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Victorian Carer Forum 2022

The Victorian Carer Forum 2022 took place on Tuesday 4 October.

The event recognised the important role of unpaid carers in caring for a loved one. This year’s theme was ‘Celebrating Victoria’s carers’.

This hybrid forum was hosted by comedian Denise Scott and provided a chance for carers to take a break, have a laugh and connect with others.

The Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Colin Brooks MP made a special appearance at the event. The forum also featured a panel discussion.

Panel discussion panellists

  • Judith is a highly qualified senior executive with extensive experience in government, not-for-profit and private organisations and has worked with carers in all those capacities.

    From her early career in eye care, Judith has had the pleasure and privilege of holding a diverse range of leadership roles through which she has developed a deep understanding of health, social care and government, and the ways in which those systems can impact people.

    A common theme throughout her career has been leading strategic change and improvement, with a particular focus on driving positive change for people in our community who experience disadvantage. She brings a combination of sector knowledge, strategic acumen, energy and enthusiasm to her work which is coupled with good humour and an absolute commitment to making a meaningful difference.

    She has been the CEO of Carers Victoria since 2021. Prior to that, she led the national peak body for the eye health and vision sector and had a long career in state government, holding senior executive roles across a range of health and human services portfolios. She holds an undergraduate degree in optometry, and various postgraduate qualifications including masters degrees in public policy and public administration.

  • At just nine years of age, Madeleine Buchner OAM identified a gap in the support system for young people who cared for sick family members.

    Growing up alongside her brother who suffered multiple chronic illnesses, and her mother, now a breast cancer survivor, Madeleine began fundraising within her local community to support Young Carers, which would eventually culminate in a business plan for an organisation called Little Dreamers Australia.

    By the age of 16, Madeleine was running a small non-profit, attending high school and helping to care for two family members. Eleven years later and more than 5,000 young people reached, the organisation is now Australia’s leading non-profit for Young Carers.

    Across eight key support programs co-designed with young people in caring roles, the organisation is breaking down barriers and empowering young people in caring roles, with a vision to ensure that every Young Carer around the world is supported by someone or something by the year 2030.

    As a face for political reform, Madeleine is working towards the creation of a peak body for Young Carers.

    She travels the world to share her innovative ideas with others, and in 2017 was recognised as a Queens Leader by Queen Elizabeth II.

    In 2016, Madeleine published her first book, My Brother is Sick Again, which explores the obstacles that young carers must overcome.

    Madeleine has also been recognised as a 2019 recipient of an Order of Australia Medal, a 2019 Australian Financial Review Top 100 Women of Influence, a Women’s Weekly Women of the Future and a 2018 Westpac Social Change Fellow.

  • Bronwyn graduated as an Occupational Therapist almost 20 years ago and commenced her career in Melbourne working in a large metropolitan health service.

    Following a short stint working in the UK Bronwyn moved to regional Victoria to take a role as a Community Occupational Therapist. She then transitioned into an allied health team leader role, which involved operational management of a number of allied health disciplines.

    Bronwyn was a recipient of the inaugural Bendigo Health Allied Health Excellence Award and continues to champion service development to ensure holistic client care.

    Bronwyn has worked alongside Bendigo Health Carer Support Services for many years and has a deep understanding and appreciation of the significant and vital role that carers play in regional and rural communities. She is now very excited to have the opportunity to be managing the program.

    Outside of work, Bronwyn enjoys bush walking and spending weekends away with family and friends.

Reviewed 22 December 2022

Contact us

Victorian Carer Forum team Department of Families, Fairness and Housing

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