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From: "Carers NSW e-bulletin" <mareew@carersnsw.asn.au>
Subject: Carers NSW June e-bulletin
Date: June 30th 2011

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        Hello and welcome to the June 2011 e-bulletin

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A number of new initiatives are taking place at Carers NSW. We are setting up a registration process for the Better Start for Children with Disability program being rolled out nationally. The program offers early intervention support to families of eligible children with disability. The Network of Carers Associations across Australia has been chosen to be the first contact point for parents of children requiring support. Registrations begin tomorrow and staff are ready to take calls on 1800 242 636.

Carers NSW has been conducting a series of 'Don't be careless - Connect with carers' luncheons over the last few months in Sydney, Dubbo, Newcastle, Nowra and Coffs Harbour. We discussed our broad range of services to carers and service providers who attended the luncheons and listened to carers' ideas and experiences. The discussions were very fruitful and will inform our future planning.

Carers NSW is also pleased to promote the NSW Carers Awards 2011. Your nominations for this award will be going to people who have made an outstanding contribution to caring. Award winners will be announced during Carers Week 16-22 October this year. Advertisements have been made in 12 community languages to ensure that all the community is aware of the awards. Nominations close Friday 22 July.

I have been very pleased by the NSW Government's response to the draft report on disability care and support. You will find the details in the e-bulletin below.

A lot is happening and we are only half way through the year. I hope you enjoy reading this third e-bulletin for 2011.

Elena Katrakis
CEO Carers NSW

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Contents
Please follow the links below

News

National
Better Start for Children with a Disability

National Lead Clinicians Group

National Disability Awards 2011

Australian Government May Budget

New South Wales
NSW Government response to disability care and support

Carers Awards 2011

Carers NSW policy update

Carers NSW networks with carers

International
Carers Week UK

Vacancies at Carers NSW





Conferences & events

Publications

Aged care

Carer participation and representation

Carers and employment

Carers and financial issues

Carers and legal issues

Chronic conditions and disabilities








CALD carers


Health

Housing

Koori carers

Mental health

Profile of caring

Young carers

more ....




Privacy policy
Disclaimer



News
Visit Carers NSW website for the latest news, comment, training and events at Carers NSW and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Also see the NSW Carers Action Plan 2007-2012 which commits NSW Government agencies to recognise, respect and value the role of carers in the community.

National

Better Start for Children with Disability
The Network of Carers Associations has been chosen to begin work on this new initiative to give children with disability access to intensive early intervention services. Read the Carers Australia media release. These services will include speech pathologists, audiologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, orthoptists and psychologists who can assist with the child's early development. For more details, read this summary of the program, visit the website and read the legislation that makes it possible. The announcement has been welcomed by community groups including the Royal Institute of Deaf and Blind Children. Read their announcement. Registrations will begin on 1 July 2011 by calling Carers NSW on 1800 242 636.

National Lead Clinicians Groups
Nominations for the National Lead Clinicians Groups closes on Saturday 9 July. As part of the National Health Reform agenda and the establishment of Local Hospital Networks, Lead Clinician Groups will provide advice to the Local Hospital Networks on service delivery. The National Lead Clinicians Groups will also be invited to nominate clinicians to sit on the governing council of their Local Hospital Network. For details, visit the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing website.

2011 National Disability Awards
Nominations are open for the 2011 National Disability Awards. The closing date has been extended to 29 July 2011. Read more.

Australian Government Budget 2011-12

The Australian Government's May Budget began steps to deliver a surplus by 2013 and saw the introduction of cost cutting measures and a number of new initiatives. Read an analysis by the Australian Council of Social Services.

The Network of Carers Associations notes that other important measures for carers are missing from the Budget, in particular, allowing a recipient of the Carer Payment to extend their hours of study or employment and still be eligible for the Carer Payment. This would assist them maintain or develop their skills for ongoing and future employment if they so choose.

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News - New South Wales
The NSW Government response to the Productivity Commission disability care and support draft report
The NSW Government has released its response to the draft report of the Productivity Commission Disability Care and Support Inquiry. The NSW Government response supports, in principle, the proposed National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS), and confirms the NSW Government's support for a disability system in which people with a disability, their families and carers are at the centre. It also recommends the Hunter Region as the proposed trial region for the NDIS. The NSW Government Minister for Ageing and Disability Services, Andrew Constance, discusses the proposed trial and indicates that the NSW Government intends to support the scheme "aggressively". Read more. Carers NSW has prepared a summary of the NSW Government response. For the full report, visit the NSW Government website.

Peter Kell, the CEO of Anglicare Sydney, applauds the NSW Government's strong support for the proposed NDIS. Read his online comment in The Drum.

