Remote and Aboriginal

Remote respite

Do you live in a remote area of the Northern Territory and want a break from caring, without leaving your community? And would you like to find a way of getting a break that is both flexible and culturally appropriate?

Aboriginal people often live in Top End remote communities. They require services that are culturally appropriate.

Carers NT can offer various options for getting a break to suit your caring needs and your culture.


Both carers and people receiving care can receive this support.


Your options for getting a break from caring

  1. Residential urban respite for elderly people receiving care

  • for people receiving care who are:
    • over 65 years old (not Aboriginal)
    • over 50 years old for Aboriginals

For more information go to Residential respite


  1. Residential urban respite for children with a disability

For information go to:


  1. Getting a break for the Carer

Is there another family member or friend who can look after the person you're caring for, while you have a break?

Carers NT can offer you flexible options.

  • you must be receiving either the Carers Allowance or the Carers Payment, and
  • you need a referral. This can be from either:
    • your local clinic, or
    • a mental health worker, or
    • the Darwin Remote Aged and Disability Team (Phone: 08 8922 8214), or
    • the Katherine Region Aged and Disability Services (Phone: 08 8973 8778)

NOTE - click on the link for Top End Aged and Disability Services contacts.

 For more information Contact Carers NT Darwin on 1800 200 422, or Carers NT Katherine on 08 8971 2766.

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  1. Getting a break for the carer in the remote community

  • Would the carers in your community benefit from the use of a Troopy (4 wheel drive Toyota Troop Carrier)?
  • Can they use a Troopy to make shopping easier?
  • Can they use a Troopy to go out hunting or fishing?
  • Can they use a Troopy to get to places that mean a lot to them?
  • Can they use a Troopy to get pandanus and other supplies for making baskets?

The Troopy program is a Responsive Respite Service and is funded as an ongoing program by the Commonwealth Dept of Health and Ageing to provide a greater level and range of culturally appropriate services to Aboriginal Family Carers on the remote communities of the Northern Territory.

It is also there to increase the level of awareness of Carer issues. It services the Top End and Katherine Regions and provides respite to indigenous carers on remote communities and islands. 

Carers NT can provide you the use of a Troopy for:
  • carers of people with a mental illness, or
  • carers of people who are frail aged, have a chronic illness or a disability
Using a Troopy has the benefits of:
  •  local support and service providers delivering the program where possible
  • carers and those being cared for can take a break without sending anyone away from the community. 
  • flexible options are available - the activities are determined through discussion with the carers and those being cared for
How Troopy respite works
  • the responsible local service provider identifies the carer and the people being cared for, and negotiates and consults with the carers to develop and implement the appropriate use of the Troopy
  • each community can use the Troopy to suit the needs of the carers on their own community
  • Carers NT supplies the Troopy, camping and picnic gear, trailer, fuel, camera, and some food for outings
  • the local service provider is responsible for the safe and responsible use of the Troopy vehicle while it is in the community
  • the local service provider provides a report to Carers NT on the activities enjoyed by the participants, and the number of carers and care recipients assisted by the program. Photos are a welcome inclusion in these reports.

Other service providers can also use the Carers NT Troop Carriers to deliver services on the communities, such as HACC programs or Mental Health Service Programs.

What makes the Troopy Programs Successful?

The Troopy Program is so successful because it is coordinated and delivered on remote communities by an existing remote community Service Provider. This person has the knowledge of all the Stake holders and respite needs of that community.

The service provider and community are empowered to deliver respite in a flexible and culturally appropriate way to suit the needs of the family Carers and Care recipients on that community.  All stakeholders are consulted as to how and what respite options they would like on their community.
Most importantly it allows many carers to have the culturally suitable respite on their own lands that they want. E.G.

Fishing, hunting, gathering, ceremony attendance, camping and visiting family.

The Troopy program increases the level of awareness of Carers on the community and their access to ongoing services Family Carers are better supported by their local service providers, and this reduces the need to send the care recipient away to town for respite and potentially, permanent admission to an urban facility such as a nursing home.

Many Aboriginal Carers and care recipients are very reluctant to leave their own lands because of cultural and language barriers.

The program is cost effective as usually the only other option is to bring the care recipient into a major town to a nursing home facility which is very costly; involving flights, accommodation and support while in town.

At present, respite options on remote communities are very limited but slowly improving...

The Troopy Program and Mental Health Troopy Program are very important for Carers who do not have regular respite services, but it can’t always be there on short notice as it has to be shared by a lot of communities. The Troopy Programs provides an important opportunity to access the hidden Carers on these communities, which Carers NT can then help throughout the year; because stakeholders know what other services are available.

It is also raises awareness of Carers needs and can be a springboard to develop other community based respite options.

Contact Carers NT Darwin on 1800 200 422, or Carers NT Katherine on 8971 2766.

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  1. Getting a break close to the community

Mobile overnight respite camp

Do you need a break from looking after an elderly person, and you live in a remote community?

Is the person you're caring for reluctant to leave their own lands because of cultural and language barriers?

Contact Carers NT to find out when the next Mobile Respite Camp is in your area.

  • aged care recipients do not need to be sent away from their community
  • the camp is held in a culturally appropriate location
  • daily activities are determined by the clients
  • the camp is coordinated and delivered by the Carers NT Remote Respite Team who have many years experience in relating and working with Indigenous families in the Top End
  • transport is provided with the Carers NT 4 wheel drive Troop Carrier
  • all equipment and supplies are provided, including camping and picnic gear, camera, trailer, fuel and food.

Where possible Carers NT works with existing supports and service providers in the communities to deliver this service. The responsible service provider identifies the carer and carer recipients, and then, through negotiation and consultation with the carers, a program is developed and implemented to provide the aged care recipients with the appropriate overnight flexible respite.

Contact Carers NT Darwin on 1800 200 422, or Carers NT Katherine on 08 8971 2766.

See other useful links

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1800 242 636 or 89 444 888
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