Work With Purpose

Monday July 17, 2023

Making Australia’s workplaces carer-inclusive

Across Australia, there are 2.65 million people who dedicate their lives to caring for family members or friends with disabilities, chronic illnesses, or age-related conditions. These unpaid carers, often unsung heroes, can face financial hardship due to limited income opportunities, paired with the significant cost of care. Whilst caring can greatly expand someone’s skill set, carers also shoulder immense emotional pressures as they navigate the demanding and complex landscape of care provision for their loved ones.

In this episode of Work with Purpose, our host Caroline Walsh, CEO of IPAA ACT, has a meaningful conversation about carers and how workplaces can support them with our guests, some of whom also share their own personal experience as carers. Joining us are Robyn Shannon, acting deputy secretary for the Department of Social Services, Lisa Kelly, CEO of Carers ACT, and Alex Allars, executive branch manager, Whole of Government Industrial Relations & Public Sector Employment, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate, ACT Government. This episode examines the public support mechanisms for carers at both the federal and ACT levels, and explores how these systems may need to evolve in the future.

Discussed in this episode:

  • The impact of caring responsibilities and the differing needs of carer cohorts
  • Government initiatives like the Carer Gateway, payments, and the planned National Carers Strategy
  • ACT government efforts to support carers in workplaces and the effects on productivity and engagement
  • Advocacy and engagement with carers in policymaking
  • Visions for an ideal carer-supportive Australia.




Carers can contact the Carer Gateway by calling 1800 422 737 or visiting the Carer Gateway website to see what services and supports are available to help in their caring role.

If you’d like to know more about payment assistance including eligibility and how to apply, you can contact Services Australia by calling 132 717 or on the Services Australia website.

Produced in partnership between

Supported by


  • Alex Allars image
    Alex Allars

    Executive Branch Manager
    Whole of Government Industrial Relations & Public Sector Employment
    Treasury and Economic Development Directorate
    ACT Government

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