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Wednesday, 29 August 2018 18:04 Written by

All the single dads

In 2016, 76 per cent of single dads with children under 15 worked 35 hours or more a week, compared with 87 per cent of dads in couple families with children under 15. This is a slight drop from 77 per cent and 90 per cent respectively a decade earlier.

In comparison for 2016, 42 per cent of single mums with children under 15 worked 35 hours or more a week, compared with 38 per cent of mums in couple families with children under 15.

This is increase from 39 per cent for single mums and no change (38 per cent) of mums in couple families with children under 15.
Sourced from 2016 and 2006 Census.





Leave in the labour force

Levels of parental leave taken by fathers varies between occupation and industry.

In 2016-17, managers were more likely to use parental leave than those in non-managerial roles (true for mothers as well as fathers). Dads who work in the Financial and Insurance Services industry are the most likely to take primary parental leave (for mothers it is mining).

The industry with the lowest overall take up of primary parental leave among fathers was Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (for mothers it was Public Administration and Safety).

8 per cent of dads whose youngest child was aged 0 to 5 years and 9 per cent of dads whose youngest child was aged 6 to 14 years are employed part-time. (This compares with 61 per cent and 50 per cent of mums respectively).

Sourced from Gender Indicators, Australia (cat. no. 4125.0).




Dads the word

Fathers are increasingly playing a family role in supporting the informal learning of their children, especially as children grow older.

In around 19 per cent of couple families with children aged 0-2, mums and dads equally shared their involvement in their children's informal learning, while dads took the lead in 6 per cent of families and mums took the lead in 67 per cent.

As the children grew older, dads grew more involved: in around 23 of couple families with children aged 3-8 mums and dads shared their involvement in their children's learning equally, while dads took the lead in 11 per cent, and mums in 64 per cent of these families (Childhood Education and Care, Australia, June 2017 (cat. no. 4402.0)).

In 2016 over three quarters of dads in couple families with children under 15 provided unpaid child care for their own children, up from 72 per cent a decade earlier (2016 and 2006 Census).




The multicultural face of fathers

Australian dads come from a wide range of places.

In 2016, 38 per cent of dads in couple families with children under 15 were born overseas, up from 31 per cent a decade earlier.

In 2016, around 20 per cent of dads who were born overseas were born in Southern Asia, with 13 per cent born in the UK and 8 per cent each born in Chinese Asia and New Zealand. This compares to 2016 when around 20 per cent of dads born overseas were born in the UK, 9 per cent in New Zealand with 7 per cent each born in Southern Asia, Middle East and Mainland South-East Asia.

Just over a quarter of single dads in 2016 with children under 15 were born overseas (27 per cent), with 17 per cent of these born in the UK, 12 per cent in NZ and 8 per cent in Chinese Asia. The overall proportion was similar to 2006 when it was 26 per cent, with 21 per cent of these born in the UK, 12 per cent in NZ and 7 per cent in Mainland South-East Asia.

Sourced from 2016 Census.




In 2016, dads of children under 15 were most likely to work in construction (16 per cent), while mums were most likely to work in health care and social assistance (23 per cent of mums in couple families and 25 per cent of single mums).

In 2006, dads of children under 15 were most likely to work in manufacturing (16 per cent), while mums were most likely to work in health care and social assistance (19 per cent of mums in couple families and 21 per cent of single mums).

Sourced from 2016 and 2006 Census.

Flexible fathers

Wednesday, 29 August 2018 18:00 Written by


An increasing proportion of dads utilising flexible working arrangements to play a role in bring up children.

In 2017, 30 per cent of dads took advantage of flexible work hours to look after young children (under 12), compared with 16 per cent of dads in 1996..

Proportion of dads working from home to care for their children more than doubled over the same time (from 7 per cent to 15 per cent), while the proportion of dads who worked part-time to care for their children rose from 1 per cent to 5 per cent.

