We’re thrilled to introduce an exciting addition to the SUPRA council: the Carers Officer! In our ongoing commitment to support all postgraduate students at the University of Sydney, we’re excited to address the unique challenges faced by students who are carers. 

Why a Carers Officer?

Carers and parents often encounter distinct hurdles that can impact their academic journeys. From balancing coursework with caregiving responsibilities to navigating parental leave provisions, student carers have diverse needs that deserve attention and support. The Carers Officer role has been established to ensure that these needs are not just met but advocated for with passion.

Addressing crucial issues

As part of our mission, we’ll be actively addressing and advocating for important issues that student carers face. These include:

  • Parental leave provisions in HDR scholarships
    We understand that parental leave provisions can vary across scholarships and faculties. We’re committed to advocating for standardised and inclusive parental leave policies for all students. We believe that students who access paid parental leave should be granted automatic extensions to their final submission dates, reflecting their valid reasons for temporarily stepping away from studies.
  • Support for sick leave
    Illness, especially for students with young children, can be a significant challenge. We will urge the University to ensure that student carers have the necessary support during such times.
  • Enrolment flexibility
    Balancing parental leave and carer responsibilities with research periods and coursework deadlines can be complex. We’ll advocate for the University to make enrolment more flexible, aligning it with each student’s unique needs.

How to get involved

Your voice matters: if you identify as a carer, join the Carers’ Network.

Our advocacy efforts need your input to be truly effective! We invite all student carers to join so you can be contacted for future events and focus groups. You’ll be kept in the loop about upcoming events, initiatives, and support tailored to your situation. We aim to build a community for postgraduate carers at the University of Sydney, as well as collect vital information about your experiences and needs. Stay tuned for articles, updates, and events centred around the carer community.

You can also join the conversation in our slack platform dedicated to postgraduate students at the University of Sydney with carer responsibilities. This slack channel is brand new, help us grow it! Join SUPRA Carers’ Network on slack.

Together, we can create a more inclusive and equitable postgraduate experience for every student carer. Your voice matters, and we’re here to make sure it’s heard.

Warm regards,

Eva Midtgaard
SUPRA Carers Officer