Dear Carers,

As the year 2021 draws to a close, it brings me great pride and joy to reflect on how our carer community managed to rise above the challenges we faced and continued to look after the people we care for with courage and hope.

This year is of great significance as we witnessed the ACT Carers Recognition ACT signed into law, formally recognising carers and the important role they play in our community. This is an important piece of legislation as it ensures visibility, inclusion, and support for carers in the planning and delivery of services in the ACT. You can learn more about the Carer Recognition Act at

We would also like to share with you our 2020-2021 Annual Report  which highlights the work that Carers ACT has accomplished and the impact this has made on our carer community during the 2021 financial year. Through the many challenges we faced along the way, our team at Carers ACT endeavoured to find new and innovative ways to continue delivering much needed programs and services to carers. This was only possible with the support of the government, our partners, volunteers, and our carer community.

While we are proud of the work we have done, we know that there is still so much more to do. As we embark on a new year ahead, we will continue to deliver on our promise to support, connect and empower carers in all that we do.

Please do not hesitate to reach out at any time should you need assistance. You can call us through the Carer Gateway at 1800 422 737, our office line at 6296 9900, or email us at

I wish each one of you a meaningful and joyful holiday season.

Yours truly,

Lisa Kelly



Carers ACT joined Minister Emma Davidson and other disability advocates, peak bodies, and service organisations in the ACT in writing a letter to NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds to advocate and ensure that reforms to the National Disability Insurance Scheme will uphold the choice and control for people with disability. The letter included a recommendation that the Commonwealth Government co-design reforms with people with disability and ensure that this process is transparent and consistent in its engagement with the community. View the letter here.



A landmark report has revealed older people receiving aged care continued to endure unacceptable and confronting experiences across Australia in 2020-21. The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) said the National Aged Care Advocacy Program Presenting Issues Report 2020/21, is the first definitive public annual report which captures the experiences of older people engaging with the aged care system. Issues included unwanted admissions to residential care, increased risk of abuse facilitated by COVID-19 restrictions, a lack of available assessment services and long wait times for support. The report affirms many of the issues raised in the Aged Care Royal Commission. View the report here




A National Health and Medical Research (NHMRC) grant has been awarded to Professor Peter Hudson, Director of St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne’s Centre for Palliative Care, to undertake research to improve palliative care in Australia. The project, “FOCUSau” will aim to provide support to patients with advanced cancer and their primary carers and improve their emotional wellbeing and quality of life through an innovative digital health program.  Traditionally, support strategies have focused on the patient and their carer separately. The Centre for Palliative Care has also developed a strategy and recommendations for reframing palliative care to improve access to high quality palliative care earlier in a person’s illness. The open access article published in the Medical Journal of Australia is available here.

For more information, email 



Our office will be closed during the holiday period from 2pm on Friday 24 December, and we will resume normal operations at 9am on Tuesday 4 January 2022. Carer Gateway services will operate as usual over the holiday season, but will be closed on public holidays: Saturday 25 December, Monday 27 December and Saturday 1 January 2022. Emergency respite and online services will remain available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For other services, call Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.



We will be running the following wellbeing events for carers in January. To join any of these activities, please get in touch with our Groups Coordinator, David Cohen at 02 6296 9945 or email

WALK & TALK FOR WELLNESS: Being active and connecting socially with others are two important ingredients of the wellbeing journey. Carers are invited to join other carers for a 30-minute walk, followed by coffee at a café. Our next scheduled time for this activity is on Tuesday 10 January at 9:30am, starting from the National Rock Garden.

DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS WITH THOSE WE CARE FOR: Carers face a range of difficult conversations with those they care for, including ones with differences of opinion, defensiveness, charged emotions, sensitive issues, and the delivery of bad news. This 60-minute workshop explores two important communication techniques to help carers be more confident when tackling difficult conversations. Our first online workshop will be on Monday 17 January at 12:00pm.

THE CARERS’ TIME MANAGEMENT CLUB: Time is a scarce and precious resource for carers, who face a multitude of urgent and important tasks each day. The Carers’ Time Management Club will be a regular fortnightly forum for carers who are interested in getting better at their time management. We will consider different time management strategies, share our time management stories, and learn from each other. Join us for this 30-minute online forum on Thursday 27 January at 12:30pm.