The proportion of families where fathers used work arrangements to care for their children increased from 26 per cent to 42 per cent over the past two decades, while those where mothers used work arrangements to care for their children remained constant at around 70 per cent across the same period.

Comparisons made between 1996 and 2017 sourced from Childhood Education and Care, Australia, June 2017 (cat. no. 4402.0)

Social media platforms must be held to account for harm caused by cyber bullying and violence

Sunday, 10 June 2018 13:41 Written by


New laws that would see big tech companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter liable for harm caused by cyber bullying and violence are urgently needed to ensure social media platforms have a strong financial incentive to stamp out harmful behaviour online, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers will tell a Senate inquiry on cyber bullying.
Maurice Blackburn Principal Josh Bornstein, who will tomorrow appear at the Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee inquiry into cyber bullying, said that for too long social media platforms have helped to enable cyberbullying, without ever being held to account for the harm caused, including injury and death.
“Politicians should approach the need to make cyberspace safe much in the same way that our current laws require workplaces to be safe - by imposing a duty of care on the big tech companies and by allowing individuals to sue when that duty is breached,” Mr Bornstein said.
“Groups like Facebook and Twitter are often quick to distance themselves from instances of cyber bullying, when what they should be doing is taking decisive action to minimise such behaviour on their platforms and in making sure people are protected.
“While we welcome comments today from Minister Kelly O’Dwyer warning Facebook and Twitter to lift their standards, governments have typically taken a timid approach to regulation in this area – even criminal acts in cyber space are rarely prosecuted.
“Europe is leading the charge on regulating the internet but Australian legislators are lagging behind. New Zealand introduced its own anti cyber-bullying legislation in 2015.
“That’s why we believe regulatory responsibility is urgently needed to prompt greater action from social media platforms to act on cyber bullying and violence - if victims had the tools to take on groups like Facebook and Twitter then those companies would be compelled to commit serious resources to clean up their platforms.
“We also want to see enforceable sanctions against employers who fail to protect against cyber bullying in workplaces.
“In today’s world there is an increasing expectation for staff to be actively engaged with social media for their work, in industries such as the media in particular, yet many employers are not taking steps to protect their staff from the obvious risks that can come with this,” he said.

It is time to assess the ATAR

Sunday, 10 June 2018 13:39 Written by


New analysis shows just one in four students are entering university undergraduate courses based on their ATAR, exposing a huge contrast to the importance placed on ATAR in schools.
The latest paper by Mitchell Institute at Victoria University explores how different sectors use the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank or ‘ATAR’, and asks if this system is getting in the way of education goals.  
Mitchell Institute Director, Megan O’Connell, said today’s paper should prompt governments and educators to look at how young people are moving from school to further study and careers, and consider if the ATAR’s number is up.
“The question parents, students and teachers should be asking today is, if ATAR doesn’t matter for three quarters of undergraduate admissions, why is it treated as the most important outcome of 13 years of schooling?” Ms O’Connell said.
“To be successful in future jobs and participate in society, young people need a broad range of knowledge, skills and capabilities that might not all contribute to a high ATAR.
“Schools could play a leading role in growing students’ talents and developing capabilities that are important for lifelong success, but this is often overlooked in favour of teaching content for high ATARs.”
The ATAR is a useful, transparent tool for universities to compare students when deciding entry to high demand undergraduate courses but with more places now available across the board, the ATAR’s usefulness is declining overall.
Changes to the tertiary sector have seen the amount of students commencing higher education grow by 46 percent in less than ten years since 2007, and more avenues being used to gain entry. However this shift has not been reflected in schools, where ATAR is often seen as the ultimate goal for students and their families, a marker of school excellence and an indicator of course quality at universities.
These broader uses have implications, such as Year 12 students choosing certain subjects just to boost their ATAR, potentially altering their school experience. ATAR is even influencing career decisions – some students believe university courses with high cut-off scores are higher quality, so choose these over courses better-suited to their passions to avoid ‘wasting’ their ATAR.
Ms O’Connell said policy makers should think about how to support successful transitions from school that prioritise individual strengths, capabilities, interests and career opportunities over ‘spending’ of an ATAR.
“We have great teachers trying groundbreaking methods to engage students and give them the tools to reach their very best but they sometimes face resistance if approaches don’t deliver high ATARs.
“It is time to look across our education system, decide what we want it to deliver for young people, for communities and for our future economy, then consider what role, if any, the ATAR should play.”
The paper, Crunching the number: Exploring the use and the usefulness of the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) is available at ENDS

