August has flown by at Carers ACT with plenty of events, outcomes and advocacy taking place, with an emphasis on the ACT Carers Strategy, the Carer Recognition Act and the broader education and awareness work that is so fundamental to the intent of the Strategy and Act.
I see these tools as a real opportunity, to bring the unseen work of carers to the community’s attention in an ongoing and embedded way, and I’d like to highlight a few opportunities Carers ACT have pursued this month to advance this goal.
Capital Health Network and Carers ACT hosted an educational dinner for GPs and allied health practitioners at the beginning of the month, where we highlighted carer health and wellbeing issues, and the steps health practices can take to support and identify carers. I hope this is the start of many outreach activities we can undertake to create ‘Carer Friendly Health Practices’ as a standard across Canberra.
Our Policy and Advocacy team have also been working on education initiatives with hospitals, delivering training and resources to new staff and health care teams who have front line exposure to carers. I’m thrilled that Carers ACT has the opportunity to work with hospitals and health centres to create practices where carers are identified, involved and supported alongside the primary patient.
Broader community outreach continued in novel ways right through to the end of the month. I was privileged to be able to speak at the Australian Institute of Building awards a few might ago, thanks to one of our longest running and steadfast supporters, Shaw Building Group. The opportunity to speak at their industry award night is just one of the many ways Shaw Building Group supports Carers ACT, and it provided us with a unique opportunity to talk to a new audience – a room full of builders, contractors, engineers and architects – about the carers among us, and how most, if not all of us will either be a carer or require a carer at some stage in our life. The sheer number of unpaid carers in our community and the impact the role can have on a carers wellbeing really hit home with the audience.
Our preparations for Carers Week 2022 are underway and Carers ACT will be looking for carer stories to present to the community through media, website articles and social media. If you wish to share your own story, share your carers tips or message to the community please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. This year follows the theme “Millions of reasons to care” and in collaboration with Carers Australia and the National Network, we would like to feature a range of carer stories through out October to represent the diversity of the 2.65 million unpaid carers across Australia.
On a personal note, Spring is nearly upon us and I was reflecting recently on the Ferris wheel going up at Commonwealth Park in preparation for Floriade. In previous years, this has always been the sign of Spring for me and a symbol of hope that warmer weather and longer days are coming. I’ve missed it’s signal these last few years with Floriade being cancelled, but seeing it return this year I felt energised and comforted. I hope you too can find some moments of hope, comfort or renewed energy in your day. As always, we welcome your contact and the opportunity to support you in this.
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