14 October 2020

Ms TRISH DOYLE (Blue Mountains) (21:16:07): National Carers Week runs from 11 to 17 October. One in eight people are carers and over two-thirds are women. In surveys, carers report the highest levels of stress and the lowest levels of wellbeing. Some of the very best people in our electorates are carers. Today I recognise my friends Fran Elston of Winmalee and her son, Joshua Elston. Fran is a carer for Josh, who lives with Down syndrome. They are two of the very best, most caring, loving and giving people I know. I feel honoured and blessed that they became friends to me and my sons. I first met them more than a decade ago in the office of then member for Blue Mountains Phil Koperberg. Josh has been a torchbearer for the Special Olympics and is an excellent swimmer. Fran and Josh have lived through bushfires with their pet labrador, Milo. This story was captured in the powerful documentary Fire Stories: Living with Risk. Today I honour Fran in her role as mum and friend. She is nothing less than exceptional. She is also a carer of the highest order. She is a capable and strong woman who has lived an extraordinary life. Thank you, Fran, for all you do and for being who you are.