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Carers NSW Timeline

Over the years Carers NSW has grown into a vibrant peak body, representing and supporting carers across NSW.

1976

  • Clare Stevenson forms a Carers Committee within the Council on the Ageing NSW.

1980

  • Carers Association of NSW, the first of its kind in Australia, becomes an independent body.

1981

  • Carers Association of NSW becomes a registered charity.

1985

  • Carers' Pension becomes available to carers.
  • Home and Community Care Program (HACC) is established.

1987

  • Carers Association of NSW receives funding through the HACC Program and part-time staff are appointed.
  • Volunteers continue to form the core of the Association.

1989

  • Carers Association of NSW becomes an incorporated body.
  • Inaugural Clare Stevenson Memorial Lecture is delivered - now an annual event.

1990

  • First annual Carers NSW Conference is held in Sydney.

1991

  • Low cost telephone support is extended to regional carers in partnership with IDEAS (Information in Disability and Education Awareness Services, NSW).
  • Carer Support Groups increase in number across NSW.
  • The Association moves from Surry Hills to larger premises in the Fitzroy Gardens, Kings Cross.

1992

  • Australian government budget funds the Carers Information Kit which is distributed throughout NSW by the Association and later published in eleven community languages.
  • Commonwealth Respite for Carers Program is funded.
  • Inaugural National Carers Week celebrations and activities are held.

1993

  • Plans for a national body, the Carers Association of Australia, take shape.
  • Resource manual for carer support groups produced.

1994

  • Development of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Carer Support Kit.
  • Facilitation of the NSW Carers Coalition - service providers who influence government policy and practice.

1995

  • The Association sponsors Ngara (to hear and to listen) Aboriginal Carer Support Service in Western Sydney
  • Non English Speaking Background (NESB) Research Project investigates issues faced by NESB carers in Western Sydney.
  • NESB Carer Support Kit Program commences.
  • The Association moves from Kings Cross to larger premises in York Street, Sydney.

1996

  • Funding is received to implement the Young Carers Project.
  • Carer directories are launched for sixteen regional areas in NSW.
  • Telegroup counselling is piloted under the Action Research Counselling Project.

1997

  • NSW Carer Resource Centre is established.
  • The Carers Association of NSW is renamed Carers NSW.

1998

  • Telegroup counselling has commenced with Young Carers.
  • Carers NSW awarded for work with rural carers of persons with a mental illness.
  • Carers NSW participates in first international conference for carers held in London.

1999

  • Carer Profile is developed to make carer assessment easier for support services.
  • Carer Checklist funding is received to educate general practitioners about carers.

2000

  • HACC receives a significant increase in funding in the State Budget.
  • Work with hidden carers continues with projects such as Koori Carer Yarning, Connections (for families dealing with disability in remote areas), and After Hours Carers' Line.
  • Carers NSW moves again to larger premises in Castlereagh Street, Sydney.

2001

  • A joint venture with Carers NSW and the Salvation Army's Salvo Care Line provides a free after hours Telephone Counselling and Support Service for carers.
  • Multicultural Carers Alliance formed.

2002

  • Carers Mental Health Project commences.
  • Carers NSW wins the International Best Practice Award at the Third International Carers Conference in Washington for the Young Carer Project, Koori Yarning Project and Telegroup counselling.

2003

  • Peak body status is granted to Carers NSW.
  • Carers NSW is invited to sit on Intergenerational Caregiving panel in Washington DC.
  • Friends of Carers NSW group formed.
  • National Carer Counselling Program begins.
  • Training in carer awareness begins for staff of residential aged care facilities.
  • Support is extended to carers with palliative care responsibilities.

2004

  • Carer Life Course Framework grows out of Carers Mental Health Project and provides a map of the carer journey.
  • The first National Young Carers Summit takes place in Sydney.

2005

  • Carers NSW expands its regional presence in NSW to set up offices in the Greater West, North Coast and South East Sydney/Illawarra.

2006

  • Office expansion requires new premises in Campbell Street, Sydney.

2007

  • The Ethics of caring in a good society: a national conversation is launched with partners Macquarie Bank Foundation and St James Ethics Centre.

2008

  • Companion card is rolled out.
  • Carers NSW wins the Partnership Award, Mental Health Matters.
  • Carers NSW gives evidence on carers' issues to the House of Commons Parliamentary Committee visiting from the UK.

2009

  • Australian Government releases the findings of the Inquiry into Better Support for Carers cementing carers' position as partners in care.
  • Self-directed package support program for ageing carers, My Plan My Choice, begins pilot on the Mid North Coast.

2010

  • Carers (Recognition) Act passes through NSW Parliament while national carer recognition legislation passes through the Australian Parliament a few months later.

2011

  • Carers' issues are addressed at a national level with the release of three reports - the National Carer Strategy, and the Productivity Commission's Caring for Older Australians and Disability Care and Support, Reports.

2013

  • Rollout of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) trial site commences in NSW

2014

  • First NSW Carers Strategy: 2014-2019 commences as a whole-of-government approach to carer support and inclusion, following extensive co-design conducted in partnership with Carers NSW. Carers NSW is listed as lead on a number of projects under the Strategy.
  • Carers NSW biennial Carer Survey conducted, with human ethnics approval sought through a university and expert reference committee established for the first time.

2016

  • Statutory review of the NSW Carers (Recognition) Act 2010 undertaken, with Carers NSW providing detailed input that was strongly reflected in the revised legislation and NSW Carers Charter in 2017.
  • Integrated Carer Support Service (ICSS) commences with launch of Carer Gateway website.
  • Carers NSW biennial Carer Survey conducted.

2017

  • Carer Respite Alliance established by Carers NSW to identify and promote evidence of the importance of respite services for carers.
  • International Carers Conference takes place in Adelaide, with a number of Carers NSW staff attending and presenting.

2018

  • Full rollout of NDIS in NSW is completed, and NSW Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care is devolved, with no further ongoing specialist disability and community care services delivered in NSW outside of the NDIS.
  • Carers NSW biennial Carer Survey conducted along with a series of focus groups with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) carers.
  • Carer Rights & Complaints Network established by Carers NSW in partnership with the NSW Department of Communities and Justice in recognition of a need for improved rights and complaints education for carers.

2019

  • Carers NSW successfully tenders to deliver the new Carer Gateway in-person services in part of NSW.
  • Carer Gateway online and phone-based supports launch nationally.

2020

  • In-person services under the Carer Gateway commence nationally in April 2020, including in the Hunter New England, Central Coast and North Coast regions of NSW where Carers NSW is the Carer Gateway Service Provider.
  • Second NSW Carers Strategy: Caring in 2020 – 2030 commences, following extensive co-design conducted in partnership with Carers NSW. Carers NSW is listed as lead on a number of projects under the Strategy.
  • Carers NSW biennial Carer Survey conducted nationally for the first time, alongside interviews with young carers.