Popular News

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Sunday, 10 June 2018 13:35 Written by


The safety of our emergency service workers and volunteers received a huge boost today with the NSW Government announcing it will introduce a new road rule requiring motorists to slow down to 40km/h when passing them on the roadside.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Troy Grant said the 40km/hr rule will provide extra protection for our emergency service personnel who put their lives on the line.
“Our emergency service workers and volunteers are out there every day, often putting themselves in harm’s way to protect us and keep us safe on the roads,” Mr Grant said. 

“Our police, fire fighters, ambulance officers, State Emergency Service and rescue volunteers do difficult and dangerous work with little or no fanfare.

“These new measures will help ensure the safety of our dedicated emergency service personnel.” 

Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said the new rule will strengthen current laws and require motorists  to slow down to 40km/hr when an emergency vehicle is stopped and has its red or blue lights flashing on all roads.
“The new rule will begin as a 12 month trial from 1 September 2018 following a comprehensive public education campaign,” said Mrs Pavey.

These rules will give all emergency workers extra protection, and confidence that they can go to work and at the end of their shift, get home safely to their families.

The NSW Government will monitor the safety and traffic impacts of the rule over the 12-month period in consultation with NSW Police, emergency service organisations as well as stakeholder groups.


Sunday, 10 June 2018 13:34 Written by


The NSW Government has introduced new rules making it easier to develop versatile, well-designed and more affordable low-rise medium density housing across the State.
The Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code and Low Rise Medium Density Design Guide will allow well-designed, dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces to be built under a fast track complying development approval, saving homeowners time and money.
Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, said the new Code would facilitate faster housing supply and contribute to housing affordability.
“The need for more high-quality medium sized homes comes as population projections estimate metropolitan Sydney will need another 725,000 homes to accommodate an extra 1.7 million people by 2036,” Mr Roberts said.
“Low-rise medium density housing is the missing part of the NSW housing stock between traditional free-standing homes and strata-titled apartments.
“With the growing and ageing population in NSW, there is a need for a greater variety of houses to suit the range of needs and lifestyles including growing families and empty nesters.
“The Code and Design Guide will encourage the market to provide more diverse housing options by making it easier to build well-designed, quality medium density homes that respect existing neighbourhoods.”
Proposed two-storey building height limits will ensure the size and scale of complying development is low rise and will easily fit into established streetscapes.
“The Greater Sydney Commission’s Region and District Plans identify medium density housing as promoting greater housing choice, diversity and affordability. It allows for seniors to downsize as well as being a more affordable option for young people,” Mr Roberts said.
The Medium Density Design Guide has been developed in partnership with the Government Architect’s Office and aims to improve the design of medium density housing by addressing key considerations including layout, landscaping, private open space, light, natural ventilation and privacy.
Mr Roberts said the Design Guide was influenced by a national medium density design competition held by the NSW Government that invited architects and building designers to present a glimpse of the future of the state’s homes while testing the controls.
“During the competition, talented creators showed what the future diversity of homes will look like, using space, light and smaller blocks,” Mr Roberts said.
Executive Director, NSW of the Australian Institute of Architects, Mr Joshua Morrin, said that good architectural design of medium density homes would ensure that residents could enjoy good amenity and liveability.
“Architectural design prioritises both quality of space and human amenity - qualities which our cities will need all the more as they continue to grow - the spaces that we live in need to work harder.
“The smaller homes that will increasingly be part of our cities, highlighting the need for good design principles and requirements, such as those in the Medium Density Design Guide. We need more quality design to future proof the liveability of our communities,” Mr Morrin said.
Housing Industry Association’s Director, David Bare, said the code would help with supply and cost.
“Faster approvals of these types of homes will address both supply and affordability. They are typically built on smaller blocks of land than traditional free-standing homes, which helps improve affordability,” Mr Bare said.
The new Code will only apply in areas where councils have already permitted medium density housing under their Local Environmental Plan.

