Juggling the responsibilities of caring for someone and study workloads can be incredibly difficult, but a program supporting young carers as they hit the books is returning for 2020.
The Young Carer Bursary Program, funded by the Department of Social Services and run by Carers Australia, offers a limited number of funding to help ease the financial burden of education fees for young carers who continue with their education.
Bursaries of up to $3,000 per year are offered to young Australian citizens or permanent residents who are aged between 12-25 years old and are studying at high school level or beyond, up to and including an undergraduate degree.
Chief Executive Officer of Carers Australia, Ara Cresswell says the program was announced in the 2014 Budget and was first delivered in 2015 to 300 carers.
“Since then over 1600 bursaries have been awarded to young carers to help them stay engaged in their education while balancing the demands of a caring role.
“In 2019 the Commonwealth Government announced an increase in the available number of bursaries to 1000 per year from 2020-2022.”
She says the objective of the program is to assist young carers in their studies and to relieve financial pressure for them to undertake part-time work in addition to their educational and caring responsibilities.
With 272,000 young carers in Australia, the program is helping recipients follow their educational dreams, as revealed in a mid-year survey conducted by Carers Australia.
A Young Carer Bursary Program participant says, “Having being able to pay for help with my mum has been invaluable. Thank you again for helping me achieve my education.”
“It has been able to help me a lot, as I do not need to stress too much about financial costs and I am able to cut down work so I can help my mum with looking after my brother,” explains another.
“I no longer have to go to the library to use the computers for my homework. This has made my life alot easier,” a previous participant recalls.
Applications open from today to 3 September 2019.
To find out more about the program and how to apply visit youngcarersnetwork.com.au/young-carer-bursary