Exploring the future of children and family policy
The inaugural meeting of the Gillard Government’s new Children and Family Roundtable was held in Melbourne today, to begin discussions on current and future opportunities for Australian children and their families.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Community Services, Julie Collins, chaired the first meeting of the new roundtable, which has been established to provide advice to Government on child and family policy and discuss emerging issues in these areas.
The Roundtable is made up of 14 child and family experts and advocates including members from peak bodies, academia, service providers, and representatives of carers, children and young people:
- Susana Akua Saffu, Lecturer at the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education
- Brian Babington, CEO of Families Australia
- Judy Cashmore AO, Associate Professor at the University of Sydney
- Andrew Cummings, Executive Director of Australian Youth Affairs Coalition
- Lance Emerson, CEO of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth
- Karen Field, CEO of Drummond Street Services
- Stephanie Gotlib, CEO of Children with Disability Australia
- Virginia Marshall, Senior legal officer, Australian Law Reform Commission.
- Anne McLeish OAM, National Director of Grandparents Australia
- Tricia Murray, CEO of Wanslea Family Services
- Jacqui Reed, CEO of CREATE Foundation
- Simon Schrapel, CEO of UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide
- Desley Thompson, CEO of the Cape York / Gulf Remote Area Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Care
- Ginie Udy, CEO of SDN Children’s Services.
The experience and expertise represented on the roundtable will be invaluable in ensuring we keep our policies effective and relevant to all Australians.
The Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, the Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, Peter Garrett, and the Minister for Employment Participation and Child Care, Kate Ellis, attended today’s meeting.
Ministers updated the roundtable members on the achievements made for children and families over the last four years, including delivering Australia’s first Paid Parental Leave scheme, developing the first National Framework for Protecting Australia’s children and passing family law reforms to better protect children from violence and abuse.
From 1 January next year the Government is introducing a National Quality Framework for child care and delivering extra financial support to encourage teenagers to stay at school.
The Government has also strengthened the Family Support Program and is delivering new Communities for Children services across the country.
The Roundtable also discussed early childhood education and education for families, family law, Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory, child care, the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and opportunities for integration and collaboration in the non-government sector.