LIFELONG CARERS: The Lived Experience Witnessed Through a Documentary

  • LIFELONG CARERS: The Lived Experience Witnessed Through a Documentary image

Dalanglin (Dalang) Dkhar, a PhD candidate from Charles Sturt University, is on a mission to give carers a voice. Despite extensive research, the value of carers in Australia, especially life-long carers, often remains hidden. As a primary carer herself, Dalang knows the challenges and the importance of caring, firsthand.

“As a lifelong carer, I went through the lockdown and saw how carers made the headlines because, in so many ways, we were holding the fort as schools, services and facilities had to shut down,” Dalang said.

“We were looking after our most vulnerable and were doing it all on our own with no support. In many ways though, what people don’t understand is, that is us not only during Covid, it is our lives every day. That was when I realised Australian society has no idea about our lived experience and that it needed to be told.”

With the support of Carers ACT, Dalang is creating a documentary to share carers’ daily lives and challenges. This film aims to reach various audiences, from healthcare and education to families and friends of carers, to help dispel some of the myths and show the value of carers.

“Carers ACT has been of great support to me from the time I started talking about my research to Lisa Kelly, your CEO. They came on board and took the work of sending my recruitment email. It was a successful process from where I was able to find my research participants,” Dalang said.

“Carers ACT has also come on board to support the production of the documentary film as my industry partner. Alongside all this, Lisa has been a wonderful mentor and her advice has been extremely valuable to me as a carer, researcher and an individual. I am extremely humbled and grateful for all their support.”

The documentary will portray the reality of lifelong carers—their emotional and physical challenges, sacrifices, and unwavering dedication. By doing so, it will help raise awareness and recognition for these unsung heroes in our community. As part of this research, Dalang has been working directly with Carers from the ACT region, and our thanks go out to them for their time and guidance on this important work.

Carers ACT acknowledges the documentary’s potential to shape future policies and supports for carers. This initiative will highlight the strength and resilience of our carers, inviting the nation to better understand their positive impact in our community.

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