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Being a Carer

Demands, Risks and Resilience

Watch our webinar for informed insights into caring relationships

Demands, Risks and Resilience

Watch our webinar for informed insights into caring relationships

41% of Carers report some kind of abuse


Our panellists discuss the demands, risks and resilience involved in being a Carer. Moderator Caroline Baum is joined by experts Jenni Dickson, Sarah Walbank, Val Fell and Jonathan Harverson. (See bios below).

The panel provides various perspectives on how to prepare and deal with the challenges and responsibilities that come with being a Carer. Caring relationships are also discussed and can take many forms from intimate partner caring, intergenerational caring and informal caring, right through to more formal caring scenarios.

The majority of carers are over 65

About the participants:

Jenni Dickson

Jenni Dickson, Executive Manager Community Support Services of Better Place Australia. Jenni has over 20 years’ experience in the health sector. She has a Bachelor of Nursing and a Graduate Diploma Community Health. Jenni brings to Better Place Australia a strong background in services development and quality improvement. She has a background in Aged and Community Care and has significant experience in improving the client experience.

Sarah Walbank

Sarah Walbank, Senior Quality and Improvement Officer of Carers Queensland Ltd. Sarah has 40 years’ experience in the community care sector in both Australia and England and is passionate about supporting vulnerable people to live satisfying and enriched lives. Sarah has drawn on her own experiences as a primary carer to advocate for an increased recognition of, and respect for carers during her 11 years with Carers Queensland. Committed to improving the cultural safety of support services, Sarah was influential in supporting Carers Queensland to become a Rainbow Tick accredited organisation. Instrumental in fostering new research about carers, Sarah is a co-author of 'Experiences of abuse in Australian family carers and predictors of mental health and well-being'.

Jonathan Harverson

Jonathan Harverson is a Senior Case Coordinator at the Ageing and Disability Commission NSW, prior to that Jonathan worked at the NSW Ombudsman and NSW Public Guardian.

Val Fell

Val Fell is a passionate Dementia Advocate for Dementia Australia and a peer educator with COTA and has been facilitating a support group for carers of people with dementia for 7 years in the Illawarra area. She is a retired statistician and former carer for her husband Ian who had Alzheimer’s and passed away in 2013. Val is the City of Wollongong’s ‘Senior Citizen for 2020’ in recognition for her contributions to her community. Val advocates and assists people living with dementia and carers and families, and has extensive experience in navigating through My Aged Care and accessing services in her regional area. She is also currently studying an online Bachelor of Dementia Care degree from the University of Tasmania.

Caroline Baum

Caroline Baum, Moderator. Caroline is an accomplished journalist, former broadcaster, high-requested moderator, curator and photographer. Caroline is the author of ONLY, a Singular Memoir about her relationship with her parents, whom she became a carer for in their old age.

A Compass Guide

Being a Carer: Demands, Risks and Resilience is a handy PDF with a wide variety of information and links to Resources and Service Providers to help the Australian community understand and respond to the challenges of being a Carer and caring relationships.


There is a wide variety of organisations that are dedicated to addressing the demands, risks and resilience required from a Carer. These can be found in the Support Directory on Compass. Simply select 'Carers and Friends' in the 'Addressing in Particular…' field and click 'Find Services'.

On the Support Directory you can also find other helpful organisations right across Australia that work to end elder abuse.


Compass has collated the latest resources that have been created to address the demands, risks and resilience required in caring relationships. These resources can be found on the Resources page on Compass, under the 'Being a Carer' category.

You will also find a raft of other resources about elder abuse on the Compass Resources page.

79% of Carers don't identify and Carers