Margaret Quirk

Margaret Quirk

Minister for Corrective Services; Small Business

    Carers' council begins important work

    13/12/2005 12:00 AM

    The Gallop Government has taken another step toward ensuring Western Australia’s 250,000 carers are better recognised and supported.

    Seniors’ Minister Margaret Quirk has announced the names of eight more members of its new Carers’ Advisory Council, paving the way for the group to start its important work this week.

    The State Government has established the Carers Advisory Council to help implement its Carers Recognition Act 2004, Australia-first legislation which recognises the rights of Western Australians who care for the frail or have a chronic illness or disability.

    “The numbers of carers in the State and the value of their work is increasing and yet they are not always treated with the respect they so richly deserve for their unpaid work,” Ms Quirk said.

    “The Carers’ Advisory Council will help the Government ensure that the State’s quarter of a million carers are supported in their crucial work and that their rights as unpaid workers are protected.

    “Their focus is to ensure that relevant organisations involve carers in decisions about service-provision and consult carers on issues that impact on them.”

    The new members of the Carers’ Advisory Council are: Mr Bruce Langoulant, of Kensington; Ms Patricia Bushby, of Swan View; Ms Tatiana Borislow, of Inglewood; Ms Clare Masolin, of Woodvale; Mr Alan Golledge, of Geraldton; Ms Diedre Timms, of Fremantle; Ms Ellen Walker of Barragup; and Ms Caitlin Ambrose, of Beechboro.

    Ms Quirk said more than 50 nominations were received for council membership after nominations were called through carer organisations, the Disability Services Commission, the Department of Health and through media advertisements.

    The Minister said the council would provide her with policy advice about matters relating to carers. It would also monitor the Disability Services Commission, Department of Health and public hospitals to make sure they were complying with the new Carers Recognition Act. The Carers Recognition Act 2004, which came into effect on January 1, 2005, is the first such legislation in Australia.

    “The new Act formally recognises carers as partners in the provision of care for the frail, the chronically ill and people with disabilities and requires key organisations within the health and disability sector to comply with the Western Australian Carers’ Charter,” Ms Quirk said.

    “The council members have experience caring for at least one family member or have been extensively involved in caring organisations.

    “There are young members, members from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and from metropolitan and rural areas, ensuring fair representation for carers across WA.

    “Indeed, the breadth of life experience and skills members bring to the council will be an asset to carers in advancing their interests.”

    Social worker and experienced advocate for people with disabilities, Lois Gatley, was appointed chair of the Council in September and a 10th and final member will be appointed in the New Year.

    Further information about the Council, its meetings and procedures is available from the Office for Seniors’ Interests and Volunteering on 6217 8518.

    Minister's office: 9213 7000