Nominations now open for Carers Awards
People across NSW are being urged to nominate someone who has made an outstanding contribution to receive the NSW Carers Awards. Advertisements have been made in 12 community languages to ensure that all the community are aware of the awards. Read more on the NSW Government website and the media release. Award winners will be announced during Carers Week 16-22 October 2011.

Carers NSW policy update

There are a lot of changes occurring at national and state level that have implications for carers. Carers NSW policy team has been busy representing carers in health, disability, mental health and aged care spheres. Read this summary of recent policy activity at Carers NSW.

Carers networking luncheon series
Throughout May and June 2011, Carers NSW hosted a series of six networking luncheon events across New South Wales to connect with carers and service providers. Carers NSW held the events to meet with carers and organisations throughout the region and increase awareness and understanding of carers and the caring role. Read more. The Dubbo event attracted media attention, featuring Carers NSW Carers representative Sharon Scoble. Read the Daily Liberal newspaper article.


News - International
Carers Week UK - The true face of carers
June 13-19 was Carers Week in the UK. During the Carers Week campaign, Carers UK released a report revealing that carers in the UK fear carers will experience cuts in services in the wake of the the UK Government embarking on austerity measures to restore the national budget. Read the carer survey.

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Conferences & events
Carers NSW carer phone group programs
Carers NSW will be conducting two carer phone group programs for six weeks beginning at the end of June. The phone hook-up, or Talk Link, aims to support male carers or carers of people with a mental illness. These two phone groups, facilitated by counsellors, will allow carers to connect with others, share their experiences and identify ways of managing everyday life. Read more about the male group, or about the group for carers of people with a mental illness. The program may be extended if there are other interested participants. Please call Carers NSW 02 9280 4744 or email if you would like to join a group.

Carer support groups: a workshop for facilitators
Carers NSW is offering free training for new and existing carer support group coordinators. The one-day workshop is designed to cover a range of topics and issues relevant to facilitating a carer support group, including understanding and managing group processes, and developing and maintaining ethical facilitation. Participants also receive a copy of the new Carers NSW resource for carer support groups, Carer support groups: an information and support resource for facilitators.
    
When:
           Friday 1 July-Tweed Heads and Thursday 7 July- Sydney
Details:          flyer, register online or contact Education and Training, Carers NSW, 02 9280 4744

Carer representation training

This is a free workshop for carers interested in becoming a Carers NSW Carer Representative. Topics include communication skills, the role of Carer Representative and dealing with the media. After attending the workshop there are opportunities to speak up for carers as part of the Carer Representation program.  Places are limited so carers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

When:         Tuesday 26–Wednesday 27 July
Where:       Carers NSW, Campbell Street, Sydney
Details:      flyer or contact Louise on 02 9280 4744 or email

Understanding and supporting carers
Carers NSW offers free training tailored for service providers from government and non government services. It is a half-day, interactive education session focusing on identifying who carers are, how the caring role impacts on them and how to support them.

When:           Wednesday 17 August
Where:          Carers NSW, Campbell Street, Sydney
Details:         website or register online


Two day NSW summit on individualised funding for disabilities
The NSW Government has committed $2 billion in new growth funding to implement the second phase of Stronger Together which will see the roll-out of new disability services between 2011 and 2016. A two day summit will begin the consultation process taking place over the latter part of 2011.

When:        Thursday 7 and Friday 8 July
Where:       Acer Arena, Sydney Olympic Park
Details:      media release 

School holiday play-Hunter region
A school holiday play morning for children aged up to 12 years old who have a disability is being organised by Hype 4 Kids. Families are also welcome to attend.

When:       10.00am-12.00pm Wednesday 13 July
Where:      Hype 4 Kids, 3/321 New England Hwy, Rutherford
Details:      flyer

Go Play
Go Play is a new online school holiday diary featuring hundreds of art, culture, sport and recreational activities for children of all ages throughout NSW. It promotes a wide range of free or affordable holiday activities compiled by Communities NSW. Visit the website.

Healthier lives in the Albury region
NSW Council for Intellectual Disability is holding a forum on strategies for improving the health of people with intellectual disability in Albury and surrounding regions.

When:       Tuesday 19 July
Where:     Commercial Club, Albury
Details:     flyer and registration form

Time to care course
The course is designed to assist carers in their caring role and is available for any person who cares for a family member, a relative or a friend who has a disability, dementia or problems relating to frail age, residing in the St George area of Sydney.

