John Attard, 13
John Attard has been caring for his mother since he was five years old. His mum suffers from panic attacks, anxiety and depression. On a typical morning, John prepares his mum’s medications, makes sure she takes them, prepares his own lunch and then hops on the school bus. Sometimes he needs to miss school when his mum isn’t well. Despite that, he’s doing well in school and wants to be an accountant or computer technician one day.
Tevita Taka, 18
Tevita Taka has been helping to care for his mother since he was four. Tevita’s mother is in a wheelchair, so Tevita takes her to the bathroom, gets her into bed, bathes her, cooks and cleans. He said the intimate caring tasks were difficult at first, but that he’s become used to it. Tevita used to get into trouble at school but is now doing a nursing course.
Sydney, 13, Leilani, 11, and Finlay Healey, 7
The three Healey kids all care for their mum who has multiple sclerosis and can no longer walk. They say that caring is sometimes frustrating, as it puts demands on their time and they end up forgetting things they need for themselves. Their mother, Megan, says 'I can't do housework, I can't cook anymore, so they're pretty resilient, pretty capable kids."
Jauh Wright, 20
Jauh Wright’s dad has Huntington’s disease which makes him quite aggressive and difficult to care for. In addition, Jauh’s mother describes herself as a 'Tiger Mum" and says she has high expectations of her son. The emotional and physical load eventually took its toll on Jauh. 'When I realised I had to become a carer, I had to do these things, I had to help my parents, that obligation kicked in, that's when I started to feel depressed."