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Diverse carers


Carers can come from a wide variety of backgrounds. alternate text 48

We understand and recognise diversity in caring and are here to provide you with a range of information and resources to suit your individual needs.

Our staff are trained to understand the particular needs of a variety of cultures and communities so we can provide the advice, support and information you need.


LGBTI carers

Carers NSW Australia  External LinkVisit their website External Linkfor a range of LGBTI resources or call their Carer Line on 1800 242 63 (weekdays 9:00am - 5:00pm) for support and information on LGBTI-friendly services.

Care ConnectExternal Linkhave a team experienced in working with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community, including older people. Call 1800 116 166 or visit their website External Link.

ACON External Link is a health promotion organisation specialising in HIV prevention, HIV support and LGBTI health. Phone 1800 063 060 or visit their websiteExternal Link.

Dementia AustraliaExternal Link has a terrific resources booklet to better support people living with dementia who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Intersex (LGBTI)External Link. Their resources focus on the unique challenges faced by LGBTI in accessing credible information on dementia care. 


Your rights as a LGBTI carer

In Australia, LGBTI carers have the same legal rights as other carers. It is against the law to discriminate against a person on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status.

This includes the right to take leave, both paid and unpaid, to care for an immediate family or household member.  If you think you are being discriminated against at work, you can call the Fair Work OmbudsmanExternal Link on 13 13 94. 

For other forms of discrimination call the Human Rights CommissionExternal Link on 1300 656 419.


Legal considerations

There are steps carers can take to ensure their rights are protected as a same sex partner and carer, especially when someone becomes incapacitated or dies.

Not understanding or not being aware of your legal rights can affect joint ownership of property, joint bank accounts, guardianship of children, medical decision making and superannuation benefits.

If you are unsure of your rights you should seek legal advice. Some important points to be aware of are:

  • Recognition of de facto relationship – Cohabiting same sex couples are recognised as de facto couples and have the same rights as heterosexual couples under state law.
  • Recognition of Person Responsible - Same sex partners can be recognised as the 'person responsible' if a patient does not have capacity to consent to medical treatment under the Guardianship Act 1987. The term 'person responsible' is found in the Guardianship Act and replaces the common term 'next of kin' in relation to providing or withholding consent to treatment by doctors or dentists. The Guardianship Act hierarchy of who could be considered the person responsible is set out in order as:
    • a person who has been appointed as a guardian or enduring guardian.
    • a spouse or de facto spouse who has a close and continuing relationship with the person. This includes same-sex partners.
    • the carer or person who arranges care on a regular basis and is unpaid.
    • a close friend or relative of the person.
  • Enduring guardianship vs Power of Attorney – Enduring guardianship addresses personal and lifestyle decision-making while Power of Attorney relates to financial decision-making. They both recognise a trusted person (or persons), chosen by the person who is incapacitated, to make significant decisions on his/her behalf should he/she no longer be able to make their own decisions due to a disability or illness.

    Visit Carers NSWExternal Linkor our Legal ConsiderationsExternal Link page for further information.


Other useful resources

  • Inner City Legal CentreExternal Link – Gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender advice. Phone  9332 1966 or visit their websiteExternal Link for more information.
  • The Gender CentreExternal Link - The Gender Centre provides services and activities that enhance the ability of transgender people to make informed choices.  Phone 02 9569 2366 or visit their website External Linkfor more information.


Financial considerations

LGBTI carers may be affected by ongoing changes to state and federal legislation relating to recognition of same sex couples living together in a de facto relationship.

Some benefits that carers in a same sex relationship are entitled to include:

  • Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
  • Carer Allowance
  • Carer Payment

The Legal and financial help page of our website will link you to all the relevant information you need so you can see what payments, supplements and allowances you may be eligible for.


Looking after yourself

As a carer, keeping healthy, fit and relaxed will help you keep going.

Check out our Carer Wellbeing pageExternal Link on how to get (and stay) healthy now including the carers strain index tool, your feelings, healthy living, taking a break and a wide range of other helpful resources.

It's also good to know help and support is available - there are things you can do to understand and deal with your feelings.

Support is crucial in relieving some of the stress that comes with the caring role. In LGBTI communities, traditional family support may not always be available or it may not be enough. 

Our website has a range of information on mindfulness, relaxation and managing your stress.

You may also want to think about counselling or talking to others in a similar situation - talking with family, friends, your doctor, a counsellor or other carers. It helps to know you're not alone - to know support and understanding is available.

Carers NSWExternal Linkoffer a range of counselling options through the National Carer Counselling ProgramExternal Link including individual counselling and therapeutic groups; face-to-face or over the phone. They can also help you find the right carer support group that best suits your needs. Visit their websiteExternal Link or phone them on 1800 242 636.  

The AIDS Council of New South Wales (ACON)External Linkoffer a confidential fee-based short term counselling (up to 12 sessions) for LGBTI people seeking support in relation to their mental health and wellbeing. Phone 1800 063 060 or visit their website External Linkfor more information.
Lifeline Crisis Support ChatExternal Link–online chat 7:00pm – 4:00am, 7 days. For 24 hour crisis support, call 13 11 14. If life is in danger, call 000.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers

Carers NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Carer Program External Linkwebsite contains Aboriginal resources and links.  The Koori Yarning Resource Manual provide service providers with an understanding and awareness of the needs of Aboriginal carers.

Mental Health Support

13YARN has been developed for First Nation people. It is a Lifeline service specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. You will be connected to another Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person who will understand where you are coming from and value knowing how to listen, without judgement or shame. 13YARN is funded by NSW Health and is available 24-hours/7-days a week. Call 13YARN (13 92 76) if you need support or visit https://www.1​ External Linkfor more information. 


National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) resourcesExternal Linkare now available for Aboriginal people with disability.


Aboriginal home care

Aboriginal HomeExternal LinkCare provides help to Aboriginal people with a disability and older Aboriginal people to help them remain independent in their own home. They also provide respite support to the carers of Aboriginal people. 


Aboriginal Disability Network

The Aboriginal Disability Network External Linkwebsite aims to bring together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability to create a voice for change. For more information visit the website or phone (02) 8399 0881.


Indigenous Specialist Services – Centrelink

Centrelink'sExternal Link specialised call centre is available for information about payments and services for people who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders. You can call the Indigenous Call Centre on (Free Call) 1800 136 380 Monday to Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm.


NSLHD Aboriginal Health

Royal North Shore Community Health Centre

2C Herbert Street, St Leonards NSW 2065

(02) 9462 9044​​