National Carers Week takes place from Sunday 13 October, and celebrates carers around Australia and the contribution they make to the nation.

There are more than 736,600 Victorian carers who give their time, effort and love to care for a partner, family member or friend who needs them. Many carers find it hard to access the services and support they need. But support is available, through travel discounts on public transport services, respite services for carers themselves, and a recent expansion to the Carer Card program.

Public transport travel discounts

Victorian Carer Card holders can now get half price public transport on weekdays and free travel on weekends and during Carers Week.

Carers can receive public transport concession fares and free weekend travel with a Victorian Carer Card, as well as free travel during Carers Week.

Cardholders who live in Victoria also have access to two or four free off-peak travel vouchers per year (depending on where you live).

The Victorian Carer Card provides carers with a wide range of discounts and benefits from businesses and organisations across Victoria, as well as public transport concessions. To find out more visit the Carer Card website.

If you'd like to find out more about public transport travel discounts visit the Public Transport Victoria website  or call 1800 800 007 (6am - midnight daily).

Carer respite

A woman reads a book to two children.Respite services for carers are available through the Victorian Support for Carers Program.

When you are caring for someone, it's important to take care of yourself as well.

Respite can help give carers a break from care responsibilities. It can be flexible and may include support in the home, group support, day excursions, short stay accommodation, weekends away, counselling or one-off help including goods and services if needed.

To find out more about respite support in your area call 1800 514 845 or contact your local Support for Carers Program service provider.

Carer Card changes

From July 2019, the Seniors Card discount directory benefits are available to Carer Card holders. This means that Carer Card holders can now enjoy the same discounts available to Seniors Card holders.

There are more than 4,000 participating businesses whose discounts are now available. These include discounts on a range of goods and services like eating out, shopping, getting help with your finances, or even leisure and recreation activities like seeing a movie at a Village cinema.

The Victorian Carer Card recognises the significant contribution carers make to the lives of people they care for and the communities in which they live, and is available to primary carers. In Victoria there are 24,000 Carer Card holders, and over 1 million Seniors Card holders.

Many of Melbourne's favourite destinations also offer cheaper entry when you present your Seniors Card or Carer Card. This includes Werribee Open Range Zoo, Melbourne Aquarium, Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, National Sports Museum and MCG tours and free entry to the Melbourne Museum, Immigration Museum and Scienceworks.

Check out the discount directory at the Seniors Online website.

More information

Visit the National Carers Week website to share your story as part of the 'Why we care' campaign, find National Carers Week events, register for free dental care for unpaid carers, and much more.