CEO Message – April 2023

  • CEO Message – April 2023 image

CEO Message – April 2023


Dear carers and community,

As we wrap up the world of carers for March, I begin this community update with a heavy heart and acknowledge the passing of Aunty Agnes Shea.

Aunty Agnes was the oldest living Ngunnawal elder, a carer and a friend of Carers ACT. She was a warm, generous, funny and compassionate woman who was passionate about family, land, culture and language. She taught me about what it meant to live on Ngunnawal land and how important kin and culture are. She was patient as we all learnt more about walking beside Ngunnawal people, joining the fight for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to be seen and acknowledged. I express my deepest respect and admiration for her as a carer and an elder.

Walking beside each other, connection to community, to land and to each other has featured heavily at Carers ACT this month. From the passing of Aunty Agnes, acknowledging her far-reaching connections and ongoing impact to community, to coming together at Carers ACT for a multicultural feast for Harmony Day – connection to each other has been front of mind. In addition to our own staff Harmony Day activities, we are pleased to continue providing social connection for carers through our social groups and share this story of connection from our Indian social group who come together weekly to participate in activities and enjoy traditional Indian food.

I hope you found time over the Easter Weekend to take time to connect, or reconnect with the people, culture and land that surround you.

Here are a few other important highlights from April in which Carers ACT has been connecting carers with opportunities to be heard and ask questions and connect with the community.

  • This month ACT Chief Psychiatrist Dinesh Arya and his team visited Carers ACT and met with a group of carers to discuss the Mental Health Act 2015 (ACT) and answer questions.
  • Carers ACT is supporting a body of research and documentary on life-long caring impacts. We have been delighted with the number of enquiries we received to participate in this important storytelling and invite any carers who are interested in future opportunities to reach out at

Finally, on a more sombre note, Carers ACT wishes to express our deep concern, shock and disappointment in hearing about the grievous breach in privacy at the Dhulwa Secure Forensic Mental Health facility. To have information distributed without knowledge or consent in this way is not in accordance with our expectations of ethical, empathic or caring behaviour and Carers ACT and the Mental Health Carers Voice are working actively to seek accountability for this grievous breach in privacy and trust. We encourage effected carers to seek support. Please reach out to Carers ACT if you require any support or information.

Wishing you safety, peace and connection as we move through Autumn.

Lisa Kelly

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