Most separated fathers would understand that the most effective way to achieve fairness and equity in family law is through legislative reform.

This reform needs to be underpinned and sustained by a change in social values that re-establishes a recognition of the value of fathering. The frontline for both these battles is the federal parliament.

It’s worthwhile, therefore, to continue my report on the recent meeting held at Parliament House by the Fatherhood Foundation (Dads4Kids). My previous article highlighted some of the views and opinions of a number of parliamentarians. There were others who gave valuable advice and direction on the development of strategies to achieve our goals, particularly in relation to the proposed Fathering Summit.

Ross Cameron, the Minister for Family & Community Services, gave some very practical and detailed advice. His suggestions included appropriate models for the summit, its timing and organisation, and levels of involvement by federal members, prominent experts, high profile activists and the general community. He emphasised the need to have very clear objectives.

He also highlighted the importance of supporting opinions and arguments with empirical, research-based evidence, particularly when dealing with bureaucrats. Without this we may be listened to, but not heard. Beliefs and personal convictions abound, but without supporting data will make no lasting impression. Mr Cameron offered to mobilise the resources of his department to develop for us a bibliography of research in areas relating to fatherhood.

Larry Anthony, the Minister for Children, spent almost an hour with us in his office. We discussed a range of topics, including his desire to bring about the reform of the Child Support Agency. Mr Anthony was very supportive of, and interested in, the vision and activities of the Fatherhood Foundation.

However, we came away from the meetings with a strong impression that the politicians need active support and encouragement from groups like ours. Begin to lobby for change by sending in your letters and visiting your local Members of Parliament. They need your input.

[Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels]
Published On: November 18th, 20020 CommentsTags: , , , , , ,

About the Author: Roland Foster

Roland Foster is an non-custodial father, separated since 1997, with 5 young children aged between 6 and 14 years. Roland is a passionate father and an active social reformer who believes Australia's current laws are contributing to the creation of our fatherless society.

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