A three-month deferred commencement period will apply to the Code and Design Guide to allow councils and industry time to prepare for the new changes.
Consultation with the community, councils and industry informed the preparation of the new code and design guide.
For more information on the code and design guide, visit

Have your say on Australia’s 2021 Census topics

Sunday, 10 June 2018 13:33 Written by


The five-yearly Census provides critical data and information to support important Australian decisions by governments, community organisations, businesses and individuals.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is reviewing the information collected in the 2021 Census of Population and Housing to ensure it best meets our nation’s needs and informs Australia’s important decisions.

A public consultation, launched today through the ABS website, seeks input from data users, community groups and organisations on their data needs and the most useful information to collect in the 2021 Census.

Population and Social Statistics General Manager Dr Paul Jelfs said, “It’s important that our nation’s largest statistical collection remains relevant and meets users’ needs”.

“Submissions can be easily made via the ABS consultation hub,” Dr Jelfs said.

The ABS will assess any changes suggested through the submission process based on evidence and demonstrated need. We will seek to minimise the burden on the community by managing the number and complexity of questions asked in the Census.

 “It’s wonderful to see quality 2016 Census data being used widely and this consultation process is about ensuring our 2021 Census data is even more valuable and useful,” Dr Jelfs said.

“The Census adds to the wealth of knowledge from other ABS data collections,” Dr Jelfs said.

The ABS has been undertaking a comprehensive review of the operation of the 2016 Census and has identified areas of improvement for 2021. As we work towards 2021, the ABS will share our approach to how people can participate in the Census, our approach to ensuring privacy and security of information and how we provide the final Census results.

Submissions on 2021 Census topics close on 30 June. Following analysis, the ABS will publish preliminary findings from this consultation process then make recommendations to the Australian Government.

Details on how to participate, including instructions for making your submission and frequently asked questions are available online at

The Census of Population and Housing: Consultation on Content 2021 publication provides detailed information on the topics.

For access to the latest Census data, please visit


Sunday, 10 June 2018 13:27 Written by

Sonata Cultural Concert: Songs of Unity in Diversity is the title of the upcoming concert in Blacktown of Sonata, the leading kundiman group in Sydney. Organised by the Sydney Sonata Singers, or simply Sonata, this concert marks ten years of performing kundiman songs by this group of Filipino senior citizens. For the past 10 years, Sonata held concerts and performed regularly in Blacktown and throughout Sydney, during festivals and various community functions. Recognising their contribution to culture and arts with their unique repertoire of Filipino music, Sonata is now a resident cultural singing group of Blacktown Arts.

The enduring success of Sydney Sonata Singers, according to Loy Tagudin, founder and Choirmaster, relied on the harmonious relationship among its member. Loy says, “Music makes the world go round and it is music that binds us together. But most importantly, it is our friendship and collegiality that creates the crescendo, the unifying mix of diverse sounds, blending into one musical voice that makes Sydney Sonata Singers unique as well as very Filipino.”

Loy Tagudin and Buddy Japon, President of Sonata will lead the two-hour concert on 13th May 2018 at the Bowman Hall in Blacktown. This will be the fourth concert for this singing group. This concert however, will be different, Buddy explains. ‘We will be rendering both English and Filipino songs, to signify our desire for integration and unification of culture and values of Australia. This is a wholesome family event and everyone in the community, family members and friends are welcome to attend.

The concert ticket is reasonably priced at $20. To purchase a ticket, contact Viring Atienza on 0415 697 822or Tez Hermoso on 0451 314 034.