Cassidy Waller didn't think anything of helping care for her dad after he broke his neck in an accident when she was 13. It was just something she did.
"I didn't realise I was actually a carer until someone at MPower asked me how I helped dad," Cassidy said. "They said 'You do realise you're caring for your dad? You're helping him with his life'.
"Because it's your dad you think you're just doing a nice thing. It just becomes the new normal and you don't mind."
Cassidy, now 19, and based in Victoria south west, said between her mum and herself, they'd juggle work and school commitments around her dad's needs.
"The doctor said he almost died, so he was lucky to be alive. We were in and out of hospital for a few years with treatments, surgeries and rehab. It involved a lot of me leaving school early or not going to school so I could go with mum for moral support to the hospital."
Cassidy had four young siblings at the time, the youngest aged six.
"They didn't really know what was happening. They knew dad wasn't well but they didn't understand as much. As they've gotten older they help dad as well."
Cassidy said she's learned qualities including patience, communication and time management.
"When I finally got my leaners (drivers licence), because he was fully licensed, I would take him for longer drives to and from appointments so he didn't get tired. Or if he needed to get his medicine I'd say 'let's go together'.
"There were a fair few Maccas trips that no-one knew about. It was like 'Let's go for a drive' or 'Let's go to Port Fairy for a snack'."
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She said being responsible for someone else forced her to grow up.
"I never really went to parties or out on the weekends. It was 'I've got work the next day' or 'Dad's got an appointment'. You don't realise how much you give up but you wouldn't change it because you know what you're doing is helping others."
She said the pair had built a strong relationship. "He knows I've never left him," Cassidy said.
"I've always been there for him in different ways than I was before. You find out a lot more new things about them and how they act and what they enjoy. Things no one thinks about."
She encouraged other carers to seek support from agencies and she didn't realise the amount of help available.
"You've got to find and mingle with people the same age who are going through the same thing as you...
"Also make sure you have support, as well as the person you're looking after. You're helping their mental health but sometimes you might forget about yours and yours is just as important as their's is."