Rod and I welcome you to Government House to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Carers SA, albeit a little delayed due to COVID challenges.
I expect some of you were here when my distinguished predecessor The Hon Hieu Van Le hosted a reception to mark your 25th.
To you - welcome back, and to others an equally warm welcome to Government House.
Rod and I are also delighted to accept joint patronage of Carers SA, carrying on our predecessor’s work.
From a grassroots movement in 1989, you have grown to become a leading community-based provider with a membership in the thousands.
On a milestone occasion such as this, it is worth reminding ourselves of some facts which bring home the enormous contribution carers make to our community.
- In South Australia there are 245,000 carers, of up to 30,000 are aged 25 or younger.
- To replace a carer with a paid workforce across Australia would cost a staggering $77.9 billion or almost $1.5 billion every week.
But behind these statistics are the stories of caring, compassion, and commitment to others.
Anyone at any time can suddenly be catapulted into the role of carer – through an accident or sudden illness of a child, partner, parent or friend.
Or, there can be a slower evolution through gradual illness, ageing, mental decline or a disability that requires the need for increased care and assistance.
It is a testament to our society that so many people are willing to give of themselves to family members or others and to do so with kindness, compassion, love and commitment.
For that Rod and I thank you, because we know ourselves that this comes with a degree of personal sacrifice – in terms of employment or leisure time.
Young people may forego their friendship networks, or social outings or have to fit their caring role around study or jobs at a pivotal time of their lives.
That is why the work of the Carer’s Association remains vital.
You enable carers to fulfil their role with pride, dignity and security.
You help to relieve the burden, by providing personalised services, and information. You help break down isolation and importantly, give carers a voice.
You remind carers it’s okay to be kind to yourself and there is no need to feel guilty about taking time for yourself.
Of course, as well as marking the 30th anniversary, we are also paying tribute to President Mrs Lyn Woodforde, who has completed her maximum 10 years on the Board – part of an extraordinary commitment of 16 years to Carers SA.
Mrs Woodfore has been instrumental in guiding Carers SA through major changes in the sector and service delivery through the Carer Gateway.
Alongside that she has been generous in sharing her experiences with other carers, with a concern for their mental well-being.
I know that tonight many people and organisations that have benefitted from Mrs Woodforde’s heartfelt contribution are here to pay tribute.
I am sure we all say thank you Lyn for your passion, drive and empathy.
You are among those special people who humbly make our community proud.
I wish Carers SA all the best for the next 30 years and beyond.
Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC
GOVERNOR OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA