Celebrating Carers at UTS: Lisa Townsend
Lecturer and Academic Liaison Officer, Faculty of Health
One of the reasons I became an academic liaison officer was that I want to make sure students get the assistance they’re entitled to. I know the university is well resourced to help carers.
I wish more carers realised that asking for support at uni doesn't show weakness – it’s your right.
Sometimes carers are reluctant to come forward because they don't want to be seen as needing extra help. But it isn’t about not coping – it's about making the most of the opportunities you have.
Students often come to me in crisis. Having someone who’ll listen can make a big difference. I can also advocate for extensions on their assignments or help them access counselling and financial support.
I’ve found that carers are often assertive and strong negotiators, possibly because they’ve had to advocate for someone else. They have an understanding of people’s competing priorities, and I think that’s really valuable for someone entering the workforce.
At UTS, we want to make sure people with diverse experiences get access to a quality education. If carers don’t get that opportunity, it will be our loss.