This week is Carers Week, a time to raise awareness and celebrate the 2.6 million people in Australia who devote their time to looking after a loved one who couldn’t manage without their support. Student carers are at a considerable disadvantage when it comes to participating in higher education, with only 4 % of 18-25 year old primary carers remaining in education compared with 23% of their same-aged peers.
Disabilities & Carers Officer Yaz Camdzic and I have been extremely busy leading up to this week, preparing for our student carers campaign to be heard at a national level. The week began with a Morning Tea for Carers on main campus, where we also launched our booklet that was based on survey data collected earlier this year. Access & Inclusion: Carers in Higher Education is targeted towards decision-makers, equity and student service providers at Australia’s 39 universities, and aims to raise awareness and push for support for student carers in higher education.
We have also been working alongside Australia’s peak organisation for carers, Carers Australia, who generously provided funding for our booklet, and Young Carers NSW who we shared a stall with at Carers’ Day Out on Tuesday, the country’s largest event for carers held in Martin Place. This was a fun day and fantastic opportunity to get our message out to key figures.
We are extremely encouraged by the enthusiasm that was been expressed to us from stakeholders across the country – we look forward to seeing what comes out of this project and pushing on further with our campaign for student carers’ recognition and support.
For a copy of Access & Inclusion: Carers in Higher Education or for more information, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also a PDF version available online at www.srcusyd.net.au/disabilitiesandcarers.