The Labor Party Family Law Amendment Bill 2023, which passed in Parliament last Thursday, 19 October 2023, created a day of mourning for Australian children. The team at Dads4Kids believes this bill will in fact harm our children and is against their best interests and therefore unjust.
If you are a father with an intact family, you might well say, that is not my problem. I would answer you with the famous quote from civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King, who said,
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”
Isaiah said these timeless words in 700 BC,
Injustice is everywhere; justice seems far away. Truth is chased out of court; honesty is shoved aside.” (CEV)
Simply put, we must make a stand for our nation’s children. We have to stand against the spread of fatherlessness, whether by state decree or wilful neglect.
There are over 870,000 children who will go to sleep tonight in Australia without their biological father in the home. Many of these children cry themselves to sleep, whilst others bury the pain through damaging addictions and/or behaviours. For many, the pain comes out in unexplained and damaging behaviours as they grow to adulthood.
Children have a biological birthright of equal access to their mother and their father in the event of separation. The bill passed last Thursday will deprive them further of that biological birthright.
We must speak up. So last Friday, the Dads4Kids team and James Dargin, Alison and I, issued a media release titled,
“Aboriginal Elder Says Family Law Amendment Set to Create Another Stolen Generation of Children – Labor’s Treachery to Australia’s Children and Fathers is Unconscionable.”
I have included the videos of our presentations before the Senate Family Law Inquiry at Parliament House interspersed to give context to our media release. (see our Senate submission here).
Stephen Baskerville, former professor of political science at Howard University, wrote the following on the devastating effects of fatherlessness:
“Virtually every major social pathology has been linked to fatherless children: violent crime, drug and alcohol abuse, truancy, unwed pregnancy, suicide, and psychological disorders—all correlating more strongly with fatherlessness than with any other single factor.”
“I believe that the current Family Law system is biased against fathers and routinely deprives children of their biological birthright to equal access with their mother and fathers.
This new legislation will create a new stolen generation of children who, in most cases, are stolen away from their fathers.
The proposed Family Law Amendment Bill 2023 by the Albanese Labor Government would make the already horrific family law system ten times worse.
Both the team at Dads4Kids and I as an Indigenous Elder believe this bill to be unjust and immoral. We utterly reject this bill.”
Sheneli Meneripitiyage Dona, a female Family Law Lawyer and human rights advisor, also spoke on behalf of Dads4Kids as their lead witness at the Senate Inquiry. We used her speech as the basis for our media release. Watch it below.
Alison Marsh, my wife and cofounder of Dads4Kids, said in the Media Release,
“It should be noted that divorce is never a good option for children. At best, it is only a better option than others.
Speaking as a mother it is a disappointing, but a tragic reality, that divorce will always produce a certain amount of fatherlessness and/or motherlessness. The key is to find a way to ensure equality for divorcing couples and justice for children, ideally reducing the number of divorces that take place. After separation, we must create legislation and services which foster co-parenting and healthy relationships between children and their parents.
We still desperately need a presumption of equal shared parenting after divorce which is rebuttable based on mitigating circumstances. Nothing else will do. We laid this objective out in our 2003 ‘12-Point Plan’ in the document “Fathers in Families: Strengthening & Supporting Fathers & Turning the Tide of Fatherlessness in Australia”. Point Six in our plan reads:
Acknowledge that after divorce or parental separation, every child has a fundamental right to equal contact with both the mother and the father, unless there are proven mitigating circumstances.
Watch the third and final video from the Senate Inquiry below.
Warwick Marsh said,
“Huge congratulations to Senator Ralph Babet, Senate Leader United Australia Party. Also, huge congratulations to Senator Pauline Hanson and Senator Malcolm Roberts from One Nation, who stood firm against this evil legislation designed to create more fatherlesssness.
Warwick Marsh continued,
“Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s treachery to Australia’s children and fathers is unconscionable. They have betrayed the bipartisan wisdom of wonderful women from the Labor left, like Jenny George MP, who fought for a fair go for men and their children in the leadup to the historic presumption of Shared Parental Responsibility landmark legislation in 2006.”
“The Labor Party and the PM have betrayed the long-standing tradition of conducting a thorough consultation with the public and declaring a conscience vote on contentious family law legislation to ensure the best outcome as the then Opposition Leader Hon Kim Beazley and Prime Minister John Howard did in 2003-2006. More children will cry themselves to sleep than ever before, and more broken-hearted men will take their own lives in suicide because of this anti-male partisan Labor legislation. This is a day of mourning for Australia’s children.”
Let’s together be a voice for the voiceless and a friend to the friendless, and teach our children to do and be the same. This is true justice. Actions speak louder than words.
Yours for Our Children,
PS: If you’re near the New South Wales South Coast, plan to be at the Dads and Kids Fun Camp from 3-4 November 2023 (near Nowra). Spread the word, or better still, bring a friend!
Register your interest here.