Kyu Ja Jung is a resilient and inspiring grandmother of two who was awarded a ‘Local Carer Award’, which are presented in National carers Week to recognise the outstanding contribution unpaid carers make in the community.
Mrs Jung was nominated by her local SSI Linker, Cecilia Jeongim Park, who put her name forward after finding out about the impressive job she had been carrying out for the past 15 years.
SSI Linker Cecilia Jeongim Park, Mrs Jung and Member for Canterbury, Linda Burney.
“I met Mrs Jung at a carer’s group meeting and I was amazed by her story of strength and sacrifice,” Ms Park said. “I think that being a carer is always a tough task, but it becomes even harder when you are not the parent, but a grandparent, as well as a migrant with limited command of English.”
Mrs Jung has been the sole carer for her 19-year-old grandson, Simon, who was diagnosed with autism at a young age, Ms Park explained.
She came to Australia from Korea 15 years ago and now lives alone with her two grandchildren in Belmore. Due to family circumstances, the two siblings do not see their parents and she has been allocated the sole responsibility of raising them.
Simon has also undergone five serious operations that have affected his lungs and other organs and caused other serious medical issues.
“My grandson is a very good boy and I’m very proud of him,” Mrs Jung said. “The first years were incredibly hard, but because he is so lovely I feel that now things are getting better.”
The award was presented by Member for Canterbury, Linda Burney, who praised Ms Jung’s efforts and the role of carers in the community.
This award follows the National Carers Week, which took place throughout Australia between October 11 and 17. It celebrates and recognises the enormous contribution that 2.7 million unpaid carers make to the nation.
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