Sarah is a single mum to 26-year-old twins, David and Tim, who are on the autism spectrum. Sarah migrated to Australia in 1985 from Cambodia and lives in Cabramatta, south-west Sydney, with her two sons.

Lacking the support of friends and family, Sarah has felt lonely and disconnected for a long time. ‘I don’t get help from my family because they don’t understand autism and they feel embarrassed to speak about it, and when I talk about it, they don’t want to know about it and it makes me very upset,’ she says.

Both sons are somewhat independent. While David works in a bakery eight hours a week and Tim as a casual delivery driver for a take-away restaurant, Sarah still takes care of them. She worked in a bank for many years herself but found it too difficult trying to juggle work with caring for her sons. ‘I do the cooking, shopping, laundry and their medications,’ she says.

It wasn’t until she discovered Wellways Carer Gateway and started seeing a counsellor that Sarah finally felt supported. ‘The counsellor is especially important. There was someone to talk to. He has helped me to say “no” rather than “yes” all the time,’ she explains.

‘The counselling has been so helpful because I don’t get any support from my family.’

Sarah says the counsellor listens to what she has to say and has helped her work out what she needs to do and the decisions she needs to make. He has given her tools and suggestions for when she wants to say ‘no’ and the skills to help her stand up for herself.

Sarah was attending monthly counselling sessions for six months and is eagerly waiting to find out if she can attend more. Counselling has been so invaluable for Sarah that she was excited to tell her Khmer (Cambodian) community group all about Wellways Carer Gateway.

Carer Gateway is a national support service funded by the Australian Government. It provides free support for carers through a network of regional Carer Gateway service providers. Wellways is the chosen provider of Carer Gateway services throughout Queensland and the New South Wales regions of South-West Sydney and Nepean Blue Mountains.

Through Carer Gateway service providers such as Wellways can provide:

  • Carer Support Planning
  • Counselling
  • In-Person Peer Support
  • Facilitated Coaching
  • Emergency Respite Care

How to access Carer Gateway

Our Carer Gateway QLD and NSW teams are available 6am-10pm, 7 days a week.

To register for services, call 1800 422 737 or visit for more information.

Emergency care respite is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 1800 422 737.

Carers can also request a call back.