Carers NSW Celebrating 40 Years

2016 marks an exciting year for Carers NSW and carers across the state, as we celebrated 40 years since the initial recognition of carers by Averil Fink and Clare Stevenson and the establishment of Carers NSW in 1976.

40th birthday celebrations

From July – November 2016, we celebrated 40 years of Carers NSW with a series of free events for carers and their families. 

The events ran throughout NSW and included a range of interactive workshops, pampering treatments, live entertainment, information stalls and delicious food.


Armidale – Armidale City Bowling Club

Where: 92-96 Dumaresq Street, Armidale NSW 2350
 Tuesday 16 August 2016
Time: 10.00am – 2.00pm


Coffs Harbour – Coffs Harbour Showground

Where: 123 Pacific Highway, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450
 Tuesday 26 July 2016
Time: 10.00am – 2.00pm
On the day: Download the program of activities.


Dapto – Dapto Ribbonwood Centre

Where: 93-109 Princes Highway, Dapto NSW 2530
When: Wednesday 26 October 2016
Time: 10.00am – 2.00pm


Dubbo – Western Plains Cultural Centre

Where: 76 Wingewarra Street, Dubbo NSW 2830
When: Wednesday 7 September 2016
Time: 10.00am – 2.00pm

Maitland – Maitland Town Hall

Where: 279-287 High Street, Maitland NSW 2320
When: Tuesday 20 September 2016
Time: 10.00am – 2.00pm


Redfern – Redfern Community Centre (Carers Day Out)

Where: 29-53 Hugo Street, Redfern NSW 2016
When: Tuesday 18 October 2016
Time: 10.00am – 2.00pm


Tweed Heads – South Tweed Community Hall

Where: Cnr Heffron Street and Minjungbal Drive, Tweed Heads South NSW 2486
 Tuesday 15 November 2016
Time: 10.00am – 2.00pm


Carers in the Kitchen with MKR’s Helena & Vikki

As part of the Carers NSW 40th Birthday celebrations we ran a series of Carers in the Kitchen cooking workshops with My Kitchen Rules finalists, Helena and Vikki Moursellas.

The monthly workshops ran from June – November 2016 at the William Angliss Institute in Surry Hills. The workshops taught carers everything they needed to know about budgeting, planning and preparing scrumptious meals for family and friends.

Workshop images will soon be available to view online.

- Vikki Helena webpage image




Averil Fink speaking at Carers Week 1998
Averil Fink speaking at Carers Week 1998

During her time as Executive Secretary of the NSW Council of the Ageing in the early 1970’s, Averil Fink continually heard stories of women having to end their employment to care for parents, or balance work and care while supporting a spouse or parent. In 1974, with this in mind Averil decided to apply for a grant from the Australian National Advisory Committee, International Women’s Year, to undertake a survey into the problems arising from the care of an aged person at home.

In March 1975 Averil Fink and Clare Stevenson, Research Officer at Council of the Ageing, were successful in securing a grant of $5,500 and they set about conducting a survey of people caring for a loved one in NSW. Over 400 respondents completed the survey and the results formed the basis of Dedication, A Report of a Survey on Caring for the Aged at Home which was released on 6 April 1976.

The report identified a group of people working tirelessly to care for an older parent, most of these people were unable to work because their older parent could only be left alone for very short periods of time, if at all. A large number of these people had been caring for their older parent for 10 years or more without a regular break from their caring responsibilities.

1975 First Carer Survey Report

In the report Clare referred to these people as ‘carers’ and reported that through her investigation she was able to detect courage, fatigue, love, tolerance, loneliness, sometimes economic need and almost always social deprivation.

Armed with these findings, Averil and Clare formed a Carers Committee within the NSW Council on Ageing and set about creating a support network for carers. This was the beginning of Carers NSW as we know it today.

Over the years, with Averil Fink sitting on the Board of Directors, Carers NSW has grown into a state wide organisation that is able to provide support to carers no matter what their personal situation may be.

Carers NSW 40th Anniversary logo

The Founders of Carers NSW were two incredible, strong and forthright women with vision, and we look forward to celebrating all that has been achieved for carers over the last 40 years.

Throughout the year we will be hosting a series of events and initiatives to mark the occasion and we hope to involve as many of you as possible. Register today to receive information on upcoming carer events and initiatives during the course of the year.



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