Dr Brian Babington, Chief Executive Officer

Dr BriaBriann Babington has worked for over three decades for stronger communities and families in Australia and developing countries, particularly in Asia. Since 2005 he has been the Chief Executive Officer of Families Australia. He is an author and former diplomat, having represented Australia in South East Asia and at four United Nations General Assemblies in New York.

He chaired the 2006 National Child Protection Conference which led to the development of a National Child Protection Strategy and the establishment in 2007 of the National Coalition on Child Safety and Wellbeing comprising 200 non-government organisations and researchers. Since 2007 he has been Convenor of the National Coalition on Child Safety and Wellbeing and played a leading role in the development of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020, the first national plan of action to be endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments to promote child safety and wellbeing. Since 2014 he has co-chaired the National Forum for Protecting Australia’s Children which oversees implementation of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children.

Dr Babington’s service on international, national, and state/territory family and community-related bodies includes as Vice-President of the UN Development Programme Governing Council, the Board of Plan International Australia (an international children’s rights and development charity), the Australian Government Council for Children and Parenting, the Australian Government Children and Family Roundtable, the Australian Government Families and Children Council, the Australian Government Carer Payment (Child) Review, the National Out-of-Home Care Standards Working Group, the White Ribbon Day National Leadership Group, the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies’ Child Protection Taskforce, Southern Cross University’s Centre for Children and Young People Advisory Board, and the Board of the National Trust (ACT). He has also chaired Parentline (ACT), the Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (ACT), and Food-Share Australia.

Since 2007 Dr Babington has been a National Families Week Ambassador. He is a Sir Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow. In 2015 he was Central Queensland University Outstanding Alumnus of the Year for significant contributions to family and community development in Australia and internationally. In 2016 he founded the Indonesian Orphanages Research Hub to focus attention on the needs of children in Indonesia’s orphanages.

Dr Babington’s major publications are: The Effective Philanthropy Report (2003), Bouncing Back (2004), Come Riprendersi dalle Mazzate (2008), and For the Benefit of Children Alone? (2015). His doctoral studies focussed on national social policymaking with particular reference to children’s rights in Asia. His 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).

Selected publications

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

—— Babington, BK (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? A discourse analysis of policymaking relating to children’s institutions in Indonesia, 1999-2009. (PhD dissertation through the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, Canberra).

—— (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)

—— (2003) Bouncing back: how to overcome setbacks, become resilient and create a happier life’. Finch, Sydney (available through Amazon).

Speeches and media

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