Career Coaching for Carers (3C)

Supporting women carers at UNSW to take control of their careers

A handmade pink material banner held up by a curtain pole with the words 'Care is a Relationship not a Role' patchworked on to a yellow background
Image Credit: Care is a Relationship not a Role, 2021. Banner constructed by artist Michele Elliot with the Stitch it For Dementia Carer Craftivist collective. Words devised by the group during workshops initiated by the Knowledge Translation platform of

Career Coaching for Carers (3C) supports academic women (cis and trans), including sessional staff and post-graduate students, with current or recent carer responsibilities to develop their careers and address the disadvantage many have experienced due to COVID-19.  

The program offers small-group career coaching sessions with an expert facilitator, and provides a supportive space for reflection and connection, leading to actionable insights tailored to individual situations.

In addition, UNSW HR runs an interactive information session ensuring participants are familiar with existing supports for carers at UNSW and how to access them.  


Who is 3C for? 

3C supports academic women (cis and trans) who have undertaken carer responsibilities during the last 3 years. This focus responds to evidence that women academics were disproportionately impacted by the intensification of care loads during the pandemic.  

3C uses the Carer’s NSW definition:  

“A carer is any individual who provides care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, mental illness, drug or alcohol dependency, chronic condition, terminal illness or who is frail due to age.” 


A period of care may be ongoing or temporary, of long or short duration. Caring responsibilities are often hidden and sometimes difficult to recognise even by those undertaking them. 3C encourages staff who may not previously have considered themselves as carers to take part.  

 The focus of 3C is on carers as defined above, including parents caring for a child with disability or long-term illness. It also recognises that women may have multiple caring relationships and parental care may be an important part of a carer’s overall experience.  

‘Supporting Carers at UNSW Sydney’ report

Supporting Carers at UNSW report

The Supporting Carers at UNSW Sydney: Findings from the 3C initiative report has recently been released. The report calls for greater support for carers within the UNSW workforce as national attention to the needs of employed carers grows.    

The report is the result of research associated with the Career Coaching for Carers program. It reveals the challenges that many carers face with UNSW – including the need for greater visibility and training for managers around what caring entails. It emphasises the lack of existing data about carers working at UNSW, and the need for an organisational carer definition that aligns with national legislation, and distinguishes between parental and carer responsibilities.

Recommendations include appointing carer advocates to support carers in work planning, carer’s leave management, and career progression; ensuring university performance metrics and promotion processes positively acknowledge carer responsibilities and adjust for the impact of part-time status and carer’s leave; and establishing a carer network to raise carer visibility and build community. 

The research was initiated by Associate Prof. Lizzie Muller and conducted by experts in carer research, Dr Catherine Thompson and Dr Trish Hill, from UNSW’s Social Policy Research Centre, with funding from UNSW’s Athena Swan Program Office.

Download and read the full report below.



‘Supporting Carers at UNSW Sydney’ report
‘Supporting Carers at UNSW Sydney’ report (plain text)


Get involved

Applications for the Career Coaching for Carers program have now closed.

We’d still like to hear from carers, so if you are interested in the program or would like to know more please contact A/Prof Lizzie Muller  or Amy Kusuma

3C Leadership and Partnerships 

3C is led by A/Prof Lizzie Muller. It is an initiative of the Women’s Wellbeing Academy, funded by a generous donation from Emeritus Professor Richard Henry AM FRSN and the late Dr Rachel Oberon.

The associated research program is supported by SAGE Athena SWAN and delivered by UNSW’s Social Policy Research Centre. 

More information

The Women's Wellbeing Academy (WWBA) connects people across the UNSW community to enhance and highlight our diverse multidisciplinary work in the area of women’s wellbeing.

Up to $2,000 to support UNSW academic and professional employees and Higher Degree Research (HDR) Program students of all genders with primary caring responsibilities, to continue to enhance their careers.

The Women in Research Network (WiRN) is UNSW's leading forum for research-active women to connect and collaborate to build an equitable and inclusive research culture at UNSW.