Volunteers recognised for big role

Chloe FraserBusselton Dunsborough Times
Ron Deng and Veronica Bruce at the International Carers Conference.
Camera IconRon Deng and Veronica Bruce at the International Carers Conference.

The role unpaid carers play in communities was recognised and celebrated last week as part of National Carers Week.

The nationwide celebration provided an opportunity to educate and raise awareness of the diversity of carers and the roles they play.

In light of National Carers Week, Busselton mental health carer Veronica Bruce was one of two West Australians selected to attend the seventh International Carers Conference in Adelaide earlier this month.

Ms Bruce said the conference brought together about 500 delegates from across the world including policy makers, comm-unity leaders, business leaders, researchers, grassroots advocates, practitioners, consumers and carers.

Ms Bruce said the conference theme — Caring into the Future: The New World? — provided a platform for discussion of improving support for unpaid carers, care-recipients and their families.

“It was moving, inspirational and educational,” she said.

“We talked a lot about older carers who are vulnerable and often overlooked; they tend to hide away, so a lot more support is needed in those areas. It was also heartening to learn and hear keynote speakers discuss the positive outcomesof self-managed packages using individualised National Disability (Insurance) Scheme funding.”

Community Services Minister Simone McGurk said the week was an opportunity to show support and recognise the difference carers made to people’s lives.

Ms McGurk said there were about 320,000 unpaid carers in WA who looked after people with a wide range of needs.

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