Celebrating Carers at UTS: Tania Teague
Being a carer was never part of my plan, but life doesn’t often go according to plan.
It feels like it’s an adverse situation, and it is hard, but it’s also empowering. I’ve learned to speak up for myself and others.
I spent 12 years living overseas in Geneva and Berlin. I came back for myself, but family commitments soon took precedence: Mum has a degenerative condition—Spino Cerebellar Ataxia—and my father wasn’t coping as her sole carer.
First we shared the role, but Dad had to spend several months in and out of hospital, and suddenly I was a dual carer. Paid work wasn’t an option.
When I could eventually look for work the experience was eye-opening. It showed me how far we have to go to raise awareness. Now I work three jobs – Mum’s carer, part-time at NSW Health and as UTS’s Carer-in-Residence with the Centre for Carers Research.
As Carer-in-Residence it’s exciting to be involved in change to empower carers. I find myself talking about being a carer more than before.
My story is unique, but the experience of being a carer is more universal than you might think.