Coping with school or work when my brother or sister has cancer

If you are at uni or TAFE, talk to your lecturers, tutors or department heads to work out a strategy to cope with your study workload while you are supporting your brother or sister and family.

  • If you’ve had to take on a lot of extra responsibility at home, you may want to defer your studies for a year or apply for special consideration when you take your exams.
  • Most campuses have a Student Services Centre that provides counselling and support.

Take advantage of whatever is on offer to help you get through this stressful time.

What you tell your employer or work mates about your brother’s or sister’s cancer is completely up to you. You don’t have to tell them at all. However, you will probably find that if you do they will be supportive and understanding, especially if you have to take time off or are just having a bad day.

Check with your supervisor, manager or HR manager about your rights when it comes to taking time off. You may be entitled to take paid carer’s leave, to look after a family member who is sick, or paid compassionate leave, if a family member dies or is about to die.

The Australian Government’s FairWork website has info about your rights at work.