In 2006, Tania Hayes was given the honour of becoming the Ambassador
for Carers Australia, the peak body that represents the 2.6 million Carers in Australia today.

A message from Joan Hughes - CEO Carers Australia

In early 2006, I looked in my in-tray and halfway down the pile I noticed a bright cover with the heading ‘Out of the Haze’. It was a short story by Tania Hayes about her personal journey with Warren. I couldn’t put it down.

A short time later, Carers Australia approached Tania to become an ambassador and we were thrilled when she accepted. At the launch of Carers Week that year, Tania addressed an audience made up largely of politicians and bureaucrats, and the impact she had was obvious. In a few short minutes she was able to capture the entire room with the power of her story.

Tania and Warren are inspirational not only because of what they have achieved, but also because of their willingness to help others. Tania continues to be an ambassador for Carers Australia, often attending various functions and providing those vital insights that only someone who has been through what she has been through can offer. It is Tania’s empathy for other carers that makes her truly special.

Tania Hayes Tania Hayes

Tania Hayes

There is now an abundance of evidence that the impact of caring on individuals, family units and relationships is nothing short of phenomenal. Caring affects people in many significant ways—financially, socially, emotionally and in regard to important life choices such as work, career decisions, whether to have another child and relocating to another city or town.

Providing care is also something that is more widespread than many people realise. No one ever thinks that it will happen to them. But today, more than one in eight Australians are providing support to a family member or friend. For most of these people, caring is part of being in a relationship or part of belonging to a family. These relationships and families need to be valued, supported and nurtured.

Some people, like Tania, provide care round the clock. This is no easy task and may begin to take its toll. There are many times when carers become tired, exhausted and drained. Often there are few options regarding alternative care and they feel they have to struggle on. However, there are a range of support options available.

Sometimes, carers are reluctant to admit that they are finding it difficult to cope. They often feel that it is their family role and responsibility to do absolutely everything for the person they care for and find it difficult to ask for help. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Even if a carer feels they are coping with their caring situation, they should still make use of the support services that are available. Waiting until they reach crisis point is not going to be good for the carer, their family and friends. We all need a break and we all benefit from having someone to talk to. Taking care of yourself is probably the most important thing you can do if you want to take care of someone else.

Joan Hughes
Chief Executive Officer
Carers Australia

If you are a carer or want to find out more information on behalf of a carer you know, the following organisations can help.

The network of Carers Associations
Carers Australia works with a network of carers associations in each state and territory to improve the lives of carers. The state and territory carers associations provide important services such as counselling, advice, education and training. They also promote the recognition and needs of carers to governments, businesses and the wider public. Carers associations can help put you in contact with other people who have had similar experiences to your own and who understand what you are going through.
For information and support, contact your nearest carers association on Freecall™ 1800 242 636* or visit

Commonwealth Carelink Centres
Commonwealth Carelink Centres are information centres for older people, people with disabilities, and those who provide care and services. Centres provide free information on community aged care, disability and other support services available locally, interstate or anywhere within Australia. There are a wide range of services to support independent living in the community, but finding out about them or accessing them can be time consuming, difficult and confusing. Commonwealth Carelink Centres provide a single point, nationally, for anyone to access this information quickly. The centres can also assist with information about costs for services, assessment processes and eligibility criteria.
To contact your nearest centre phone Freecall™ 1800 052 222* or visit, or contact Carers Australia on Freecall™ 1800 242 636* or visit

Commonwealth Carer Respite Centres
Commonwealth Carer Respite Centres coordinate access to respite services in your local area. They can give you advice about respite and other support services and find the service closest to you. They can also arrange 24-hour emergency respite care.
For further information on this program phone Freecall™ 1800 059 059*, or contact Carers Australia on Freecall™ 1800 242 636* or visit
*Calls from mobile phones are charged at applicable rates.

Centrelink is an Australian government agency delivering a range of payments and services to the Australian community. The Centrelink payments available to you if you are caring for someone who is frail aged, ill or has a disability are Carer Payment (an income support payment) and Carer Allowance (a supplementary payment).
For more information about payments and services phone 132717 or visit

& Warren with Governor General Her Excellence Quentin Bryce

Tania & Warren with Governor General Her Excellence Quentin Bryce

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