Published Oct 09 2023
Over 400 unpaid carers took centre stage at our Carer Gateway 'Carers High Tea at the MCG' on Sunday 8 October, to celebrate National Carers Week early.
Running from Sunday 15 to Saturday 21 October 2023, National Carers Week recognises and celebrates the tireless work of 2.6 million Australians who provide unpaid care to a family member, partner or friend.
Sunshine and blue skies at the MCG provided a joyous canopy for the High Tea that saw carers across Victoria gather to enjoy some downtime at one of Australia’s premiere sporting venues. The event was an opportunity for carers to come together and be acknowledged for the essential role they play, every day, every week.
Tassia Michaleas, Merri Health CEO said “It is truly an honour to join you today to celebrate National Carers Week and the tireless work carers everywhere do. We recognise the loving care and hard work carers provide every day; and we look forward to continuing to support you and carers statewide each day.”
Carers enjoyed a serene Wayapa Wuurrk mindfulness session led by Lee Couch, an Aboriginal woman from the Gamilaroi community. This laid the foundation for a day filled with personal stories and laughter.
Actor and comedian Genevieve Morris connected deeply with the audience as she shared her own bittersweet caregiving journey, while Hawthorn AFL great Robert 'Dipper' DiPierdomenico's humour - broad and bold as his moustache - tickled the funny bone of anyone who has cared for an elderly loved one. The event was skillfully hosted by comedian and broadcaster Claire Hooper, who kept the atmosphere lively and engaging.
A panel discussion featuring carers Andrea McDowell, Vanessa Ponza, and Tim Chilvers provided insights into their personal caregiving experience.
Three lucky carers won hotel getaways for well-deserved breaks, and 100 received passes to explore the Sports Museum; a highlight for many who may not otherwise have the chance to experience it.
Carer Gateway's Carers High Tea at the MCG was a heartwarming platform for learning, laughter, and connection in a supportive and welcoming atmosphere. The positive feedback showed that events such as this are not just popular, but essential to help generate a sense of community and appreciation for carers.