Policy forums

Families Australia conducts interactive policy forums that are open to members and other stakeholders, including government officials and researchers. The aim of each forum is to listen to the views of participants about issues facing families and to provide the latest information on national family policy, practice and research.

Major issues arising from the policy forums are analysed in light of research evidence and inform Families Australia’s policy advice to the Australian Government and Parliament.


15 November 2023
14:00 – 15:30 AEDT

Where we start matters: Continuing the conversation, social determinants of the wellbeing affecting Families

This online policy forum hosted by Families Australia, in partnership with NAPCAN, aims to foster dialogue by continuing discussions highlighted through NAPCANs 2023 National Child Protection Week series titled Where we start matters.

As NAPCAN and sector leaders suggest, while great work supporting children and families is already occurring across the sector, it vital not only to respond to harm but to actually stop harm before it occurs.

This policy forum discusses the role of the broader social determinants of the wellbeing affecting Families, Children and Young People. It further considers the importance of prevention in increasing positive outcomes for children and families.


Wednesday 27 September
1330 – 14:30 AEDT

YES to a Voice for Families, Children and Young People

On 14 October 2023 Australians be asked to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in the constitution for the first time and give them a say in the policies and challenges that affect their communities by enshrining a Voice to Parliament.

Families Australia warmly welcomes you to join the conversation through participating in our ‘YES to a Voice for Families, Children and Young People’ online forum, which will be held on
Led by Ms Tanya Hosch, Executive General Manager of Inclusion and Social Policy at the Australian Football League and Mr Richard Weston, CEO of Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation, this forum provides an opportunity to gain of a better understanding of:

  • what is being proposed by the referendum;
  • what a successful ‘YES’ vote outcome would mean for families, children and young people across the country, (especially for First Nations families, children and young people).
  • the practical outcomes we can expect, including the impact and opportunities of enshrining a Voice to Parliament; and
  • why over 80% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are supporting the YES vote

Whether you’re a community sector worker, parent, carer, or simply passionate about the well-being of families and young individuals, this event is for you. Together, we can create positive change and ensure that every voice is heard and valued.


8 May 2023
13:30 – 15:00 (AEST)

Supporting the growth of the Aboriginal Community Controlled (ACCO) Sector

Significant growth of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO) sector is envisaged over the next 5 to 10 years. This policy forum discusses the importance of the growth of the ACCO sector and how non-Indigenous controlled organisations can collaboratively support the development of the ACCO sector.

Register for this event here


1 December 2022

Continuing the conversation : families and children experiencing poverty

Following the Federal budget, changing economic circumstances and the development of responses to the long-term impact of widespread natural disasters, the upcoming policy forum, continues the conversation on economic hardship and poverty faced by many in our communities. As we approach this year’s festive season, we must ensure the circumstances of families and children experiencing poverty and disadvantage remain firmly front of mind for policy makers and service providers alike.

This policy forum would also be helpful for those seeking to prepare a submission to the Australian Senate’s Inquiry into the extent and nature of poverty in Australia (submissions close 3 February 2023).


15 June 2022

Supporting Children and Young People with Disability in Challenging Times

This upcoming policy forum aims to discuss ways of supporting children and young people with disability through a variety of challenging contexts such as family violence, the COVID pandemic and the challenges for families navigating systems such the NDIS.


12 May 2022

Strengthening Workforce Capability and Capacity

This policy forum explored ways of addressing the challenges of the increased demand for child welfare services through a resilient and appropriately skilled workforce, which is inclusive of workers from diverse backgrounds, including First Nations peoples and those with lived experience.


22 June 2021

Think health?  Think family: What we have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Families Australia partnered with the Research School of Population Health at the Australian National University to discuss the vital role of families at the intersection of health and social policy, what we have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and implications for research, education, policy, and practice.

View video: ‘Think health? Think Family’ National Policy Forum

Families Australia Report: Think health? Think family: What we have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic?


24 March 2021

Recognising and promoting rights: children and young people with disability

This policy forum sought to elevate issues around rights, safeguarding and policy gaps for children and young people with disability across a range of portfolios and professions and build understanding in national public policy settings. The forum was co-hosted by Families Australia and Children and Young People with Disability Australia.

View video: ‘Recognising and promoting rights: children and young people with disability’

Families Australia Report: ‘Recognising and promoting rights: children and young people with disability’


9 November 2020

Reimagining Indigenous wellbeing now and into the future

Mr Joe Hedger, Director, Indigenous Sector Practice at EY, addressed Families Australia’s NAIDOC Week Policy Forum on ‘Reimagining Indigenous wellbeing now and into the future’. Joe is a proud Bundjalung man whose family come from the Aboriginal community of Baryulgil on the Far North coast of NSW.

View video: Reimagining Indigenous wellbeing now and into the future – Joe Hedger

Families Australia Report: Reimagining Indigenous wellbeing now and in the future – Joe Hedger


In 2015, Families Australia commenced a policy forum series entitled ‘Building Stronger Australian Families’, a set of expert-led discussions about what families need in order to thrive in coming decades.

Previous forums (2015-2019) can be found here

Participate in a policy forum by joining Families Australia.