When:      6 Mondays from 15 August 2011 to 19 September 2011
Where:    Pole Depot Community Centre, Penshurst
Details:    flyer

Australian Society for Bipolar and Depressive Disorders Conference

More than one million Australians suffer from depression every year. Close to 500,000 Australians suffer bipolar disorder. Both are severe and debilitating mental illnesses. Leading national and international experts will share their knowledge in clinical practice and research at the 2011 conference hosted by the Australasian Society for Bipolar and Depressive Disorders.

When:      Thursday 20-Saturday 22 October 2011
Where:     Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre
Details:     website

Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA) Conference
The NSW chapter of ECIA is conducting a conference to canvas all aspects of early intervention including rural and remote therapy services, literacy intervention and new funding models.

When:      Thursday 27-Friday 28 October 2011
Where:     Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach
Details:     website

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Publications
Extreme parenting: raising children who have disabilities
Parents of children with special needs require a different set of skills and commitment to parents of typically developing children. This book is written by a parent with three special needs children. Read the book review.

The health of Australia's males

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare published a report on the status of men's health in Australia for International Men's Health Week during 13-19 June 2011. The health of Australia's males contains good news and bad. Males born between 2007-09 can expect to live 24 years longer than males born between 1901-1910, but many are overweight or obese. The Australian Government is funding male health tool boxes to be sent to men's sheds around the country. They will be available from September this year.

Aboriginal health and wellbeing
Carers NSW has just completed a series of workshops to enhance the capacity of service providers and Aboriginal carers in promoting carer health and wellbeing within the Aboriginal community. A new DVD called Looking after ourselves has been produced to accompany the course. It features Aboriginal carer stories and is free. Carers NSW has also produced an Aboriginal carers relaxation CD. For copies of the DVD or CD call Carers NSW on 02 9280 4744. Further training is proposed during 2011-12.

University consortium online comment
The Conversation is a trial website of comment and expert opinion compiled by the non-profit, university sector. It aims to influence opinion by providing informed debate on matters of national interest. View the site.

Carers NSW 2011 Biennial Conference
Changing society, changing needs – new directions in carer support
Presentations from the conference, which took place in March, are now available on our website.

National Disability and Carer Congress 2011
The National Disability and Carer Congress took place in May to canvas changes proposed by the Australian Productivity Commission on disability care and support. Presentations from the conference are now available here. Additional comments from carers who attended are accessible here - Kylie Ramstadius (carer) and Katrina Clark (carer and Carers NSW Board member).

National HACC Conference 2011
Papers from this conference, which took place in April, are now available on the website.

Aged care
Regulation of the aged care sector
An audit of the regulatory framework of the aged care sector in Australia has just been completed. It covers the aged care landscape in 2011, how it is monitored, accreditation and compliance. It recommends improvements in the areas of communications, a deeper engagement with advocacy and professional groups and monitoring staff performance and compliance. Read the report.

Care for the elderly is Australia's chief health concern
A recent survey by Bupa Healthwatch reveals that most Australians surveyed believe that care of the aged is the biggest health concern. Read more.

Carer story-family relinquishes parent to residential care
This carer's story describes the slow realisation that the family can no longer care for their much loved husband and father. From Working Carers Gateway.

Perspectives on Ageing
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is about to publish online a collection of material on ageing and aged care called Perspectives on Ageing. It replaces the nine year old precursor, Age Matters. The new online publication will feature in-depth articles about the lives of older Australians and will interest researchers and policy makers. As with all ABS products, subscriptions are available to this product. Read more.

Transition Care Program
The Australian Government has funded a new program to support older people as they return to the community after a stay in hospital. Read more.

Is technology undermining efforts to be inclusive?
Computer software and hardware that is designed exclusively with young people in mind may be eroding progressive attempts to include isolated older people in society. According to Mike Bradley, senior lecturer in product design and engineering at a UK university, older software was a lot simpler. A computer screen was designed with fewer icons and often displayed in black and white to be more obvious. Read more. Thanks to Mylee Joseph, State Library of NSW, for this information.

NSW Seniors Guide
The Seniors Guide is a free consumer information guide for older Australians and covers a large range of topics including information about the new Australian Consumer Law, accommodation, shopping, health, money and cars, all with a consumer focus and useful tips on how to get a fair outcome in disputes. It is published by the NSW Department of Fair Trading and is available online or for free printed copies phone 13 32 20.

Legal issues for older people
Legal Aid NSW has produced a series of pamphlets on legal issues that arise for older people. The series covers topics such as resisting pressure to leave your home, making a will, standing up to violence or abuse, helping the family financially and moving in with the family. Many of the pamphlets are also available in Chinese, Greek, Italian and Vietnamese. See more at the Legal Aid NSW website.

Caring for older Australians
The Australian Productivity Commission report into the care for older Australians has been submitted to Government and will be tabled in Parliament during October or November 2011. Read the media release.

