Sunday the 13th October marked the beginning of National Carers Week. A week of raising awareness and where the 2.6 million Australians who are providing unpaid caring support are formally recognized for their significant contribution to their care recipients, the wider community and the nation.
Monday the 14th marked the first Independent Living Centres Carers Big Day Out. In partnership with the City of Stirling the Scarborough Community Centre was transformed into a carers information and entertainment hot spot opened by the Honorable Mayor of the City of Stirling, David Boothman. There were 35 service providers from all areas of community services providing information and support to the 210 guests who attended. We were lucky to have several guest speakers and performances from the Chung Wah dancers, Anything Goes vocal group and a laughter yoga session. Workpower Incorporated were very busy serving the hungry crowd 300 sausage sizzles not to mention the countless tea, coffee, scones and sweet treats that were on offer.
On Wednesday the 16th the ILC attended an event run through the Apache Energy L.I.N.C program at Princess Margaret Hospital. We were honored to be invited to address the crowd of carers and doing so was registered young carer Alina Cuza. Alina did a fantastic job telling her story as a young carer and how this has affected her life. She answered questions confidently and gave a great insight for parents to be able to possibly identify their children as young carers. A great time was had by all with Stitches PHM the bear and Adam Garrett from The Voice appearing.
Onto Thursday 17th when the ILC attended a carers information morning tea at Joondalup Health Campus where carers and family members were able to discuss their caring roles and needs with centre staff while enjoying a cuppa and cake. There was a theme of supporting older people and those with Dementia or Alzheimer’s. Many information brochures and referral forms were provided to a number of carers. This was also the day where the ILC was one of the 40 stall holders at the Carers WA Carers Week Expo and Cannington Exhibition Centre. It was a busy day with high attendance and many carers seeking the support that they need.
Finally after a very busy week we wound down with a morning session attending a discussion forum about Working Carers held by The Department of Local Government and Communities. There were 3 guest speakers; Paul Coates CEO of Carers WA, Claire Purcell Department of Commerce and Ross Miller General Manager of HR for the Westpac Group. They spoke about how the workplace can be more flexible and accommodating for carers and how the Westpac group is leading the way in carer friendly strategies.
It was an extremely busy but even more so an important week on the carers calendar. There were many other events during the week but we were unfortunately limited by time. If you weren’t able to take part in any of this years events be sure to keep your eyes peeled for next year.