Carers have been achieving fantastic results since we launched our carer coaching service in November. We invite you to take advantage of the opportunity for 6 free Coaching sessions to enrich your life. The new year is always a time to reflect and consider making changes.  If you would like to book yourself in for some sessions, contact the Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737 or your Care Planner for more information.

Get to know our highly qualified carer coaches:



Spots are still available for our day program and overnight stays at both Deakin Cottage and Naragana-Wali Cottage. We have started to offer seated yoga sessions each week as part of our wellness and reablement approach, followed by a weekly BBQ lunch. Preparations are underway for our Aussie-themed Christmas Party which will be held on Friday 17 Dec for the participants, their families and cottage staff. The Cottage Choir has been practising each Thursday with Choir Master Phil for their Christmas performance and other cottage participants have been busy making home-made gifts to give their families on the day.

For bookings and information, please email



Carers ACT has just launched our Filipino and Multicultural social support groups. The groups meet regularly and take time out of their busy caring roles to make new friends, socialise and participate in fun and interesting activities. Our cultural support groups are a great way to connect with other carers who share the same experiences, culture, and language. For many participants, it is also an opportunity to learn new skills or acquire a new hobby.

To learn more about our cultural support groups, visit our website at: Support Groups - Carers ACT.



Meridian is hosting a Hobart Place General Practice GP Registrar (Dr Jacqui Nicholson – She/Her) for the LGBTIQA+ community to engage with safe and affirming primary health care. This is an appointment-based and bulk billed service that operates at Meridian on a Thursday from 8.30am to 12.00pm and a Medicare card is required. The GP Registrar can help with things such as: Mental Health Treatment Plans, Gender Affirming Care, Sexual Health Testing, HIV focused services including S100 and PrEP. For further information and bookings please contact the Meridian 6257 2855 or email

For more information, visit: Wellbeing Services (



Canberra’s first Safe Haven has now opened its doors to provide a new space for people experiencing mental health concerns, loneliness or the stress of day-to-day life and anyone over the age of 16, including carers, is welcome to drop in. Safe Haven is a place where people can access support outside of a hospital setting. People can visit Safe Haven to speak with a trained peer worker, who can help them manage their distress.

Everyone’s personal experience will be different, and the staff at Safe Haven are dedicated to guiding people through the support, services and tools that are available to them. Whether it’s a quiet corner, a communal space, a sensory station or useful resources, there is something for everyone. Safe Haven is located at the Belconnen Community Health Centre, and is open from 4:30pm to 9pm, Tuesday to Saturday.



The DPS Aged Care Guide has published 3 new articles on what happens when an older relative or friend moves into your home or if you move into their home.  When your older relative starts to struggle living at home by themselves, it can be difficult to navigate aged care options, especially if the older person doesn't want to access aged care. You may decide the best option is for them to move in with you and your family. These articles cover a range of things to consider before an older relative moves in with you, practical tips to living together cohesively, and how to communicate effectively as a family.  

Click on the links to read these articles: 

Things to consider before your older loved one moves in with you  

Multigenerational living: Here's what to consider 

Living with the kids: What to consider before moving in 



Canberra Health Services is developing a Disability Access and Inclusion Plan to ensure their services meet the needs of people with a disability, their families and carers. Canberra Health Services aims to be a workplace and health provider that is trusted by the community as valuing people with disability, their family and their carers. Your feedback on the draft Canberra Health Services Disability Access and Inclusion Plan will ensure it reflects the current experience of people with a disability their families and carers and to focus on the issues that are important them.

You can provide your feedback at Canberra Health Services Disability Access and Inclusion Plan | YourSay ACT.



Discrimination can affect people in their day-to-day lives – at work or in education, accessing government services, participating in sport, joining a club, or practising a religion. An ACT Government priority is to modernise our discrimination law and put the ACT at the forefront of best practice in promoting equal opportunity, respect for diversity and social inclusion in our community.

You can have your say on the reforms to the Discrimination Act at Discrimination Law Reform | YourSay ACT.



Carers are invited to participate in a survey being conducted on the impact of caring on health. This study will form part of a research being conducted at Edith Cowan University by PhD candidate, Monique Garcia who was the carer for her son Nathan for 18 years until he passed away from his two rare diseases in September this year. You can complete the survey here: Australian Carers Survey.

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