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Carer participation and representation
Carer Representative featured in 7.30 on ABC TV
Carers Australia Carer Representative, Sally Richards, talked to ABC TV about life with her son Jackson, who has a rare genetic condition. See the story.

Electronic health records
Carer Representatives Tabitha Wilson and Johanna Tams have each contributed to the development of the proposed Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR). They have raised issues that carers face in accessing and sharing medical information as well as the unique needs of carers and young carers. Carers NSW also attended these consultations. Find out more about the PCEHR.

Carer testifies at hearing into mental health and workforce participation
Carers NSW and Carers Australia made a submission to the Australian Parliamentary inquiry into mental health and workforce participation. A teleconference with a number of carers of people with mental illness informed much of the submission and members of the Committee requested that a carer attend the hearing to share their own experiences. Carer Dianne Ross spoke about her own situation and the issues faced by other carers in similar situations. Transcripts of the evidence will soon be available here.

Carer Representation program
The Carers NSW Carer Representation program provides opportunities and support for carers to voice the perspective of carers to governments, service providers, professionals and the community. Read more.

Carers and employment
Carers and welfare reform
The Network of Carers Associations is advocating for carers in the recent public discussions on welfare reforms being undertaken by the Australian Government. Carers must be able to work or study additional hours each week without having their eligibility for government income support being affected. This is essential for carers to maintain their skills or retrain to enter the workforce if they choose.

Figures indicate that many carers are excluded from participating in the workforce due to their caring role. Carers NSW and the Network of Carers Associations have advocated repeatedly on the issue of workforce support for carers particularly in relation to subsidised alternative care for working carers and the right for all carers to request flexible working hours. Read, Ways to work, a recent report on workforce participation for carers of adolescent and adult children with intellectual disability.

Carers and employment
Hugh Bainbridge, senior lecturer at the Australian School of Business, is currently examining the trends in business capacity to employ carers. In an interview, the researcher compares the inclusion of carers in the workforce with recent trends to ensure that parents with child care responsibilities are able to work: "People talk about childcare as a parent caring for their child and making use of on site childcare at work, but there's no counterpart reference for people with disability care responsibilities. There are very few, if any, references to any sort of provision of support for people with disability care, particularly elder care. What do organisations do if an employee has responsibility to care for a mother with dementia?" Read the full interview. Thanks to Community Net website for this information.

Changes to the Disability Support Pension (DSP)
The Australian Parliamentary Library has conducted an analysis of the changes to the DSP introduced by the Australian Government's May Budget. The changes are expected to create savings for the Australian Government by moving recipients from the DSP to New Start Allowance. Other savings are anticipated by directing recipients into employment rather than relying on income support payments. Read the library digest (from page 8). A description of the changes to the DSP are covered in this media release.

Legal Aid NSW has produced a new brochure on how to claim a DSP and what to do if the claim is rejected. It is also available in Arabic, Chinese, Dari/Farsi, Turkish and Vietnamese. Read more.

Equal pay case for community workers in the non government sector
Meg Smith, gender pay equity specialist, comments on the equity pay case recently considered by Fair Work Australia (FWA). She refers to the paid work, of mostly women, involved in 'caring work' which FWA has found is under valued. Listen to the ABC Lifematters radio interview.

The case deals with the salaries of people in the workforce covered by the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Industry Award (formerly SACS award) who don't work for the government. FWA are taking further submissions before making a determination. While equal pay rates were secured by women in the late 1960s, this current case deals with different work of the same value, a concept that the legislature has struggled with for 35 years. At the time of going to press, there has been no firm commitment by the Australian Government to fund pay equity. A decision by FWA is expected within months.

For an explanation of terms used to describe carers, paid and unpaid, go to a previous edition of the e-bulletin.

More mothers employed
According to new Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, more mothers work. This trend is especially marked in lone mother families with dependent children where 60 per cent of mothers were employed in 2009-10, compared to 46 per cent in 1997. Mothers of older children were more likely to work. Read the report.

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Carers and financial issues
Scammers posing as Centrelink workers
The Australian Government is warning people to be wary of a new scam where victims are asked to transfer money to someone claiming to be a Centrelink employee. People are contacted by phone and asked to transfer money into a bogus account. Read more.

Reducing the risks: improving access to home contents and vehicle insurance for low-income Australians
Recent flooding in eastern Australia, on the heals of catastrophic bushfires in Victoria, has focused attention on the issue of home and contents insurance. Many families were unable to protect their assets due to the cost of insurance. A study by the Brotherhood of St Laurence investigates how to reduce the cost of insurance for low income families to minimise their exposure to natural and other disasters. Read the report.

