Families Australia’s first decade
In 2011-12, Families Australia celebrated its tenth anniversary. With the support of members and successive Australian Governments, a lot has been achieved.
Families Australia’s major achievement has been its high-profile advocacy for a national policy on protecting children. This led to COAG's adoption of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020 – Australia’s first-ever national strategy to tackle child abuse. To help make the National Framework a success, Families Australia brought together, and continues to coordinate, the Coalition of Organisations Committed to the Safety and Wellbeing of Australia’s Children, a consortium of over 100 major national NGOs and prominent academics who work together to advance the National Framework. Read more
Promoting greater social justice
Families Australia has been a strong advocate of greater recognition and support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Read more. We are also a proud supporter of Forgotten Australians – a group of around 500,000 Australians who experienced institutional or other out-of-home care as children in the last century. By auspicing and working alongside the Alliance for Forgotten Australians since 2007, Families Australia has helped to generate greater awareness about the needs this group. Read more.
Over the past nine successive years, National Families Week has enabled the participation of hundreds of thousands of Australians in thousands of community-level events, all aimed at celebrating the vital role of families. Read more.
Families Australia’s National Oration series was established to highlight issues facing families. The first of the four National Orations held to date was delivered by Her Excellency Quentin Bryce AC, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. In 2011, Professor McGorry AO, Executive Director, Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, and Professor of Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, spoke passionately about ongoing needs in the field of mental health in Australia to a large audience at Parliament House, Canberra, including many political and community leaders. Video of the most recent Oration, delivered by Megan Mitchell, the inaugural National Children's Commissioner can be accessed here.
Influencing policy and practice
There has been a myriad of other, perhaps less well-known, achievements. Families Australia’s advocacy in the lead-up to the 2010 Federal election directly resulted in additional, practical support for grandparent carers. Ongoing work with Centrelink and Medicare advisory committees has influenced positively the way in which these organisations interact with families. Families Australia’s work on the Carer Payment (child) review taskforce helped to pave the way for thousands of carers to receive more funding to assist children with a disability.