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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 3 July 2008) . . Page.. 2712 ..

31 December 2007, the review of the action plan, caring for carers review and future model, and the ACT government’s response to the review.

It gives me great pleasure to present this third and final progress report, completing the reporting requirements under the life of this action plan. I believe, and this belief is confirmed by the support carers in our community have given to our caring for carers policy, that we have honoured the commitment we made in 2001 to better address the range of needs of carers and people who receive care. We have done this both in terms of initiatives delivered and in terms of raising the profile of carers so that their contribution to the community is better understood, acknowledged and valued.

However, the needs of carers remain, and our challenge is to be proactive in meeting those needs. In November 2005 my colleague Minister Hargreaves tabled the first progress report on the action plan, outlining a wide variety of initiatives including a new website to enhance communication and networking, a training kit for professionals and other service providers, research on the needs of young carers and culturally appropriate support services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers.

In November 2006, I tabled the second progress report on this action plan. This report built on and extended the work undertaken since the first progress report and took stock of the activities that had been undertaken between 1 July 2005 and 30 June 2006. These included work in the areas of support, practical skill development, education, housing, information and resources, family-friendly workplaces targeting carers, care recipients, professionals and service providers.

The extensive work carried out by the government in partnership with service providers, carers and care recipients in developing and implementing the range of programs and mechanisms to improve the life of carers continued over the 2006-07 period. The majority of actions have been completed in the 2006-07 third and final progress report. Those actions that remain ongoing have been identified as sustainable or have long-term funding attached to them.

I will highlight some of the key achievements. The 2006-07 carer recognition grants enabled community organisations to respond to unmet needs identified by carers in the community. Five projects were funded, totalling $232,702, focusing on improving the skills and knowledge of carers and service providers and in supporting carers in their role. Specifically, the Burrunju Aboriginal Corporation was provided $60,000 to provide culturally appropriate programs, including support systems, respite and counselling for Indigenous carers. The funding also provided opportunities for carers to participate in activities to reduce isolation often experienced by carers.

FaBRiC was funded $10,000 to provide opportunities for children and young people with a disability and their siblings to access inclusive recreational activities that otherwise would not have been possible. This project has been extremely successful. One of the positive outcomes ensuring its sustainability has been the partnering with the Lions Club in sponsoring this program long term.

UnitingCare Kippax received $43,500 for a program that provided crisis intervention, practical assistance and opportunities for socialising, relaxing, counselling and

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