Debt recovery by Centrelink and Australian Taxation Office
From 1 July, a new national data matching system will begin operation allowing the Australian Government to more easily identify people who have a debt with the Australian Government. Read more.

Carers and legal issues
Carers Charter
The Carers Charter, legislated in the NSW Carers (Recognition) Act 2010, contains principles for recognising and supporting carers in NSW. Read a discussion in the NSW Parliament about the Charter and what it means for carers.

Legal issues for older people
Legal Aid NSW has produced a series of pamphlets on legal issues that arise for older people. The series covers topics such as resisting pressure to leave your home, making a will, standing up to violence or abuse, helping the family financially and moving in with the family. Many of the pamphlets are also available in Chinese, Greek, Italian and Vietnamese. Go to the Legal Aid NSW website.

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Chronic conditions, illnesses and disabilities
Australia is among the world's leading nations when it comes to disability support?
Sue O'Reilly, journalist and mother of adult son, Shane who has cerebral palsy, does not agree. Read why.

Person-centred planning in NSW
The NSW Government has committed to delivering person-centred planning as a funding model in the disability sector. Read NSW Minister for Ageing and Disability Services, Andrew Constance's, remarks. Carers NSW featured a discussion on the issue in the June/July Carers News.

NSW Government discusses carers, young carers and carer support groups
The five-year disability plan set to commence in NSW on 1 July will make available 4,500 more respite places, according to the NSW Minister for Ageing and Disability Services, Andrew Constance. Read the discussion in the NSW Parliament.

Person-centred funding policy in the UK
Extending choice to users of publicly-funded services is central to current policies in the UK as in NSW. How do carers fare after the introduction of person-centred funding for the person they care for? A longitudinal analysis from the Social Policy Research Unit, University of York in the UK, attempts to address this issue. The findings are favourable for carers. Read more and go to broader research in this field.

Supported accommodation for 150 people in South Australia
After the construction of purpose-built housing in South Australia, 150 residents were moved from an "institution" to "an ordinary house on an ordinary street". The project was completed last year. The resident feedback suggests that the move from Strathmont to the community has been associated with many lifestyle improvements for the residents, including increased family contact, more home-like, less institutionalised living environments, being treated more as individuals and an increase in perceived life satisfaction. Read more.

National Disability Agreement: Performance report for 2009–10. Report to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG)
The National Disability Agreement aims to ensure that people with disability achieve economic participation and social inclusion and enjoy the opportunity to live as independently as possible. The Agreement is also meant to ensure that families and carers are well supported. The COAG Reform Council found that between 2007-08 and 2008-09 access to respite services for carers increased, while access to in-home accommodation and community access services decreased. It is unclear whether these changes, overall, reflect improved outcomes for people with disability, their families and carers. Read more carers data in chapter four.

This is the second report by the Council and it finds that out-of-date data for some indicators, the lack of any data for a number of further indicators, and the absence of agreed measures for others, make it difficult to determine whether progress has been made toward meeting COAG's overall objective. Of particular concern in the report was the lack of evidence of improvement in the performance of disability services for children from newborns to four years of age. Carers NSW has prepared this summary of the report.

Public transport accessibility standards for people with disability
"People who are blind or have low vision are prevented from driving and therefore rely on all forms of public transport to get to employment, education, social and everyday living activities safely and efficiently." Michael Simpson from Vision Australia welcomes the Australian Government's response to the public transport standards review. Read the media release which also explains the biggest bugbears for vision-impaired people when using public transport.

Disability standards for accessible public transport took effect in 2002. The review noted that the "standards have significantly changed the way governments and public transport operators and providers think about and deliver access to public transport for people with disability." The Australian Government's response to the review can be found here.

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Intellectual disability and mental health
According to intellectual disability advocacy groups, the recent public discussions about better funding for mental health has excluded consideration of people with intellectually disability who also experience mental illness. The NSW Council on Intellectual Disability has circulated a position statement on the matter. Read the details.

Families in Ryde to benefit from supported accommodation/individualised funding pilot
The Ryde Area Supported Accommodation for Intellectually Disabled group (RASAID) is to participate in a pilot project funded by the NSW Government. Nineteen people will receive individualised funding to live in supported accommodation. During the most recent state election, the Government committed to providing disability support using this personalised funding model. Read the media release and find out more about individualised funding or person-centred funding above in this e-bulletin.

Women with disabilities submission to the draft report on Disability Care and Support Inquiry
A peak body advocating for women with disabilities has prepared a submission to the Australian Government's Productivity Commission's draft report. The submission addresses a number of issues of specific concern to women with disabilities including sexuality, parenting, reproduction, health and wellbeing, employment, safety and violence. Read the submission.

