Last Sunday, I travelled to Canberra with Warwick Marsh and his son Nathaniel, to attend the inaugural Fatherhood Foundation (Dads4Kids) National Council Meeting. This was also the National Day of Mourning for those killed by the terrorist attack in Bali. We attended a service in Parliament House that evening, where there was an outpouring of grief for the victims of this tragedy.

On Monday morning, we attended a prayer breakfast attended by 35 federal parliamentarians and many ambassadors, senior public servants and community leaders. Among those who spoke and prayed at this event were the Prime Minister John Howard, the Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson, the Treasurer Peter Costello and the Opposition Leader Simon Crean.

During the seminars that followed, foreign dignitaries who had played a significant role in the life of their nation, gave us a personal account of their struggles, their sacrifices and their journeys.

Lunch gave us further opportunities for social interaction with some of those who had attended the morning’s events.

For the Fatherhood Foundation team, the most valuable part of the day was our National Council Meeting. This meeting included about 3½ hours of discussions with a number of senators and government ministers who participated. These parliamentarians had already received information from Warwick about the purpose of the Fatherhood Foundation, the proposal for a fatherhood summit and the high social and economic costs of fatherlessness.

The meeting provided us with an opportunity to reinforce the case for social reform through legislative change. We were able to listen to their response, ask questions, and to further express our views and relate our experiences.

Their knowledge, experience, suggestions, perspectives and advice will prove helpful in enabling us to develop strategies to achieve reform.

Their observations and comments encouraged the Fatherhood Foundation to hold firm to our vision of building in our nation a culture that recognises and promotes the value of fathers in the lives of their children.

[Photo by Aditya Joshi on Unsplash]
Published On: October 28th, 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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