The Benevolent Society is proud to support this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festivities and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community. 

As an organisation dedicated to pioneering positive social change and advocating for a just, caring society, a big part of The Benevolent Society’s ongoing work is supporting the carer community through Carer Gateway. 

This includes supporting the Australian LGBTQIA+ carer community.  

The experiences of LBGTQIA+ carers

It is estimated there are currently 2.7 million unpaid carers in Australia. The Carers NSW 2022 National Carer Survey Report revealed that Australian LGBTQIA+ carers are younger compared to other carer demographics, most commonly care for children, sometimes juggle caring for multiple people, and feel significantly less recognised for their caring role than other carers.  

Michelle Williams, Deputy Manager of Carer Gateway at The Benevolent Society, said: “With the report also revealing that many LGBTQIA+ carers experience much lower wellbeing compared to other carer demographics, creating new ways to support the wellbeing of LGBTQIA+ carers and ensure their voices are heard is needed. Providing this support continues to be a priority for The Benevolent Society and Carer Gateway.” 

Creating supportive spaces of LGBTQIA+ carers

Since April 2023, Carer Gateway has been running the Rainbow LGBTQIA+ Carers Support Group in the Sydney suburb of Petersham. Taking place on the first Tuesday of every month, this group provides attendees with a safe space, focused on recognition and growth in their roles as LGBTQIA+ carers.  

Rachael Simone, Rainbow LGBTQIA+ Carers Support Group organiser, said: “LGBTQIA+ carers form an integral part of the Australian carer community. Carer roles can often be stressful and time consuming, so having these monthly sessions to meet and discuss various aspects of daily carer life is super beneficial.  

“They help carers connect with one another. They also provide them with the opportunity to have honest discussions about their experiences as carers and learn from each other in the process.” 

During the monthly meetings, attendees share updates about their experiences as carers and provide guidance and advice where they can for those who may be struggling and need help. 

Rachael added: “Carer Gateway and The Benevolent Society are providing support for LGBTQIA+ carers and giving them a safe space to discuss their roles. To make the most out of these monthly support groups in 2024, we have been speaking with attendees to learn more about the topics they would like to cover in more detail, and we’re arranging guest speakers to attend and discuss their unique experiences.” 

 For more information on The Benevolent Society, visit the website or call 1800 236 762. To find out more about Carer Gateway call 1800 422 737 and Disability Gateway call 1800 643 787.