Aids and Equipment Program (formerly the Program of Appliances for Disabled People or PADP)
Waiting time for disability equipment across NSW has halved in five months after the transition of local health service disability support programs to EnableNSW at the end of 2010. For more information, call 1800 362 253 or email.

Advanced cancer help online
Life, Hope and Reality: for people living with advanced cancer is an online resource for people diagnosed with advanced cancers and those close to them. Its development and testing was funded by an National Health and Medical Research Council grant. Visit the website.

Palliative care and Home Hospice

A well know Australian author has written about the death of her sister and the involvement of Home Hospice to assist at home during the process. Read the piece by Helen Garner. For more on Home Hospice, click here. For more on palliative care and recent research, read The Sydney Morning Herald article.

Launching National Palliative Care Week in May this year, the Australian Government Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, announced the Government would provide Palliative Care Australia with up to $3 million in funding to purchase new specialised palliative care equipment. Read the media release.

INSPIRED study into younger onset dementia
A new study into younger onset dementia is set to start in the near future. Conducted by the University of NSW with funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council, the study is expected to take two years to complete. The study will determine accurate information about the numbers of people affected, their different conditions, their experiences and those of their family members. Consumers will be interviewed across the South Eastern Sydney, Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions over the next two years. Read more.

New scan detects Alzheimer's early
A brain scan to detect Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, could be available in hospitals worldwide within the next year and could boost efforts to detect the degenerative and fatal condition. Read more.

Supporting school aged students on the autism spectrum. Local services information for parents and carers
A directory of services for families in the Hunter New England area provides information on support groups, community assistance and financial support for autism related conditions. The directory is published by Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and is available here.

Supported Accommodation Innovation Fund
Community organisations will be able to apply for direct capital funding from the Australian Government to build supported accommodation places for people with disability. Projects could include renovations to existing homes, pooled resources to build contemporary accommodation services close to community and health services, or the modification of established buildings. A draft of the program guidelines has been released on the Government website and comment is invited until 25 July. It is anticipated that a funding round will commence in late 2011. Read more.

Funding assured for young people at risk of entering nursing homes
The Australian Government has sought to correct a misapprehension about funding for young people at risk of entering nursing homes. Funding is assured into the future. Read the media release.

Lifetime Care and Support Scheme
A review of the bodies responsible for the long-term care of catastrophically injured people has begun. This is the fourth such review of the Lifetime Care and Support Scheme set up in 2006. Submissions are sought before 10 August 2011. Read more.

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Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) carers
Nominations now open for Carers Awards - community language advertisements
People across NSW are being urged to nominate someone who has made an outstanding contribution to receive the NSW Carers Awards. Advertisements in 12 community languages make the award accessible to the wider community. Read more on the NSW Government website and the media release. Award winners will be announced during Carers Week 16-22 October 2011.

Carer life course website includes CALD carer resources

Carers NSW has developed a website, called the carer life course framework, which has been available for some time. It describes the stages of caring and contains resources for CALD carers.

Multilingual resources
Lerni, developed by Vicnet, is a new website offering multilingual resources for emerging communities, like Burmese and Somali recent arrivals. The website offers information on adult learning and is intended as a precursor to more formal education. Visit the site.

Better Access program of psychological services and CALD mental health
In the May Budget, the Australian Government made changes to the Better Access program that provides broader availability of psychological services through general practitioners. In essence, the number of visits a consumer is entitled to has been reduced and the savings redeployed in other mental health services. The Multicultural Mental Health Association (MMHA) argues that these changes will disadvantage CALD people living with mental health conditions. Read the May issue of the MMHA e-bulletin. The decision to cut government spending on the Better Access program has been referred to an Australian Government Parliamentary inquiry. Read the Australian Medical Association media release.

Disability Support Pension (DSP) in community languages
Legal Aid NSW has produced a new brochure on how to claim a DSP and what to do if the claim is rejected. The pamphlets are available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Dari/Farsi, Turkish and Vietnamese. Read more.

Legal issues for older people
Legal Aid NSW has also produced a series of pamphlets on legal issues that arise for older people. The series covers topics such as resisting pressure to leave your home, making a will, standing up to violence or abuse, helping the family financially and moving in with the family. Many of the pamphlets are also available in Chinese, Greek, Italian and Vietnamese. Go to the Legal Aid NSW website.

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Health
Personal electronic health records
The Australian Government announced in 2010 its intention to introduce personally controlled electronic health records. A discussion paper has been released by the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) about the proposed model of operation. Carers Australia has responded to the discussion paper by reiterating support for electronic health records but has recommended e-records have the capacity to identify carers if so desired by the health consumer. Read the submission.

