A new whole-of-government strategy to better recognise and support carers was launched by the Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, Martin Foley and Parliamentary Secretary for Carers and Volunteers, Gabrielle Williams on Thursday 26 July 2018 in Melbourne.
OPA was invited to the launch, which was attended by Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured), through its membership of the Carers Victoria’s inaugural Carer Advisory Committee.
The Victorian Carer Strategy 2018–22 sets out a framework to better recognise and support carers including greater access to support groups, financial services and transport, and better identification and help for young carers.
As part of this, the Victorian Government will invest an additional $1.2 million for extra respite, school holiday programs and support for young carers, as well as more support for carers of people with a mental illness.
In 2015, the Australian Unity Wellbeing index found carers have the lowest wellbeing of any large group. They often ignore their own health, and are 40 per cent more likely to have a chronic health condition.
Across Victoria, more than 736,600 carers give their time, effort and love to look after a family member or friend who needs them.
In addition to the significant contribution carers make to their family and their community, the important work they do also provides a $15 billion benefit to the economy every year.
The Victorian Carer Strategy will help give carers more opportunities to be physically and mentally healthy and socially connected, and improve access to education, employment and peer led support programs.
The strategy was developed through extensive consultation with carers and a range of peak bodies and service providers.
Download the Carer's Strategy (external link)