Wednesday, 26 July 2023
Reception to thank Young South Australian Carers
I am delighted to welcome you to Government House to say thank you to our wonderful young carers and their families.
I am sure I speak for many when I pay tribute to your generosity of spirit, your caring and devotion given through a deep sense of love.
The importance of your caring role cannot be overstated, and our community’s admiration is shown by the presence of four Members of Parliament. I know them personally and I know they care about you.
Young carers make enormous contributions to our community, and it is worth reminding ourselves of just how much.
- In South Australia there are 34,000 people under the age of 25 caring for a friend or family member with an illness, disability, or chronic condition.
- Among school-aged children, there are two carers in every classroom.
And behind these statistics, stark as they are, are the stories of dedicated young people who take on myriad responsibilities.
Responsibilities such as keeping the house clean; cooking meals; administering medication, caring for siblings; providing emotional and physical support; managing bills and banking; assisting with mobility, grooming and hygiene; taking those they care for to appointments; navigating public transport; protecting those they care for from the barbs of some community attitudes.
It's a lengthy list, but one that puts into perspective the demanding roles that you as young carers play. I know your families have deep gratitude in their hearts for what you do.
I know that taking on such responsibilities comes with a big chunk of personal sacrifice, while also juggling education, training, work and finding time to go out and enjoy yourselves - and importantly, not feeling guilty about having important personal down time. It’s okay to have fun.
Taking on a carer’s role is not easy. It requires compassion, commitment to others, stamina, strength of character and mental resilience.
After all, anyone at any time can suddenly find themselves thrust into the role of carer, through an accident or sudden illness of a child, parent, or friend.
Or a slower evolution through gradual illness, ageing, mental decline, or a disability.
You take on this role at a formative time of your lives when you are building foundations for your own futures or should be enjoying childhood.
I thank the Carer and Community Support organisation for supporting carers – for helping to break down isolation. For reminding carers their own health is important too. For providing case workers for mentoring and guidance. For providing fun activities and camps. For opportunities to talk to others and share experiences.
Importantly, thank you for being here since 1991 to support and advocate for this incredible group of young people.
Young people are our community’s inspiration. As I travel around the State, I have been impressed with the many young people I have met.
They are actively contributing to the future of their communities and are proud of what they can do.
I am sure that commitment is just as evident amongst the young people here.
Thank you for what you do for your families.
Be proud and always know that you are amazing!