Dear carers,

I hope you are enjoying the changing colours outside as autumn once again transforms our beautiful city. Autumn is definitely one of my favourite times to be in Canberra. 

During the past months, Carers ACT has been busy working with the ACT government and the disability community to co-design the ACT Disability Strategy. The strategy aims to provide more inclusive programs and services, and ensure better health outcomes for people with disabilities, their families, and carers across our community. It is important that carers have a strong voice in his process, and whenever possible, I encourage you to participate in the consultation sessions to ensure that your views and experiences are considered in the decisions that will have a direct impact on you and the people you care for. There are many ways to have your say including submitting a video or written statement, attending a forum or consultation, or hosting a kitchen table conversation with family or friends. Visit ACT Disability Health Strategy | YourSay ACT for more details. 

Together with the rest of the Carers National Network, we are pleased to release the report Caring Costs Us which highlights what we have known for a long time about the long-term financial impact of caring, and you can find more details on this report in the newsletter article below. We will use this information to continue to raise with government the economic cost to carers and the need for a fairer carer payment system and superannuation payments. 

As we welcome the Labor Party to be leaders of the federal government, we will continue to work with them to ensure that they meet their election promises to carers. You can see more about the pre election promises that were made on the Carers Australia website. Promises include a new National Carers Strategy and a review of the Carer Recognition Act, addressing the barriers to allowing carers to take extended unpaid leave and have more flexible working arrangements and to reduce the need for carers to undertake the bulk of service navigation and support in NDIS and My Aged Care. 

We are proud to share that we are in the final stages of developing an emergency portal as a response to concerns expressed by carers about how the person they care for will be assisted during a disaster or an emergency. This portal will enable carers and people with support needs to provide information on where they live, what assistance they would need in the event of an evacuation or disaster, and how that support needs to be delivered. The information in the portal will be used by ACT Emergency Services to prioritise supports. This information for example would have been used in the bushfire threat to identify who required assistance to leave the home, in the hailstorms to identify where power needed to be urgently restored and during COVID to identify where vulnerable and isolated people were. We think this will be a great resource for carers, people with disability and people who are frail aged, and we look forward to launching this soon.

If you like a bit of reality TV you may have noticed Bronte Campbell is on the Celebrity Apprentice. Bronte is a carer for her brother and was a Carer Week Ambassador. She has nominated Carers Australia as her charity for the show and we are so happy that she has chosen to raise the profile of carers in this way. Go Bronte!

Our team is always here ready to provide support when you need it. Please do not hesitate to reach out anytime. You can call us through the Carer Gateway at 1800 422 737, our office line at 6296 9900, or email us at carers@carersact.org.au.

Warm regards, 

Lisa Kelly    

CEO

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