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National Carers Week: Our stories matter too!

On Tuesday 18 October, during National Carers Week, join Your Story Disability Legal Support for a special event celebrating carers and their contributions to disability communities across Australia and why their stories matter to the Disability Royal Commission.

Three people with diverse experience will share their stories about being a carer, their ideas for change for people with disability, and what National Carers Week means to them.

  • Jenny Nguyen is a social worker, a carer for her younger brother, and a Youth Ambassador with Little Dreamers Australia.
  • Dr Jo Watson is a speech pathologist and a disability and inclusion expert, who balances research projects and lecturing at Deakin University with supporting her mother and sister, both of whom live with disability.
  • Michelle Bowler is a Your Story lawyer supporting Victorians to take part in the Disability Royal Commission. She’s also a parent of a child with disability and is in the process of sharing her own caring story.

Jenny, Jo and Michelle are among 2.65 million Australians who provide unpaid care and support to a family member or friend.

Running from 16 to 22 October, National Carers Week is an initiative of Carers Australia that aims to raise community awareness about the diversity of carers and their caring roles.

This free online event will include Auslan interpreters and live captions. You can join using Zoom or Facebook.

Date and time: Tuesday 18 October from 5.30-6.30pm AEDT
Location: Online (please register to receive a link)
Cost: Free to attend
Register: Please visit the Eventbrite page to register and submit your questions to the panellists.

Meet the speakers

Jenny Nguyen

Jenny is a social worker specialising in neuro and working in an inpatient hospital setting. She has a background in gender studies and is currently studying a Graduate Certificate in Health Research.

Jenny is a carer for her younger brother who has profound unilateral hearing loss and neurodiverse behaviours. She became a carer at 17 years of age, meaning that she was considered a young carer.

Jenny is currently a Youth Ambassador with Little Dreamers Australia and a carer representative and member of the LGBTQI+ Advisory Group at Carers NSW. She’s also involved in the Carers Program at Sydney Local Health District.

Dr Jo Watson

Jo is a speech pathologist and the course director of Deakin University’s postgraduate disability and inclusion program.

In addition to teaching, Jo is engaged in a wide range of research projects with a particular focus on the impact of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) on signatory nations’ capacity to support and protect the human rights of people with complex communication and support needs.

Jo lives in Melbourne with her two teenage boys and husband. Jo’s sister has an intellectual disability and is legally blind and her mother has a spinal cord injury and quadriplegia.

Michelle Bowler

Michelle is a lawyer who joined Your Story Disability Legal Support in July 2020. She is based at Legal Help, Victoria Legal Aid, where she has worked for several years, giving information and advice to callers, including callers to Prisoner Legal Help and Disaster Legal Help. Michelle is the co-chair of Victoria Legal Aid’s Pride Network.

Before joining Victoria Legal Aid and Your Story, Michelle worked in several community legal centres. She has four young children, one of whom has a disability. Michelle is passionate about disability and inclusion and is studying a Master of Disability and Inclusion at Deakin University.