Dr Brian Babington, Chief Executive Officer

Dr Brian Babington has worked for over three decades to promote community, family and child welfare in Australia and developing countries, particularly in Asia.

​For the past 15 years he has been the CEO of Families Australia, a national non-profit body that strives to improve child and family safety and wellbeing. He also leads the National Coalition on Child Safety and Wellbeing (view latest speeches and articles here).

His international focus is on the advancement of child rights. He is the author of For the benefit of children alone? The story of Indonesia’s orphanages and founder of the non-profit Indonesian Orphanages Research Centre.

Brian holds a PhD in public policy and child rights from the Australian National University and qualifications from Sydney University (BA Hons, MA) and other universities.

He is a Sir Winston Churchill Fellow, an alumnus in public leadership from Harvard University, a Distinguished Alumnus of Central Queensland University, and a National Families Week Champion.

​His first published books were Come riprendersi dalle mazzate (Sperling & Kupfer, Milan, 2005) and Bouncing Back (Finch, Sydney, 2003).

​Brian has served on numerous international, national and local child, family and community development boards and committees, as well as working in the business sector (view more here).

As a diplomat, Brian represented Australia in Burma and at four UN General Assemblies in New York on community development and humanitarian issues.

International, national & local child & community development roles

Qualifications & awards

Selected publications

Current international, national & local child & community welfare roles

  • Chief Executive Officer, Families Australia
  • Convenor, National Coalition on Child Safety and Wellbeing
  • Co-Chair, National Forum on Protecting Australia’s Children
  • Founder, Indonesian Orphanages Research Centre
  • Member, Australian Government National Child Safe Organisations Reference Group
  • Deputy Chair, Communities@Work (ACT) Board
  • National Families Week Champion
  • Child Aware Champion​

Past

International

  • Vice-President, Governing Council of the United Nations Development Program
  • Australian Government Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly, New York
  • Australian Government Delegate to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, Geneva
  • Member, Plan International Global Program Committee (Plan International is an international girls rights charity)
  • Australian Representative, Plan International Members’ Assemblies
  • Member, Plan International Global Program Committee
  • Member, Plan Thailand Board
  • Member, ReThink Orphanages Working Group

National

  • Chair, Food-Share Australia
  • Deputy Chair, Australian Families and Children Council
  • Deputy CEO, Australian Heritage Commission
  • Member, Plan International Australia Board
  • Member, Australian Government Children and Family Roundtable
  • Member, Australian Government Council for Children and Parenting
  • Member, Australian Government Carer Payment (Child) Review
  • Member, Child Family Community Australia Advisory Group
  • Member, Southern Cross University Centre for Children and Young People Board
  • Director, Corporate Good Works
  • Advisor, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies’ Task Force on Child Protection
  • White Ribbon Ambassador

Local (Canberra ACT)

  • President, Parentline (ACT)
  • President, Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (ACT)
  • Member, National Trust (ACT) Board
  • Research Associate, Australian National University Centre for Children’s Policy

Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Australian National University
  • Master of Arts, University of Sydney
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of Sydney
  • Executive Certificate in Public Leadership, Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government
  • Graduate Diploma in Public Management, Central Queensland University
  • Graduate Diploma in Community Counselling, University of Canberra
  • Newington College, Sydney

To view Brian’s Policy Commentaries, click here.

To view Brian’s LinkedIn profile, click here.

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Selected publications

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

—— (2016), ‘Foreword’, No child should grow up like this: Identifying long term outcomes of Forgotten Australians, Child Migrants and the Stolen Generations. University of New South Wales, Australia.

—— (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).

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Speeches and media

Families Australia: 2018-19 in review
Address by Dr Brian Babington, CEO, Families Australia to the Families Australia Annual General Meeting, Canberra
21 October 2019

Improving wellbeing and safety outcomes for families and children beyond 2020
Address at the Families Australia Child Aware Conference, Brisbane
17 May 2019

Taking time for family: National Families Week 2019
National Families Week Address, Department of Social Services, Canberra
14 May 2019

Envisioning the way forward for national child safety and family wellbeing policy
Address at the launch of the Fourth Action Plan (2018-2020) of the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2009-2020, Darwin
30 January 2019

The changing nature of work and implications for families
Address to the Families Australia National Policy Forum, Department of Social Services, Canberra
29 October 2018

Advancing social policy through collaborative practice
Address to the Early Learning and Care Council of Australia AGM, Sydney
14 September 2018

Child safety and wellbeing in Australia: Toward a bolder plan
Presentation to the National Forum on Protecting Australia’s Children, Sydney
30 August 2018

National policy on child safety and wellbeing: Latest developments and future directions
Address to the ACWA Conference, Sydney
20 August 2018

Families: the heart of our society
National Families Week Address, Department of Social Services, Canberra
16 May 2018

Our collective national challenge
Address to the National Coalition on Child Safety and Wellbeing, Canberra
29 March 2018

Never doubting the impact of the few
Address to the Familes Australia Annual General Meeting, Canberra
30 October 2017

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

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