Carer Representatives Tabitha Wilson and Johanna Tams have each contributed to the development of the proposed Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR). They have raised issues that carers face in accessing and sharing medical information as well as the unique needs of carers and young carers. Carers NSW also attended these consultations.

Health Consumers NSW (HCNSW)
Individuals and organisations are invited to join HCNSW to help provide a voice in shaping health policy and services. See the website.

Medicare Locals
The Australian Government, as part of the health care reform process, has announced the implementation of Medicare Locals, a network of primary health care organisations operating roughly within Local Health Networks, to improve coordination and integration of primary health care in local communities. Nineteen Medicare Locals will begin operation on 1 July 2011. Four are in NSW: Western Sydney, Hunter Urban, New England and Murrumbidgee. See the Australian General Practice Network media release as well as state and Sydney metropolitan boundaries within which Medicare Locals will operate.

National health reform
Visit this website for an update on changes implemented so far on health reform in Australia.

Social media and the medical profession
For insights into professional/client boundaries in the medical profession especially as it relates to rural and regional areas, read these comments from the Medical Journal of Australia.

Human health and environmental sustainability
Tony McMichael is a world leader in research on the link between climate patterns and human health. View this video of an interview with him explaining climate change, natural disasters, food production, human productivity and migration movements.

For more on environment, climate and health, visit the Australian National University website and see the most recent Ross Garnaut report and the Australian Government Productivity Commission's Carbon Emission Policies in Key Economies.

Funding for health research building in western Sydney
Westmead Hospital is to receive $30 million to upgrade buildings housing research facilities. Read the NSW Government media release.

Progress on chronic disease
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that the number of people dying prematurely from chronic disease has fallen by 17 per cent between 1997 and 2007. This in turn has increased the life expectancy of Australians. Read more.

Telehealth
From 1 July, health consumers will be able to claim a consultation with their doctor by video link on Medicare. Read more in The Sydney Morning Herald article.

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Housing
Tenancy eNews
The Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT) has a new eNews subscription service for people interested in tenancy issues in NSW. The CTTT is a dispute resolution government service. Subscribe to What's New at the CTTT.

Homelessness in NSW
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has examined homelessness in different jurisdictions around Australia and provided this online report on homelessness in NSW. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are over-represented in the statistics in all states, while NSW appears to fare the worst overall.

Causes of homelessness
Australian researchers said despite a perception that people with mental disorders are at risk of ending up homeless, most homeless people actually develop disorders after sleeping on the streets. Factors like family breakdowns and financial difficulties are more likely to contribute to homelessness in Australia. The article is soon to be published in the Autumn 2011 edition of the Australian Journal of Social Issues. Read a discussion of the research and a summary created by Carers NSW.

Koori carers
Carer life course website includes Aboriginal carer resources
The carer life course framework website has been created by Carers NSW to describe the stages of caring and has been available for some time. There are resources on the website for CALD and Aboriginal carers. Visit the Aboriginal resources section.

Imprisonment rates of Aboriginal people
It is well documented that the rates of imprisonment for Aboriginal people are far higher than for non-Aboriginal Australians. An Australian Government Parliamentary inquiry heard evidence recently that suggests the simplest measures could help reduce the over representation of Indigenous Australians in prison. For instance, poor hearing resulting from early-life ear infections is endemic in Aboriginal communities. Hearing difficulties can contribute to poor understanding of spoken instructions at school, in the workplace and during contact with police. Improved health screening may go some way to ameliorate this problem. Read a summary prepared by Carers NSW.

Aboriginal community-controlled health services (ACCHSs) help access to medicines
An editorial in the June online issue of Medical Journal of Australia suggests that ACCHSs have improved the access of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to quality medicines. Read the editorial.

More medicines are now listed under the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme for conditions that predominate in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. Read more.

NAIDOC Week 3-10 July 2011
NAIDOC celebrations are held around Australia in July each year to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. Read more.

Reducing the burden of cancer for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: time for a coordinated, collaborative, priority-driven, Indigenous-led research program
Gail Garvey et al
Medical Journal of Australia 194: 530-531
Efforts to prevent cancer among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are not as successful as for other Australians. Read the article.

Health expenditure for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has published a report on health expenditure on Indigenous Australians. The report estimates that average health expenditure was $6,787 for Indigenous Australians in 2008–09 compared with $4,876 for each non-Indigenous Australian. Read the report online and discussion of the issues at The Conversation by David Paul, University of Western Australia.

