Canberra Spotlight: Community Sector Stories

Each month, Carers Voice will introduce people who through their tireless efforts help make the Canberra community a great place to be part of, including stories about staff at Carers ACT and across the Canberra Community Sector

Carers ACT Staff Profile: Alex Scetrine- Mental Health Policy Officer

Hi, my name is Alex Scetrine and I work at Carers ACT as the Peak Body Program Officer for the Mental Health Carers Voice (MHCV) program. In my role I help carers to advocate for positive changes in the provision of mental health services and in the development of legislation and policies. It is my job to find out what mental health carers want and need and advocate for those changes as well as to ensure that carers are recognised as key stakeholders in mental health provision, locally and nationally. I am originally from Tasmania and moved to Canberra 5 years ago – I love Canberra and the strong sense of community and I am constantly impressed with how engaged Canberrans are in improving systems and getting involved.  I am currently studying my Masters in Social Work and I think that helping people to have their voice heard and to participate in systemic advocacy is not only constructing a better future but is also an empowering process in the present. I really love meeting with carers, getting to hear your stories. We run regular focus groups to find out what carers think, have trainings to help carers to participate in systemic advocacy and run information forums and monthly drop-ins to share information and support. We use this information to advocate on behalf of carers and we also assist carers to participate directly. If you would like to share your story, give us any recommendations for what would help you as a mental health carer or get involved in mental health carer advocacy you can email or call me or pop-in to one of our events!

Leith Felton-Taylor from The Mental Health Community Coalition ACT 

Being asked to write this article at this time just happens to coincide with the anniversary of my first year working with Mental Health Community Coalition ACT (MHCC ACT) – the peak body for community managed mental health service providers in the ACT – as the Policy and Sector Development Manager. If you were familiar with my professional life it may not be too surprising to see me in this role; but if you knew my recent life story and how I came to be here you might be a little more surprised. That’s the thing I have come to realise over my recent past – everyone has a story. We put our best face to the world, we step through the days as best we can, but there can be a lot behind this which others are not aware of.

Click here to read Leith's story

Carers ACT staff profile: Luke Cookson

Hi, I’m Luke and I’m the Young Carer Coordinator here at Carers ACT.
I started at Carers ACT in February this year and have worked in the community sector for around 10 years now at the Canberra PCYC, Barnardos and Koomari. The best part of my role is that I’m able to support our young people in their caring roles which mostly involves making sure that they have the same opportunities as other young people their own age. The young people we work with are amazing and it’s a privilege to be able to help them along the way.
Our next Young Carer event is the SIDS and Kids Christmas Lights in the City on Sunday December 20 from 5:00m – 6:00pm which is an opportunity for young carers and their families to exclusively view the world record light tunnel.
We also have some school holiday activities planned for January which I’m looking forward to. It’s always a great opportunity to spend some quality time with the kids we support and I’m really lucky that in my role I get to do all the school activities as well. 

Jenni Savigny of Gen S Stories

In September, the Mental Health Carers Voice team would like to introduce our readers to Jenni Savigny of Gen S Stories.  Jenni is the director of the digital story Surrender: homes loved and lost to loose-fill asbestos, a collection of personal stories. 
Please join her at the launch of Surrender on Tuesday 22 September 2015 at 5.30 pm at the Southern Cross Club.  Entry is free, but please RSVP via the website of Woden Community Service – All welcome. 
Click here to learn about Jenni!

Carers ACT staff profile: Lisa Crocker

I'm Lisa and I'm the Event Coordinator here at Carers ACT. I have been in this role since 
September 2014. I have a passion for delivering events. Give me an event, big or small, and I'm in my element!
Before joining the Carers ACT team, I worked for many years in fundraising and community events with charities Redkite, Cancer Council NSW and Camp Quality.
I'm originally from Boorowa, and after living in Canada, Sydney and Newcastle, I have now set up camp in Yass.
The event I'm working on at the moment is Canberra 
Cares. I'm excited about this event and how big it is becoming. Amber Nichols from The Voice is joining us, along with other local entertainers, bands, dance troupes and Indigenous artists. And we have lined up fabulous food, handmade markets, a jumping castle, face painting, loads of activities for everyone, and even a wellbeing space.

As well as being the perfect Spring day out for all Canberrans; Canberra Cares is also the official opening of Carers Week 2015, and an opportunity to recognise and celebrate carers in our community. I truly love working with Carers ACT. I feel privileged to be able to organise wonderful events for such deserving people.

Mental Health News