On Tuesday 29th May 2018, Sustainable Care Principal Investigator Professor Sue Yeandle and international partner Professor Kate O’Loughlin (University of Sydney) were guest speakers at a meeting of the ‘Carer Rights and Complaints Network’ convened on behalf of Carers New South Wales by Sarah Judd-Lam, Policy and Research Manager at Carers NSW.
Following their joint presentation, “Approaches to carer rights and recognition in Australia and the UK”, Sue and Kate engaged in a valuable discussion with members of the network, who included representatives of the New South Wales Department of Family and Community Services, Australian Human Rights Commission, Anti-Discrimination Board of New South Wales, and the Mental Health Commission of New South Wales.
Sharing their perspectives on this important issue, both speakers emphasised that in their countries – despite important legislative and policy progress in recent years – carers’ rights remain weak. Some legislated entitlements offer merely ‘lip service’ to meeting carers’ needs, and carers’ hard won rights often remain unenforceable, with few opportunities for redress. In discussion, members discussed how carers might attain tangible, rights-based, support, and noted that few governments have adequately evaluated the impact of legislative changes introduced for carers.