Media Release by The Hon Dr David Gillespie MP

More support for new dads

The Federal Coalition Government recognises the importance of fathers and the positive and significant influence they can have on their children’s lives. That’s why over the next two years, $1.3 million has been made available to support new and expecting fathers to build their skills and confidence as they transition to parenthood.

Federal Assistant Minister for Children and Families, Dr David Gillespie said that fathers play a critical role in a child’s development, including their understanding of healthy and respectful relationships.

“We know the transition to parenthood can be a time of considerable stress, so it’s important that we provide the necessary tools and support to help new fathers engage positively with their children and partners,” Dr Gillespie said.

A suite of projects has been funded under the New Fathers initiative:

  • Relationships Australia’s Support for Fathers program received $500,000 to develop resources for men to help them understand the emotional and practical impact of becoming fathers, provide practical examples of how to be a great dad, and information about where to seek help and support if they need it.
  • The Migration Council of Australia received $500,000 for a similar project, Support for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Fathers, which allows a tailored and culturally appropriate approach to supporting new and impending fathers.
  • White Ribbon Australia’s Empowering Fathers project received $300,000 to engage fathers as role models and ambassadors within their communities.;

Dr Gillespie said these projects aim to build upon the valuable role fathers play and support men to grow into their new roles.

“It’s important to assist young men to be the best dads they can be and to enjoy the early parenting years with their partners,” Dr Gillespie said.

Dr Andrew Bickerdike, Chief Executive Officer of Relationships Australia Victoria, said supporting fathers can have a significant impact on family relationships.

“Support for Fathers is a valuable opportunity to identify, promote and enhance what is working to support fathers across the country. We know that outcomes from this support will be improved relationships between fathers and their children, and between fathers and their partners,” Dr Bickerdike said.

Ms Carla Wilshire, Chief Executive Officer of the Migration Council Australia, commended the focus on engaging young fathers from migrant and refugee backgrounds.

“A focused, sensitive and person-centred approach is welcomed by the sector and the community as a much needed intervention in promoting family safety in culturally diverse communities,” Ms Wilshire said.

The New Fathers projects are funded under the Third Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010-2022.