Official Carer Recognition
Carers play a vital role in our community, but many of us do not realise the enormous contribution that they make to Australian society, or fully appreciate the challenges that they face every day.
The Australian Government has developed the National Carer Recognition Framework to improve support for carers and better recognise the vital social and economic contribution that carers make to Australian Society. The Framework comprises two pillars:
1. The Carer Recognition Act 2010 recognises the exceptional contribution made by unpaid carers. It includes the principle that carers should have the same rights, choices and opportunities as other Australians, and requires Australian Public Service agencies with programs and policies directed to carers, or the people they care for, to consult with carers and report each year on what they have done to better support carers. The cornerstone of the Act is the statement for Australia’s Carers, which sets out 10 principles that Australian Government agencies and funded organisations need to adopt in developing policies and delivering services for carers or the person they care for.
2. The National Carer Strategy contains a vision, an aim and six important priority areas for action – recognition and respect, information and access, economic security, services for carers, education and training and health and wellbeing. Collectively, these priority areas outline how the contribution of Australia’s carers will be better valued, supported and shared. The National Carer Strategy builds on what the Australian Government already provides for carers and complements reforms to improve supports provided through the aged care, disability, mental health, primary health care, hospital and community care systems. The Australian Government is developing an implementation plan outlining how the Strategy’s priorities and ideas for future action will be put into place. The Australian Government is working in collaboration with state and territory governments, carers and their representatives to develop this implementation plan.
In addition, all state and territory governments have either put in place official acts or policies, or intend to do so soon.
New South Wales: Carers Recognition Act 2010
Victoria: Carers Recognition Act 2012
South Australia: Carers Recognition Act 2005
Queensland: Carers Recognition Act 2008
Western Australia: Carers Recognition Act 2004
Northern Territory: Carers Recognition Act 2009
Australian Capital Territory: ACT Carers Charter
Tasmania: The Carer Policy