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Launch of 2022 National Carers' Week, Government House


This is Ngunnawal Country. Today we are all meeting together on this Ngunnawal Country. We acknowledge and pay our respects to the Elders.

Good morning, everyone.

Linda and I are delighted to welcome you to Government House for the launch of National Carers’ Week for 2022 — an important day and week on our national calendar.

This year’s launch is particularly significant as it is the 30th observance in Australia of National Carers’ Week.

It is a time for us to reflect on the outstanding contributions our unpaid carers make to our nation and to recognise Carers’ Australia’s leadership and advocacy over the last three decades.

I know I’ve said this on previous occasions but it needs to be said again: our nation is much the richer for the efforts of its unpaid carers.

All 2.7 million of them.

Just reflect for a moment about their collective contribution — in terms of the quality of that contribution, the number of people impacted and the difference they make.

It is a positive impact at both an individual and a community level.

Just this last year we’ve seen carers front and centre in our response to the pandemic but also, as they have done for many years, selflessly stepping up to help people and loved ones in aged care facilities and in home care.

Carers are reliable, supportive, caring and compassionate.

They epitomise what I call a ‘richness of spirit’ in our society. By enriching the lives of people in our communities, carers help preserve the fabric of our society and make us a stronger nation.

That is why we must look after our carers.

Results from the latest Carer Wellbeing Survey show that Australia’s 2.7 million carers are experiencing greater distress and loneliness and lower levels of wellbeing than Australians without caring responsibilities.

Some of the findings include:

  • Carers have poorer self-reported health than the average Australian adult population
  • Carers were significantly impacted by COVID-19
  • Caring decreases education and employment opportunities
  • Carers experience increased financial stress.

There are others.

I want to thank Carers’ Australia for raising awareness of the issues facing our carers and its strong advocacy, and for its work on National Carers’ Week for 30 years now.

I encourage all Australians to visit the website and check out what’s happening in their part of the world. There’s plenty going on during the week with events and activities taking place all around Australia.

Again, it is a delight to have you all here and for Linda and me to share in this important and significant occasion with you.

Congratulations to Carers’ Australia on the 30 years. Please, keep up the great work.

Thank you, all, for what you do.

It’s now my great pleasure to launch 2022 National Carers’ Week.