We welcome you to the Fatherhood Foundation website. Our vision is to build one of the best fatherhood websites in the world. We trust that our website helps you in your quest to be a better dad, or in your research to improve public policy.
The cost of fatherlessness and the associated harm caused by fatherlessness is very high in emotional, physical and monetary terms. The lack of an involved, protective, committed, responsible and loving father has been shown through social science research to contribute to an increase in child poverty, child sexual abuse, child emotional abuse, child physical abuse, child and adult drug abuse, child and adult increase in suicide, child and adult self harm, and much other destructive and abusive human behaviour.
The harmful effects of fatherlessness have been documented in 'Fathers in Families' © Fatherhood Foundation, second edition June 2005. The preamble to The 12pt Plan, from the same document, says, "Fatherlessness can be defined as the absence of an active, positive father-influence in the lives of children. Fatherlessness is both a natural and spiritual problem. It needs strategic and synergistic partnerships that should involve government, business, church, community, faith-based charities and secular charities and many others working together to strengthen and support Australian fathers." It might be noted that the above quotation from the preamble to The 12pt Plan was formed by over two dozen different delegates representing both faith based and non faith based charities and groups who unanimously voted to support the above statement and all of the policy directions as stated in The 12pt Plan. The 12pt Plan came out of the historic Fatherhood Forum convened by the Fatherhood Foundation, 10th February 2003, Federal Parliament, Canberra.
The Fatherhood Foundation is a tax deductible entity and harm prevention charity fully authorised by the Australian government which has developed a solid track record of achievement. The Fatherhood Foundation has played an historic role in the work of restoring and strengthening Australian fathers. We invite you to work with us to turn the tide of fatherlessness by promoting excellence in fathering. Our goal is to make excellence in fathering the norm of everyday life in Australia and be a fatherhood resource for the rest of the world. The Fatherhood Foundation believes that promoting excellence in fathering is the most cost effective way to reduce the risk of harm and abusive behaviours within the broader community. Your financial and practical support is greatly appreciated. Our children deserve the best - why not give it to them?
Vision Mission Values
Vision . . .
The vision of the Fatherhood Foundation is to encourage fathers, empower families and help children.
Mission . . .
The mission of the Fatherhood Foundation is to improve the well-being of children by increasing the proportion of children growing up with involved, responsible, committed and loving fathers.
Strategy . . .
Educating and inspiring all people, and especially fathers, through electronic media, awareness campaigns, mentoring courses, research and other resources.
Equipping and developing leaders of national, state and community fathering initiatives through forums, conferences, festivals, mentoring courses, curricula, training and technical assistance.
Engaging every sector of society through strategic alliances and partnerships.
Values . . .
To achieve all of the above in a true spirit of integrity and humility whilst remaining open and accountable at all times.
Educational Media & TV for Adults and Children The Fatherhood Foundation’s goal is to provide positive fathering information and creative family based TV & film production that will educate and entertain. Well produced TV ads that highlight the power of positive fathering could change public perception of the importance of fathering. Currently our non-profit TV production arm, Australian Heart Productions (AHP), is finishing work on a ½ hour pilot in a 13 part series called, ‘Australian Heart with the Marshes’. This series is a real life, travel documentary with positive family role models and interviews with other Aussie families. AHP is working on a five minute educational series focusing on families and fathers called ‘Heartfelt’. Another proposal for a TV show called ‘Aussie Families’ is also being developed.
‘fathersonline.org’ The world wide web is expanding at a record rate with a huge take up in Australian homes and business. The Fatherhood Foundation aims to build up a large internet communication network to support busy fathers in a busy world. The concept is simple, a weekly email through ‘fathersonline.org’ that will inspire men to be fathers of excellence. The concept is to use quotable quotes from proven sources to encourage men much like the quotes found in this strategic plan. If you enjoy these enclosed sayings, you will enjoy ‘fathersonline.org’.
Fun for Families Father and son sport and games. Father and daughter outing and family activities. Australians love their sport. Why not find sports that can include children and their dads? What a great excuse to spend time together. Other options include camping, travelling and other organized opportunities. The concept would be to get the community involved at a grass roots level as much as possible. The possibilities are endless. The Fatherhood Foundation would be a catalyst for these types of father-friendly family activities.
Fatherhood Courses and Family Success Seminars The Fatherhood Foundation is able to provide courses and seminars for fathers wanting to move to excellence in fathering. The title for the course is ’Good to Great Fatherhood Mentoring Course for the 21st Century’, dealing with such issues as love commitment, sex, faith, friendship, fun, respect, authority and trust.
