Aboriginal carers

There are over 14,000 Aboriginal carers providing unpaid assistance and support to family members and friends in NSW. Culturally specific services and support for Aboriginal carers are available from Carers NSW and other service providers.

About Aboriginal carers

Aboriginal Australians are more likely to be caring for another person with a disability, long-term illness or ageing related problem than non-Indigenous Australians.  The median age of Aboriginal carers is 37 years, 12 years younger than the median age for non-Indigenous carers. More information and statistics about Aboriginal Carers can be found here.

Many Aboriginal carers accept caring as a normal part of family and community life and may not think of themselves as carers. As a result, some carers may not be aware of the resources and support programs available for Aboriginal carers.

Resources and Training

Aboriginal Carers Support Guide

This guide contains information for Aboriginal families who are caring for an older person or someone with an illness or disability. It contains information on available services as well as strategies for coping.

The Aboriginal Carers Support Guide is available from Carers NSW. Service providers can contact Carers NSW on 02 9280 4744 for a free copy.

Shoulder-to-Shoulder information booklet

This booklet contains information about disability services, respite services and Aboriginal organisations that can support Aboriginal families with a child or young person with a disability. It also includes stories on how Aboriginal families and their experience with caring for a child with a disability.

The Shoulder-to-Shoulder information booklet is available from Carers NSW. Service providers can contact Carers NSW on 02 9280 4744 for a free copy.

Koori Carer Yarning Resource Manual

The Koori Carer Yarning Manual was the outcome of a series of camps involving Koori carers and service providers where participants talked about the experiences of Koori carers and identified how service providers could make their services more accessible. The purpose of the manual is to increase service providers' understanding of the needs of Koori carers.

The Manual includes information on Aboriginal culture and history and comparison with non-Aboriginal society and focuses on the specific needs of Koori carers, including strategies for supporting Koori carers and identifies the cultural differences between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal carers. The Manual also includes a guide for service providers so they can establish Koori Carer Yarning Camps in their local communities and help build connections between Koori carers and service providers.

The Koori Carer Yarning Resource Manual is available from Carers NSW. Service providers can contact Carers NSW on 02 9280 4744 for a free copy. An electronic version of the Koori Carer Yarning Resource Manual can be accessed here.

Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Training

Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing: Looking After Ourselves workshop is a free one day workshop open to service providers and Aboriginal carers who work with or want to work with carers within the Aboriginal community. The training also familiarises service providers with the Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Resource Kit, CD and DVD.

Looking After Ourselves Resource

Participants in the Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing: Looking After Ourselves training receive the Looking After Ourselves Facilitators Training Resource and a Looking After Ourselves Carer Support Resource.

The Looking After Ourselves resource has five components:

  • Carers and caring
  • Exercise for health and 'Looking After Me' action plan
  • Healthy eating and good rest
  • Better breathing and learn to relax
  • Talking and listening, health checks and problem solving.

Participants attending the train the trainer workshop will have the opportunity to explore each of these components including the Looking After Ourselves DVD. The DVD is hosted by Carla Grant and contains personal stories from Aboriginal carers and tips on how to deal with stress and stay healthy.


Carer Gateway

1800 422 737 

Aboriginal Medical Service (all locations)
02 9319 5823

Family Drug Support Line

1300 368 186 (24 hours)

Home Modification and Maintenance Services

02 6622 8386

Northern Sydney Aboriginal Counselling Service

Free counselling
02 9418 8800



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Carers NSW acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land, Elders past and present and all Aboriginal people.