Gathering examines impact of family carers

FAMILY carers across Tasmania were acknowledged for their dedication, hard work and positive impacts at a special gathering held at the Wrest Point Showroom during Carers Week 2016 (16-22 October).

Organised with support from Federal Hotels, the event featured the screening of a short version of the documentary “On Richard’s Side”, as well as a performance by the Choir of High Hopes and a panel discussion that examined the issues evolving from social services reforms.

Filmed over 30-years, On Richard’s Side charts the life story of Richard, a young man with a complex disability since birth.

The film provides intimate and poignant insights into his parents’ determined quest to establish a quality life for both themselves and their son.

Carers Tasmania chief executive officer Janine Arnold said a short of the film was screened to an audience of carers, community leaders, government representatives and politicians.

“Family carers make a huge contribution to society through their support for loved ones, but the level of effort and commitment is not really appreciated because most of the time it is behind closed doors,” she said.

“On Richard’s Side illustrates in a beautiful and touching way the level of love and commitment that Richard’s parents have developed during 30-years.”

Family carers provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a mental illness, physical disability or chronic condition, alcohol or other drug addiction, or who are frail or aged.

“We found that the panel discussion fleshed out the pride, concerns and commitment carers have for their care recipients, but also the issues they face on a daily basis,” Ms Arnold said.

“The discussion also gave voice to some of the policy challenges that carers and their families have at the moment.”

Caption: From left, Diane Ewington, Lisa Risby and Ellen Holmes pictured at the Carers Week 2016 gathering.

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