There are 2.6 million unpaid family carers in Australia. McCann has launched the first phase of the federal government’s national care awareness campaign, Care Aware, with www.careaware.com.au website that will form the hub of the initiative.
The Care Aware subject is emotional. The website is too. It hosts moving short films of carers’ stories, such as that of 17-year-old Courtney who has been caring for her mum who has multiple sclerosis, since she was nine years old.
The website also provides tools and resources to help carers (including ways to connect with other carers in their area to share experience and support), information on how to become a Care Aware Workplace, and encourages social interaction to help spread the Care Aware message.
The Care Aware campaign aims to highlight the extraordinarily large contribution Australia’s carers make to the community and society, and raise awareness, recognition and support for unrecognised carers. More than 10% of Australians provide unpaid care and support to someone in need, at an estimated replacement cost of $40 billion annually.
Acclaimed Australian actor and author, William McInnes, has been named the face of Care Aware. “I am both delighted and privileged to be part of Care Aware and have the chance to publicly acknowledge the great contribution carers make to society,” McInnes said. “Many Australians don’t realize it, but at some stage in our lives we are statistically likely to become a carer for a family member, or require caring ourselves. This is why it is so important that we as a nation understand what caring is and what it involves.”
The headline event for Care Aware is a continuous 24-hour symphonic concert in October at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall. The Impossible Orchestra 24-Hour Concert will be performed with the support of members from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria and the Australian National Academy of Music, as well as musicians from around the country. The concert will be free and tickets will be made available in this month.
The journey to the Impossible Orchestra 24-Hour Concert is being filmed over a six-month period, with a resulting documentary to form part of the campaign.
McCann executive creative director, John Mescall said, “From the agency’s perspective, we can’t imagine a more important campaign to be working on. Caring for a loved one is a natural part of the human condition, and most of us have done it or will do it at some stage. Carers aren’t martyrs; they’re doing what anyone would do for the people they love. That’s why it’s important to acknowledge their contribution and help them feel valued and supported.”
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