Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

National forum about men and relationships

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator The Hon Jocelyn Newman, Minister for Family and Community Services, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Family and Community Services

A national forum about men and relationships will be held in Sydney from tomorrow Senator Jocelyn Newman, Minister for Family and Community Services and Larry Anthony, Minister for Community Services announced today.

The two-day Partnerships in Progress forum brings together more than 300 of Australia’s leading experts on men and relationships including researchers, policy makers, service providers and community-based organisations. The forum is part of the Commonwealth’s $50 million Partnerships Against Domestic Violence initiative (coordinated by the Office of the Status of Women) and is being jointly hosted by the Men and Family Relationships initiative (coordinated by the Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services).

Highlights of the two-day programme include 21 workshops and keynote presentations from:

  • Bob Connell – professor of education at the University of Sydney who is currently researching masculinity to understand men’s violence in public and private spheres;
  • Richard Fletcher – who has been working with men and boys for many years and is now working on a four-year intervention programme promoting the well-being of young children by engaging their fathers;
  • Winsome Matthews – is the Project Development Officer for the NSW Women’s Legal Resource Centre’s Indigenous Women’s Project; and
  • Stan Jarrett – is based at Nowra Court where he provides court awareness and support for Aboriginal people at court and takes registry enquiries from Aboriginal people.

Senator Newman was particularly pleased that the forum was a collaborative effort between two significant programmes in her portfolio, Partnerships Against Domestic Violence and Men and Family Relationships.

“By bringing both these initiatives together, this forum is able to cover the whole spectrum of issues which affect men and their family relationships, from positive ways to build and maintain healthy relationships to finding better ways of confronting men with the destructive effects of domestic violence on all family members,” Senator Newman said.

Under the Men and Family Relationships initiative the Government has committed $16.5 million over four years to pilot 54 early intervention and prevention services for men seeking help with their relationships. These services are located in metropolitan, regional and rural areas and target men at a range of life and relationship stages.

Mr Anthony said that it has become clear that without paying attention to men’s relationship issues, there is a risk of missing a fundamental part of the solution to building happier and stronger families.

“By supporting men to establish and maintain healthy relationships we are improving outcomes for all family members – but most particularly for children. These initiatives are showing the great results that can be achieved if we take a prevention and early intervention approach,” Mr Anthony said.

Where: The Ballroom, Rydges Wentworth Hotel, 61 Phillip Street, Sydney 2000

When: 9.00am Monday 20 November and Tuesday 21 November

Interviews: Mr Anthony, Richard Fletcher and a range of representatives from projects will be available for media interview