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Chantelle Day: Young adult carer, philosophy student and hopeful pioneer in Australian Education

Chantelle Day is a Doctor of Philosophy student who is passionate about creating a positive change so that the void of awareness, services and support for young adult carers in Australian universities is addressed. She's also a young adult carer herself. Over the past decade, Chantelle has cared for her Mum who has a chronic congenital kidney disease whilst obtaining both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in psychology and education.

"The experiences that I have endured over the past six yearsas a student-carer have been, at times, tumultuous. However, these experiences have also been rewarding, affording me a wiser perspective on life's challenges," she writes in ger article, published late last year in Ageless Magazine.

We all know that the transition period from the age of 18 to 25 can be a challenging and defining time in a person's life. Anyone familiar with young carers knows that the extra responsibilities and emotional impacts of providing care to a loved one who has an illness or disability such as feeding, dressing, giving and monitoring medication and helping care for siblings can have a significant impact on a young carer's education. Whilst we have the research and written proof of this in the younger age groups, there's a gap in the system when it comes to young adult carers. This is even more poignant because at this age, university studies can steer the direction of a young adult carer's career future and therefore their future life oppotunities.

To address this void, Chantelle needs the help of young adult carers who are enrolled in university studies. If you are a young adult carer, enrolled at uni and you would like to help, all she needs is for you to complete a brief pre-interview questionnaire followed by an audio-recorded phone or Skype interview which will last for about 40 minutes and is informal. What do you get in return? You will be one of the pioneers of the movement for supporting young adult carers to enter higher education. Some of the future young adult carers may even be your younger brothers or sisters.

To be a part of Chantelle's research, contact her at [email protected] or on 0410 017 957. The interview section of Chantelle's research project finishes at the end of this year.