Published Nov 02 2023
To celebrate National Carers Week in October, The Australian Government announced its investment in a national strategy to increase supports for Australia’s unpaid carers.
As a result, Carer Gateway has been extended for two more years to ensure carers have access to the supports they need. Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said National Carers Week was an opportunity to celebrate and recognise the contribution of Australia’s 2.65 million unpaid carers in our community.
“This is also a time for us to reflect on the challenges carers face, to listen to their experiences and consider how we can strengthen support and inclusion for them,” Minister Rishworth said.
“We know carers don’t always get the support they need, so extending Carer Gateway will assist with ensuring there’s a service to help.”
Maryanne Tadic, General Manager Healthy Communities at Merri Health, said “This is very welcome news for Merri Health and our consortia partners as we can focus on growing and strengthening our services to carers across Victoria.”
In Victoria, almost 50,000 carers have reached out to Carer Gateway for support since it rolled out in early 2020. Many who have gone on to access a range of free targeted supports, including needs assessment and planning, tailored support packages (with a focus on employment and respite), in-person and phone-based coaching, counselling and peer support, along with emergency respite.
Specifically, the program has delivered more than 26,000 instances of emergency respite, provided more than 10,000 carer-directed packages, and supplied 18,195 counselling sessions.
This has all been possible through the commitment and hard work of Merri Health’s Carer Services and consortia partners supporting the delivery of Carer Gateway services throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria – Alfred Health, Barwon Health, Bendigo Health, FamilyCare, Grampians Health and Uniting Vic Tas.