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Being a Carer

There are certain demands, risks and a degree of resilience required to be a carer. This page is an introduction to a range of resources that will help and support you.

Last updated: September 7, 2021

Being a Carer Webinar

Compass held a webinar on being a carer of an older person. Moderated by Caroline Baum our expert panelists included Jenni Dickson, Sarah Walbank, Val Fell and Jonathan Harverson.

Our panellists discussed the demands, risks and resilience involved in being a carer.

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

Image of Jenni Dickson

Jenni Dickson - Panelist
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

Image of Sarah Walbank

Sarah Walbank - Panelist
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'.

Image of Caroline Baum

Caroline Baum - Moderator
Caroline Baum 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.

Image of Jonathan Harverson

Jonathan Harverson - Panelist
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.

Image of Val Fell

Val Fell - Panelist
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.

Carer Resources

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