My family is at the centre of all I am and is the most cherished part of my life.
I strongly believe that, whatever form they take, however we define them, and despite the many challenges that inevitably face them from time to time, families are our most time-honoured settings for giving and receiving love, understanding and nurturing.
Next week, over 125,000 people will participate in community events around Australia to celebrate the vital role that families play in our lives and society.
National Families Week offers everyone a wonderful opportunity to reflect on what families mean and how they enrich our lives.
Events will be held around Australia, from the Torres Strait Islands to Tasmania, from Port Macquarie to Perth. Many schools and other community organisations are holding events such as fun days, BBQs, photo and poetry competitions, morning teas and seminars to highlight the importance of family.
The Week, which coincides with the UN International Day of Families on 15 May, has the enduring theme of ‘Stronger Families, Stronger Communities’ to highlight the role families play as the central building block of our communities and to remind us that community wellbeing is enhanced by family wellbeing.
From the many hundreds of events being planned, I want to tell you about three that give a glimpse of the range and diversity of the Week’s activities and their engagement with the wider community.
On a musical note, the renowned Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra is going to celebrate in the Clarence municipality with two special performances with a focus on children.
In Murwillumbah, NSW, there’ll be a Kinship Festival to connect Aboriginal children and families with country, community and culture through shared learning and participation. That festival will incorporate a community Corroboree, a giant sand, soil and ochre art instillation made by participants, weaving, and a bush tucker lunch.
One Sydney school with a large number of students from Syria and Iraq is inviting the school community to share their favourite family moments with a family photo display, where children will share the stories behind their family photos with peers, and a morning tea to welcome families.
As a National Families Week Ambassador for the past 13 years, I am proud of this important national activity. Families Australia has convened National Families Week annually since 2003.
I strongly encourage you to participate in National Families Week in whatever way you can. Events open to the public are listed on the National Families Week website here.
I wish to thank the many hundreds of organisations that support National Families Week by mobilising communities and working so hard to remind us all of the greatness and the potential of families.
Dr Brian Babington CEO, Families Australia
National Families Week Ambassador since 2005
9 May 2018