Our 30-year history revolves around the numerous people who have worked to keep carers supported and recognised over the years.

From humble beginnings to recognition as the peak body for carers in the ACT, carers remain at the centre of everything we do as we grow.

A small group of carers in search of support connected more than 30 years ago. This group went on to become Carers ACT, the leading provider of carer supports in the ACT.

1981 Carers in the ACT held a public meeting to address concerns about the needs of those caring for aged people. This meeting was six years after the world’s first Carers Association was established in New South Wales.
1981 The Carers Group (originally called the Carers’ Support Group) offered personal counselling and opportunities for carers to meet each other to discuss issues and concerns. This group was established under the auspices of the Council of the Ageing ACT.
Late 1980s The Carers Group received funding from the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) Home and Community Care (HACC) program.
1992 The Carers Group was incorporated as the Carers Association of the ACT, (later Carers ACT,) the peak body for carers in the ACT.


1993 – 1994 The Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) gave more than $95,000 in funding through the Home and Community Care program for counselling and information services.
1996 DoHA funded a carer respite and resource centre for the ACT.
2002 The Carers Association of the ACT changed its name to Carers ACT.
2006 The Australian Government invested $1.9 billion for mental health programs to improve the national mental health system. This enabled Carers ACT to offer much greater support to carers looking after people with mental illness, psychiatric disability, autism and intellectual disability.
2010 Carers ACT outgrew its centres of operation in Belconnen and Torrens and moved to Holt, in the former Holt primary school.
2010 – 2011 Carers ACT worked closely with both carers and government to help shape these positive reforms:

  • Carer Recognition Act 2010 (Cth)
  • ACT Carers Charter (2011)
  • National Carers Strategy (2011), and
  • National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).


2015 Carers ACT commenced an Illawarra Respite program for carers of frail aged people
2016 Carers ACT launched a Foster and Kinship Carers Advocacy Service to provide advocacy support to foster and kinship carers.
2017 Lisa Kelly was appointed as CEO of Carers ACT.
2018 The ACT Government endorsed the ACT Carers Strategy 2018–28 and Carers ACT launched the first three-year action plan.

Carers ACT achieved full accreditation and verification against the following standards, reflecting our commitment to quality service to carers:

  • QIC Health and Community Services Standards 7th Ed
  • NSW Disability Services Standards
  • National Standards for Mental Health Services
  • Home Care Standards
2021 Carers ACT completed the first 3 year action plan under the Carers Strategy and received a four year funding package to continue Strategy work.

2021-22 Snapshot

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1,344 carers were able to share and connect with other carers in more than 210 educational, social and wellbeing group activities

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305 carers learned strategies to maintain their wellbeing and build resilience through 76 wellbeing sessions

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335 carers enhanced their wellbeing through our social respite program activities such as craft groups, lunches and art groups

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80 carers were able to have a break from their caring role, enhance their wellbeing and make social connections by attending 4 Carer Wellbeing Retreats

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84 carers were able to take a break with the aged person they care for during 6 ACT Walking the Journey Together Retreats

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75 carers were able to take a break with the aged person they care for during 4 Illawarra Walking the Journey Together Retreats

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191 carers were supported through 689 counselling sessions and 10 therapeutic group sessions

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585 carers attended 73 educational workshops which equipped them with vital skills and knowledge, boosted their confidence and strengthened their capacity to care.

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1,500 carers in the ACT were provided carer support and planning, respite care, information and links to local services.

Source: Carers ACT 2022