Purpose and Role
The Children and Family Roundtable will support the Australian Government deliver policies and programs that maximise the wellbeing of children and their families.
The Roundtable will provide:
- advice to Government across portfolios on its child and family centred principles, policies, programs and payments;
- advice to Government that is evidence-based, innovative and considers emerging challenges impacting the wellbeing and standard of living of children and their families;
- influential and practical leadership across stakeholder groups and the broader community to build support for the wellbeing of all children and their families;
- a forum for members to anticipate and debate emerging issues impacting the wellbeing of Australian children and their families; and
- advice relevant to the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020.
The members of the Children and Family Roundtable have been appointed by the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, the Hon Jenny Macklin MP and the Minister for Community Services, the Hon Julie Collins MP.
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:
- 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, Director, Ngalaya Indigenous Lawyers Inc.
- Anne McLeish OAM, National Director of Grandparents Australia
- Tricia Murray, CEO of Wanslea
- Jacqui Reed, CEO of CREATE Foundation
- Susana Saffu, Lecturer at the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education
- Simon Schrapel, CEO of Uniting Communities
- 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.
Members of the Children and Family Roundtable - from left to right: Susana Saffu, Lance Emerson, Ginie Udy, Hon Julie Collins MP, Karen Field, Andrew Cummings, Desley Thompson, Virginia Marshall, Anne McLeish, Tricia Murray, Stephanie Gotlib, Brian Babington, Simon Schrapel.
The Roundtable is not intended to be a representative group and members are appointed for their individual knowledge, capacity, skills and experience in guiding national policy development. Members focus on enhancing the safety, wellbeing and social and economic participation of children and their families.
Additional members may be co-opted for particular Roundtable discussions in order to strengthen content knowledge or subject expertise relevant to a Roundtable agenda item.
Children and Family Roundtable meetings
The Children and Family Roundtable has now met three times and focused on the following topics:
- Early childhood education and education for families
- National Children’s Commissioner
- Current priorities in Family Law
- Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory
- Quality Child Care Reforms
- National Plan on Violence Against Women
- National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children
- National Mental Health Reform - Support for people and families dealing with mental illness
- Service Delivery Reform - Support for children and families through integration of family support services and collaboration across services and governments
- National Preventive Health Agency
- National Disability Strategy including the National Disability Insurance Scheme - Support for people with disability, their families and carers
- Family Support Program: Future Directions – Support for vulnerable families
The Roundtable has had presentations from Ministers from across Government including:
- Minister for Community Services, Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Minister for the Status of Women, the Hon Julie Collins MP, Chair
- Former Attorney-General, the Hon Robert McClelland MP
- Minister for Families, Community Services, Indigenous Affairs and Minister for Disability Reform, the Hon Jenny Macklin MP
- Minister for Employment Participation, Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care, and former Minister for the Status of Women, the Hon Kate Ellis MP
- Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, the Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
- Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Minister for Social Inclusion, and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Mental Health Reform, the Hon Mark Butler MP
- Minister for Human Services, Senator the Hon Kim Carr
The following media releases are also available:
- 30 November 2011: Exploring the future of children and family policy
- 1 August 2012: Focus on mental health support for children and families
- 5 December 2012: Roundtable focus on young people and families