Life Without Barriers and Carers Australia will announce the winners of the second annual National Carer Awards at a celebratory luncheon on 26 February.

The winners will be presented by the Minister for Social Services Christian Porter in an event in Sydney.

Finalists have been selected across three categories: Family Carer, Foster and Kinship Carer, and Young Carer aged 25 years and under.

The national awards recognise and celebrate unpaid carers for their significant contribution to the community.

Among the state and territory finalists in the running to receive a national award is Maureen Brown, who has been caring for her son, Scott for the past 16 years. Scott, 43, is living with a severe acquired brain injury and is supported daily by Maureen.

Maureen, who is a South Australian state winner, has spoken at public meetings and supported other carers in their journey. She is a constant advocate for her son’s welfare.

Sixteen-year-old Cooper Riley from New South Wales is the primary carer to his mum Kirstie, who is living with a long-term chronic illness.

As well as providing extensive support at home, Cooper works two jobs to financially support their household.

With Cooper’s support, Kirstie has been able to continue living independently at home. Nominated for the award by his grandmother, she says Cooper deserves recognition for his commitment to his family, even when it has interfered with his schooling and personal interests.

The full list of national finalists can be viewed here.

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