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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 11 Hansard (22 October) . .

Page.. 3467..


MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (3.30): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) that 12-18 October 2014 was Carers Week;

(b) Carers Week is about recognising and celebrating the outstanding contribution unpaid carers make to our community;

(c) over 43 000 people in the ACT provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, drug and alcohol issues or who are frail aged;

(d) carers come from all walks of life, all cultures and all religions;

(e) caring can be very demanding and often restricts the lives of individual carers and their families; and

(f) Carers Week is an opportunity to educate and raise awareness among all Australians about the diversity of carers and their caring roles;

(2) acknowledges the commitment given by carers in the ACT; and

(3) acknowledges the work of community organisations who assist carers in their valuable role.

I bring this motion to the Assembly today to acknowledge those in our community who are carers and those community organisations who assist our carers. I think it is important, when talking about carers, to reflect on who is defined as a carer. There are many people in the community who take on a carer's role and who would not automatically categorise themselves as a carer, who would not consider themselves to be any different from anyone else and who would not realise how significant the role is that they have taken on.

Carers can come from all walks of life and all cultures. They range in age from children of only nine or 10 years old to the elderly, maybe 80 or 90 years old. They can be parents, friends, siblings, spouses, children, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, even neighbours.

A carer is ultimately anyone who provides aid to a person with care needs. It could be help with feeding, bathing, dressing or administering medications, or for more independent people it could be helping with banking or shopping or assistance with communication. Carers also provide comfort, encouragement and reassurance to the person they care for and monitor their health and safety on an ongoing basis.

A lot of the people who are carers in our society do not even necessarily realise that they are carers and they would not use that word to describe themselves. But a carer is

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