City of Newcastle advocates for greater recognition and inclusion of carers

14 Oct 2022

More than 15,000 carers across Newcastle who provide round the clock care and support to a family member or friend will be recognised by City of Newcastle ahead of National Carers Week.

Councillors unanimously supported a Notice of Motion at the September Ordinary Council Meeting to seek further ways to acknowledge and support community inclusion of carers.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said City of Newcastle will ramp up championing inclusion of carers so that everyone feels valued.

“City of Newcastle support the rights of every person to participate fully in the social, economic, civic and cultural life of our community,” Cr Nelmes said.

"The statistics relating to carers across Australia are alarming and any one of us could find ourselves in the precarious role of carer for a loved one at some point in our lives.

“All levels of government have a role to play in recognising the incredible work of carers, providing leadership for cultural change, and developing and acting on strategic priorities to achieve measurable improvements in financial and social wellbeing.”

Across Australia, based on 2018 figures, 37.4% of primary carers to someone with a disability also have a disability themselves.

Access Inclusion Advisory Chair Councillor Margaret Wood said caring responsibilities create significant barriers to economic and community participation, with options for replacement care limited by workforce shortages and funding shortfalls.

"On average, 28% of primary carers spend more than 60 hours per week caring for the main recipient of care," Cr Wood said.

"Carers are people who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental health condition, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or drug issue, or who are frail aged," Cr Wood said.

City of Newcastle kicked off National Carers Week 2022 with a Carers Forum at Fort Scratchley today, with the event providing an opportunity for carers to receive up-to-date information about local groups, resources, and activities.

The event was attended by council representatives, as well as Carers NSW, Hunter Multicultural Communities, One Door Mental Health, Hunter Ageing Alliance, and Dementia Australia.

National Carers Week will celebrate the 2.7 million Australians who provide care nationwide from 16 to 22 October.

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