Life as a carer under the NDIS: survey seeks to understand the experience

Published 15 October 2018
Carer image One in every eight Australians identify as a carer

Australian carers do an amazing job. Some 2.5 million people – that’s one in every eight Australians – identify as a carer, delivering a staggering 1.9 billion hours of unpaid care every year to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, or who are frail aged.

This week (October 14-20) is National Carers Week. While caring can be highly rewarding, it can also lead to reduced health and wellbeing and financial stress. Rural living and lower availability of services in regional Australia are likely contributing to this.

The rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) across the NSW Mid North Coast, and a range of changes to the disability sector, has transformed the way people with disability receive supports. This means changes for local carers too.

Southern Cross University researchers are seeking participants for a survey to understand carers’ experiences under the new arrangements. The survey is particularly interested in how the NDIS has impacted on carers and how their lives have changed since the person, or people, they care for entered the NDIS.

“In our region the NDIS has been rolling out since July 2018. We are keen to really understand how our local carers are experiencing this rollout over the next 18 months,” said John Hurley, Professor of Mental Health Nursing at Southern Cross University.

“We’re currently looking for more carers to take part in the survey, where I’ll be asking a series of questions as part of a broad conversation.”

This study has been approved by the Southern Cross University Human Ethics Committee (ECN-18-144).


Survey details

Carers living in the Coffs Harbour, Bellingen, Nambucca Heads, Kempsey and Port Macquarie-Hastings council areas are invited to take part.

The survey is made up of three brief interviews over 18 months. These interviews are done over the phone or face to face and should not take any longer than 30 minutes.

Anyone who is a carer of an NDIS participant in the Mid North Coast is eligible to take part

For your time, a $50 grocery shopping voucher is offered for each interview.

To participate in the survey, contact Professor John Hurley at

Media contact: Jessica Nelson 0417288794 or