ECCV has made a submission to the Australian Parliament’s Inquiry into the recognition of unpaid carers.  We are pleased to have this opportunity to present our views about how people performing unpaid care work in multicultural communities can be identified and assisted to access financial and other support.

Carers exist in all communities, but are often “hidden” or unrecognised in multicultural communities, where many people who perform caring roles do not identify as carers. Supporting them to access appropriate services and support therefore requires a conception of how caring is understood in different communities. It also requires an understanding of the additional barriers that multicultural carers face in performing their roles and accessing support, including language, religious, and gender barriers, concerns around stigma and shame, and apprehensions about how their personal data will be collected and used. This submission makes a number of recommendations about how these barriers can be overcome

From July 2021 to June 2023, ECCV partnered with Carers Victoria to deliver the Recognising and Respecting Carers from CALD backgrounds project, to improve outcomes for carers from multicultural backgrounds. Many of the insights and recommendations provided in this submission come from learnings acquired through this project.

This submission also examines elder abuse in care relationships, and how to broach this subject with multicultural communities. ECCV believes that legislation and government programs to support multicultural carers should include education about how abusive behaviour is defined in Australian law, and how to ensure that they do not inadvertently perpetrate abuse while providing care.

We believe that the learnings and recommendations presented in this submission will be valuable in helping the Government to reform legislation and provide funding in ways most beneficial to identifying and supporting carers from across Australia’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

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