Carers are one of the six focus areas in our Workplace Diversity Plan and one of six Employee Networks at Charles Sturt. We recognise that this focus area also crosses over with multiple focus areas, such as gender and diverse faiths and cultures.

Caring responsibilities exist in many forms for employees and usually require flexibility and support from supervisors, as well as identification of barriers for staff to feel included and have equal access to opportunities. The University also has legislative obligations to carers, under the Disability Discrimination Act.

Carers Champions

Our Carers Champions advocate and promote matters that impact carers amongst university stakeholders to progress understanding of the challenges faced by carers and barriers to their success in the workforce.

They support the university’s strategic objective of promoting a healthy, equitable and inclusive culture and outcomes within the Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Plan 2023-2025.

Professional Staff Champion

Colour profile photo of Tom Burton. Tom is smiling, has a shaved head and is wearing a suit.

Tom Burton, Executive Director Engagement and Enterprise, Office of Engagement and Enterprise          

Tom has worked extensively in the K-12, Vocational and Higher Education sectors and builds high performing teams through a collaborative and inclusive leadership style. He is passionate about diversity and strives for change called for in the modern workplace. Tom lives in Port Macquarie with his wife and young family.

Academic Staff Champion

Colour profile photo of Sarah O'Shea. Sarah is wearing glasses and smiling.

Professor Sarah O'Shea, Dean of Graduate Research, Office of the PVC (Research and Innovation)

"My research has been situated within the equity and diversity space but with particular reference to the student experience. Given my new role at Charles Sturt, my intention is to work across the educational and employment space of the university to ensure that a diversity of perspectives are considered. In doing this, I draw on my own experience as a woman, carer and also, someone with diverse life experiences to ensure that those on the path following me (hopefully) have an easier journey."

What is a carer?

At Charles Sturt, we’re guided by the definition of a carer from the NSW Carers (Recognition) Act 2010, which states:

For the purposes of this Act, a person is a
"carer" if the person is an individual who provides ongoing personal care, support and assistance to any other individual who needs it because that other individual:

(a) is a person with disability within the meaning of the Disability Inclusion Act 2014 , or

(b) has a medical condition (including a terminal or chronic illness), or

(c) has a mental illness, or

(d) is frail and aged.

Carers Employee Network

The Carers Employee Network aims to provide a safe place for people to connect with one another and create dialogue around diversity, workplace inclusion and belonging at Charles Sturt.

The network unites people who share an identity or lived experience, and those who support them or those who would like to learn more about their perspectives and experiences. It's also a forum to raise issues of importance, provide feedback and guide decisions around University priorities and initiatives that impact you.

The inaugural Carers Employee Network meeting was held on 27 September 2023 and was attended by staff from a range of areas across the university. The next online meeting will occur on Thursday 30th May at 1pm.

If you have questions, please email or contact Kirsty Smith.

2024 meeting dates

30th May 1pm  Meeting invitation

2nd September 12.30pm  Meeting invitation

27th November 1pm Meeting invitation

Information, resources and support

We are committed to providing a flexible, supportive and accessible work environment for staff with family or caring responsibilities.

  • External resources, guides and tools

    Carer-friendly workplace tips - a 4 minute introductory video to understand how small changes can have a big impact upon carers in the workplace.

    Resources for carers - online modules to provide a strengths-based approach to communicating and understanding your role as a carer in the workplace.

    Resources for supervisors - a series of engaging online modules to understand who is a carer, and how to create a carer-inclusive culture in your team.

    Negotiating flexible work arrangements - a conversation guide to support staff and their supervisors to have open, respectful conversations about workplace flexibility.

    Flexible working best practice guide - Government webpage outlining best practice for flexible working arrangements under the Fair Work Act.

    Carers NSW - website for the peak body for Carers in NSW, provides resources, guides and links to services and support.

  • Flexible work

    Charles Sturt strives to create a fair and inclusive workplace including offering flexible work arrangements that help staff to balance their work and life commitments while meeting the operational needs of the University.

    Flexible, hybrid, or remote work arrangements may be suitable for staff for a range of reasons, including working around childcare arrangements, school drop-offs and pick-ups and other appointments.

    See Workplace flexibility to learn about our guiding principles around staff flexibility and explore what options may be available to you.

  • Parental leave

    Parental leave is paid or unpaid leave associated with the birth or adoption of a child.

    See Parental leave for information about accessing parental leave, the options available to you while you're on leave and your options for returning to work.

  • Support for pregnancy, adoption and fostering

    Support for pregnancy

    We can support you to make sure your health, safety and wellbeing needs are met at work if you're pregnant.

    Support for pregnancy includes information about managing safety and risk, leave provisions, adjustments and includes links to external supports.

    Support for adoption and fostering

    You can access leave if you are adopting or permanently fostering a child.

    Visit Support for adoption for more information.

  • Children on campus, carer's rooms and childcare

    Children on campus

    We welcome children under the supervision of their carers on our campuses for approved activities. We balance the provision of being flexible to the needs of carers alongside protecting the work and study environment of others and meeting our health and safety requirements

    See Children on campus for more information.

    Child care facilities on campus

    We have on-campus long day care centres at our Albury-Wodonga, Bathurst and Wagga Wagga campuses. These services are open to children of students, staff and the wider community.

    See Early learning for more information about the centres.

    Carer's rooms

    Each of our campuses offers a carer's room which is available for parents, carers, and young children. These rooms offer spaces for breastfeeding, expressing milk, changing nappies and caring for your children, or as a quiet space while you are accompanied by young children.

    Learn more about the rooms at Support for breastfeeding.

  • Support for breastfeeding

    Charles Sturt is a family-friendly environment that supports the choice of staff who wish to breastfeed.

    Learn more at Support for breastfeeding or view our Breastfeeding policy.

  • Support and contact

    Contact the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion team if you need support or have questions.