Future Carer Representatives
Join a team of approximately 80 (and growing) carers who are in the WA Department of Health and the Mental Health Commission. You don’t have to be an expert in policy or have clinical knowledge; you are an expert through your lived experience of being a carer. The team at Carers WA will provide you with ongoing training and support and access to a network of like-minded individuals.
What is the role of a Carer Representative?
The role of a Carer Representative is to provide the carer perspective from a community rather than an individual point of view. Carer Representatives engage with the government to give WA carers a voice in the policy, planning and decision-making processes of health and mental health services. As a carer, you have unique and valuable experience and insight into the issues faced by service users, including carers. Carers have issues and needs distinct and separate from those of other people in the health system.
You may be eligible for the program if you:
- are currently, or have been, a carer (as is defined in the Carers Recognition Act 2004);
- have a passion for ensuring the carer perspective is heard;
- have a desire to make a difference; and
- are willing to dedicate a few hours per month to prepare for and attend meetings.
Carers WA facilitates a payment for your attendance at committee meetings and preparation time, as well as reimbursing travel costs. Payments may be administered by Carers WA or directly from the mental health or health service.
How does Carers WA support Carer Representatives?
A team at Carers WA will provide you with the following:
- Orientation – The Orientation Training is obligation-free and will give you the initial tools you need to be an effective advocate for the carer community and feel comfortable sitting on a government committee. It is also an opportunity to meet with other carers who also want to make a difference.
- Ongoing Training – To assist Carer Representatives with their professional development we offer four free workshops each year, as well as online training modules and other training opportunities.
- Network Meetings – Carers WA hold regular meetings to provide the opportunity for carers, government representatives and service providers to identify and take action on carer issues. Guest speakers are often scheduled to provide ongoing education about services and developments in the health and mental health sectors.
- Information Sharing – Carer Representatives have access to sector updates in health, mental health, alcohol and other drug, aged care and disability.
- Individual Support for Carer Representatives – The Carer Representation team is available to provide ongoing, individualised support to carers to assist them in their representative role. Carer Representatives are able to access the Counselling service at Carers WA to discuss issues relating to their caring role. An Employment Assistance Program (delivered by LifeWorks) is also available to talk to someone external about any issues relating to carer representation.
- Peer Support –The program strongly encourages peer support amongst Carer Representatives and the Carer Representative Network meetings are a great opportunity for this to occur.