To support these selfless individuals, the Commonwealth Government has allocated a generous grant of $6 million, aimed at providing financial assistance to young carers who are pursuing their education while offering unpaid care to their loved ones.
The Young Carer Bursary program, funded by the Commonwealth Government, will offer 1,592 grants nationwide, with each recipient receiving up to $3,768. This financial aid will help cover the costs associated with education during the 2024 academic year.
Given the rising costs of groceries, bills, rent and the prevailing housing crisis, along with minimal wage growth, this funding is crucial in enabling young carers to fulfil their essential caregiving roles while continuing their educational journey.
Young carers aged between 12 and 25, provide substantial unpaid care to family members or friends who are dealing with various challenges such as disabilities, illnesses, injuries, mental healthcare issues, aged care, or dependence on substances. The majority of young carers care for a parent or a sibling, while over a third provide care for two or more relatives.
Related: 5 ways to healthily cope as a carer
Alison Brook, CEO of Carers Australia, acknowledges the immense inspiration and nurturing role young carers embody but also highlights the significant pressures they face, which often lead to isolation.
“I’m so pleased we are able to provide some financial relief in the form of an educational grant to enable these young people to remain able and committed to their studies,” Brook said.
Young carers play a vital role in assisting with numerous tasks, including household chores, bill payments, personal care, administering medication, and offering emotional support. The availability of these grants recognises the challenges faced by young carers as they strive to balance caregiving duties with education, work and personal growth.
The program aims to support young carers in pursuing their education without the need to undertake paid employment simultaneously. This initiative acknowledges the unique circumstances faced by young carers and seeks to provide them with opportunities for personal development, both academically and personally.
Applications for the 2024 Young Carer Bursary Program will be open from 18th July to 12th September 2023. Interested individuals can find more information and access the application process at the official website of the Young Carers Network: https://youngcarersnetwork.com.au/bursary/young-carer-bursary/.
The Young Carer Bursary Program, supported by the Commonwealth Government, serves as a beacon of hope for young carers across Australia. Through the generous grants provided, the program aims to uplift the lives of those who face the challenges of balancing caregiving responsibilities with education, work, and personal interests, ultimately fostering a brighter future for Australia’s young carers.