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Mental health
The 'dignity of work': inclusion through participation for people with a mental illness and their carers
Carers NSW and Carers Australia have made a submission to the Australian Parliamentary inquiry into mental health and workforce participation. Workforce participation is of fundamental importance to people with a mental illness and to their families and carers. Employment, together with stable housing and good health services, is a key factor in keeping people with a mental illness well. Read the submission.

A teleconference with a number of carers of people with mental illness informed much of the submission and members of the Committee requested that a carer attend the hearing to share their own experiences. Carer Dianne Ross spoke about her own situation and the issues faced by other carers in similar situations.

Intellectual disability and mental health

According the intellectual disability advocacy groups, the recent public discussions about better funding for mental health has excluded consideration of people with intellectually disability who also experience mental illness. The NSW Council on Intellectual Disability has circulated a position statement on the matter. Read the details.

Causes of homelessness
Australian researchers said despite a perception that people with mental disorders are at risk of ending up homeless, most homeless people actually develop disorders after sleeping on the streets. Factors like family breakdowns and financial difficulties are more likely to contribute to homelessness in Australia. The article is soon to be published in the Autumn 2011 edition of the Australian Journal of Social Issues. Read a discussion of the research and a summary created by Carers NSW.

Better Access program of psychological services and CALD mental health
In the May Budget, the Australian Government made changes to the Better Access program. In essence, the number of visits a consumer is entitled to has been reduced and the savings redeployed in other mental health services. The Multicultural Mental Health Association (MMHA) argues that these changes will disadvantage CALD people living with mental health conditions. Read the May issue of the MMHA e-bulletin. The decision to cut government spending on the Better Access program has been referred to an Australian Government Parliamentary inquiry. Read the Australian Medical Association media release.

Thirteen Reasons Why
Author, Jay Asher, discusses his teen suicide novel and how it has saved lives.

Taking Care of Yourself and Your Family
Taking Care of Yourself and Your Family, written by John Ashfield, was initially compiled for use by people in rural and remote areas of Australia who have little or no useful access to counselling and psychotherapy support. While the book targets rural and remote Australians, it provides useful information and practical strategies to help promote good mental health for everyone. Read more. The book is now available online.

Mental illness and the workplace
In an unprecedented coincidence, two magistrates in the NSW Local Court system have had to plead to the NSW Parliament to keep their jobs. Brian Maloney and Jennifer Betts, who experience bipolar disorder and depression respectively, have defended themselves against charges of inappropriate conduct while presiding in court. Read the details. Mr Maloney believes that if people experiencing mental illness are banned from working, mental illness will be driven underground. Here are the details of an interview with him, courtesy of ABC TV.

Mental health discrimination and insurance: a survey of consumer experiences 2011
The mental health body, beyondblue, has published the results of a survey examining the experiences of people affected by mental illness when attempting to take out insurance or make claims on their insurance company. Read the report.

Survey on proposed NSW Mental Health Commission
The NSW Government seeks the views of the public on the proposed creation of a NSW Mental Health Commission. Take the survey.

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Profile of caring
Older women and the internet
Recent research has found that even though 50 per cent of people over the age of 65 now use the internet, older women are falling behind men in their age group. Read the media release from Council on the Ageing. Further information on the issue is available in the report immediately below.

Social networking sites and our lives: how people's trust, personal relationships, and civic and political involvement are connected to their use of social networking sites and other technologies
A report has been written about the factors that affect our use of social networking sites and analyses gender, socioeconomic status and personal attitudes. Read the results.


Young carers

Tutor service available for young library users
Many libraries around NSW host online homework tutors. The program, initiated by Tutoring Australasia, aims to provide student support regardless of postcode. School students who want to chat online to a tutor can access the program online through their local library. The service is free, but students need a library card. Read more about one such program at Fairfield Public Library. More information the program in general is available here.

Holiday activities for young carers
For holiday activities for young carers, visit Carers NSW YC e-news at this link and subscribe to receive future editions. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Raising children
A guide to parenting is now available for parents of newborns to teens. This multimedia site covers a range of topics like bullying, social networking, rule setting and much more. Visit the website.

Cyberbullying
A new campaign to stamp out cyberbullying has begun by the Australian Human Rights Commission and Edith Cowan University, WA. The campaign promotes positive bystander actions as a means to protect victims. Read more.


More ...
Service delivery reform
Read Tanya Plibersek, Australian Government Minister for Human Services and Social Inclusion's speech on the need for more online services. She believes that there is a need for less redundant paperwork, less manual processing and more automation: " ...while people can now plan a holiday from start to finish from their lounge room; do their banking on their mobile phones; and buy books, songs and movies using their iPad – they still can't apply for many government payments or services without filling out paper forms and taking them into an office..."

She also discusses the need for plain English, 'place based' programs, citizen-centred design and a new 'co-design' approach.


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