Dr Brian Babington, Chief Executive Officer

Brian

Brian has worked for over three decades for stronger communities, families and individuals in Australia and developing countries, particularly in Asia.

Since 2005 he has been the CEO of Families Australia, a national, not-for-profit peak body that advises the Australian Parliament and Government on ways to improve the wellbeing of disadvantaged families and children.

Since 2007 he has been the Convenor of the National Coalition on Child Safety and Wellbeing, a 200-organisation NGO and academic coalition that works with Australian Commonwealth, State and Territory governments to implement the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020, Australia’s first-ever plan to tackle child abuse and neglect.

Among other career achievements, he established an innovative social venture firm to advance Indigenous leadership, authored a book on managing personal adversity, and directed Australia’s aid program in rural Burma. He represented Australia at four UN General Assemblies on development and economic issues.

International, national & local child & community development roles

Brian’s current international development-related roles:

  • Board member/Director of Plan International Australia, a major international child and community development charity, since 2010.
  • Australian delegate to the Plan International Global Members’ Assembly, since 2010.
  • Member of the Plan International Global Program Committee, since 2010.
  • Founding editor of the Indonesian Orphanages Research Hub, a web-based resource that focuses attention on the wellbeing of over 500,000 children living in Indonesian orphanages, since 2016.
  • Member of the ReThink Orphanages Working Group, since 2016.

His current national and local roles:

  • Co-Chair of the National Forum on Protecting Australia’s Children, since 2014.
  • Chair of the Early Intervention and Early Years Strategy Working Group under the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020, since 2016.
  • Board member, Communities@Work, a social enterprise serving communities in the ACT and capital region, since 2017.
  • Advisor to the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies’ Task Force on Child Protection, since 2016.

Qualifications, awards & publications

Brian’s tertiary awards are PhD (Australian National University, Crawford School of Public Policy), MA (University of Sydney), BA (Hons.) (University of Sydney), Graduate Diploma in Management (Central Queensland University), and Graduate Diploma in Community Counselling (University of Canberra). His doctoral studies focussed on social policymaking with particular reference to children’s rights in Asia.

Brian received the 2015 Central Queensland University Outstanding Alumnus Award for his contributions to the wellbeing of vulnerable children and families in Australia and internationally. As a 2008 Sir Winston Churchill Fellow, he examined multi-jurisdictional child protection systems in the US, UK, Ireland and Canada. Since 2007 Brian has been a National Families Week Ambassador.

His major publications are The Effective Philanthropy Report (2003), Bouncing Back (2004), Come Riprendersi dalle Mazzate (2008), and For the Benefit of Children Alone? (2015).

Brian has held numerous leadership positions in international, national and local community development and allied professional organisations.

  • At the international level, he served as Vice-President of the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Program, one of the world’s largest aid and emergency relief organisations.
  • Nationally, he has been Chair of Food-Share Australia, Deputy Chair of the Australian Families and Children Council, member of the Australian Children and Family Roundtable and the Australian Council for Children and Parenting, member of the Australian Government Carer Payment (Child) Review, adviser to the Alliance for Forgotten Australians, Research Associate at the Australian National University’s Centre for Children’s Policy, a White Ribbon Ambassador, Board member of Southern Cross University’s Centre for Children and Young People, and Advisory Group member of Child Family Community Australia within the Australian Institute of Family Studies. He was Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Heritage Commission.
  • In the Australian Capital Territory, he has been President of the Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, as well as President of Parentline, a support service for parents and carer 

To view Brian’s Policy Commentaries, click here.

To view Brian’s LinkedIn profile, click here.

Selected publications

Babington, BK (2017), Taking stock and moving ahead. Families Australia, Canberra.

—— (2016), ‘What road ahead? Directions and challenges for the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020′. Developing Practice: The Child, Youth and Family Work Journal. Issue 44 (April 2016)

—— (2015), For the benefit of children alone?

—— (2013), ‘Vision splendid or desert mirage? The National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children’. Communities, Children and Families Australia, Vol. 7 Issue 1 (Dec 2013).

—— & Bessell, S. (2012), ‘Our kids deserve a champion’. The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 May 2012

—— (2011) ‘National framework for protecting Australia’s children: perspectives on progress and challenges’, Family Matters, No. 89

—— (2010) ‘A lantern on the stern: drawing inference from the way we protect children’, Communities, Children and Families Australia, Vol. 5 Issue 1 (May 2010).

—— (2008) Come riprendersi dalle mazzate: le cose che fanno bene quando stai male, Sperling & Kupfer, Milan.

—— (2008) ‘Anticipating 2009: The year the nation joins forces on child protection’, Developing Practice: The Child, Youth and Family Work Journal, Issue 22 (Summer 2008).

—— (2008) An examination of multi-jurisdictional child protection systems in the UK, Ireland, Canada and the USA’. Report to The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust of Australia

—— (2008) ‘At last, an acknowledgement of child-abuse crisis’, The Canberra Times, 27 May 2008

—— (2007) ‘Family wellbeing’. ABC Radio National interview (21 June 2007)

—— (2004) Bouncing back: how to overcome setbacks, become resilient and create a happier life’. Finch, Sydney (available through Amazon).

Speeches and media

Going further by travelling together
Address to the 7th SNAICC National Conference, Canberra
13 September 2017

Stronger families, stronger communities: National Families Week 2017
National Families Week address, Department of Social Services, Canberra
17 May 2017

Protecting and valuing children: what would success look like and how does that relate to policy development?
Joint presentation with Professor Daryl Higgins at the 2017 Child Aware Approaches Conference, Brisbane
15 May 2017

Child safety & wellbeing: latest national developments and next steps
Address to Families Australia national forums on the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020, Sydney, Hobart, Melbourne, Brisbane
March 2017

National campaign on child safety and wellbeing: progress and next steps
Address to the FRSA National Conference 2016, Canberra
1 December 2016

Families Australia: today and tomorrow
Address to the Families Australia Annual General Meeting, Canberra
7 November 2016

On lifelong learning and family: the lady who wrote history essays
Convocation address to the Central Queensland University Graduation Ceremony, Sydney
15 September 2016

National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children: Progress, directions and challenges
Address to the ACWA Conference, Sydney
15 August 2016

Promoting child welfare and rights: challenges and ways forward – Indonesia and Australia
Address to Save the Children’s ‘Families First Learning Event’, Jakarta
27 July 2016

Towards a more Child Aware nation
Address to the Child-Safe, Child-Friendly Conference, Bathurst NSW
28 June 2016

Envisioning a better future
Address to the Child-Safe, Child-Friendly Conference, Bathurst NSW
28 June 2016

Champion of Families: Priscilla Crighton discovers how Brian Babington became one of Australia’s biggest advocates for Families and Communities
Be: Issue 23, 2016. CQUniversity Australia

Making child safety and wellbeing everyone’s business
Address to the Child Aware Approaches Conference, Brisbane
24 May 2016

Supporting change for the better
National Families Week address to the Commonwealth Department of Social Services, Canberra
20 May 2016

Bouquets and brickbats: on the work of peak family-related organisations
Address to the Families ACT 10th anniversary celebrations, Canberra
10 May 2016

Towards a brighter future for child safety and wellbeing. How? When?
Building Stronger Australian Families policy forum, Sydney
2 May 2016

Building Stronger Australian Families
Policy forum address to the Commonwealth Department of Social Services, Canberra
11 April 2016

National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020: latest developments
Address to Building Stronger Australian Families policy forum, Melbourne
29 February 2016

Children’s institutions in the global south: overcoming barriers to deinstitutionalisation
Address to Save the Children, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
23 February 2016