!
Each year, the week of the 15-21 October is National Carers Week, a week dedicated to Carers in every community and corner of Australia to come together to show their appreciation, empathy and respect for this incredible group of people.
Here at Little Dreamers, we focus primarily on younger carers under 25. With less maturity in age often comes an even more overwhelming pressure of duty, constantly being placed upon these young heroes. To many, to take on such a prime role of responsibility over another vulnerable person at such a young age would seem like a burden, yet these everyday superheroes embrace their role uncomplaining. Throughout all of this, young carers must also battle their own challenges that come with growing up, and that’s way we choose to celebrate Young Carers specifically during Carers Week.
The 4th Annual Young Carers Festival
For the 4th year in a row, Little Dreamers kicked off Carers Week with the Young Carers Festival. With over 600 people in attendance, a 25% growth from last year, the sun shone bright while crowds gathered to celebrate and recognize Young Carers in the Victorian community. Attendees at the Festival were able to experience live music, hang out with the animals at the petting zoo and reptile stand, get in some superhero training with Anytime Fitness, jump on the jumping castles and challenge their friends on the obstacle course. The Festival was capped off with food trucks, sausage sizzles, free snow cones and more. Proudly supported by the Victorian Government, the annual Little Dreamers Young Carers Festival stands by the 2012 Carers Recognition Act, with main purpose to recognize, promote and value the role of people in care relationships.Want to know what else is going on during Carers Week?
Check out all of the National Events throughout the week by visiting the Carers Week website.References
Carersweek.org. (2017). About Carers Week. Available at: http://www.carersweek.org/about-us .