Fatherhood Success Seminars for Single Dads The Fatherhood Foundation will provide help for single and divorced fathers, through training seminars and courses to meet their needs.
Quality Research The Fatherhood Foundation wants to sponsor quality research into the results of living in a fatherless society and to quantify the social impact of family breakdown. The final outcome of all research would be to find ways to overcome the problems and provide positive answers. In Australia this is an issue that lacks in-depth positive research.
Public Media Announcements on the need for increased support for fathers and to focus public debate on the right of every child to have both a father and a mother.
Fatherhood Foundation History
The development of the Fatherhood Foundation began in the late 90s . It was officially incorporated on 1st May 2002 as a charitable non profit incorporated association with Warwick Marsh, Alison Marsh, Phil Latz, Geoff Moses and Michael Baker as the founding board members. After the sad passing of Michael Baker in 2005, Mark Sewell joined the board, along with Ron Hellyer from Broken Hill. On 27th Aril 2006 the Fatherhood Foundation was fully endorsed by the Australian government as a Harm Prevention Tax Deductible Charity. The head office for the Fatherhood Foundation is in Wollongong, NSW. The goal of the Fatherhood Foundation is to inspire men to a greater level of excellence as fathers for the benefit of their children. Even a 10% improvement in fathering could save Australia 1.3 billion dollars per year, according to Dr Bruce Robinson, author of ‘Fathering from the Fast Lane’. Dr Bruce Robinson estimated the cost of the fatherlessness in Australia to be over 13 billion dollars per year.Initiatives launched or sponsored by the Fatherhood Foundation include:
Further information follows on the different initiatives of the Fatherhood Foundation.
1. GROUNDBREAKING FATHERHOOD RESEARCH
2. HISTORIC UNANIMOUS VOTE IN SA PARLIAMENT
3. TELEVISION AND MEDIA CAMPAIGNS
4. ‘FATHERSONLINE’ EMAIL 1000% SUBSCRIPTION INCREASE IN FIRST YEAR
5. NATIONAL SPEAKING TOURS
6. FATHERHOOD FOUNDATION HELPS FATHERS IN PARLIAMENT
7. FIRST FATHERHOOD FORUM IN PARLIAMENT HOUSE
8. ’12 POINT PLAN’ FOUNDATION RESOURCE
FOR RESTORATION OF FATHERHOOD
9. GOVERNMENT INVITES CONSULTATION
WITH THE FATHERHOOD FOUNDATION
10. INAUGURAL NATIONAL STRATEGIC CONFERENCE ON FATHERHOOD
11. AUSTRALIAN FATHERHOOD INITIATIVE
12. ‘GOOD TO GREAT’
FATHERHOOD MENTORING COURSE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
13. ‘FATHERHOOD MAKES AN IMPRESSION FOR LIFE’
OUTDOOR BILLBOARD ADVERTISING / MEDIA CAMPAIGN
14. NATIONAL MARRIAGE FORUM, PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA,
4TH AUGUST 2004
15. DADS ARE COOL – 2004 TV ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN
16. NATIONAL FATHERHOOD COALITION
17. FURTHER TV CAMPAIGNS
18. SEXUAL INTEGRITY FORUM 2005
19. FATHERHOOD FORUM 2005
The fatherhood movement is gaining momentum and the process of reform is accelerating in the nation of Australia, due in no small part to the ongoing work of the Fatherhood Foundation.
The Fatherhood Foundation is committed to the restoration of fatherhood in Australia. Australian fathers can be fathers of excellence. This will mean moving from being just good fathers to being great fathers. The Fatherhood Foundation is committed to producing high quality TV CSAs, TV media and media advertisements to promote better fathering. The Fatherhood Foundation will continue to publish its weekly fathersonline.org ezine for busy dads. We are working on further quality Australian research and publications to support and encourage Aussie fathers. Mentoring programs for fathers, young men and boys will need to be produced. The Fatherhood Foundation is working towards taking its ‘Good to Great’ mentoring courses for fathers, which it ran in the first half of 2004, to the rest of the nation. These courses were a huge success and the graduation ceremony was attended by Pru Goward, Sexual Discrimination Commissioner, and the Lord Mayor of Wollongong, Alex Darling. We see the ‘Good to Great - Fatherhood Mentoring Course for the 21st Century’ as one of the main grass-root strategies to help Australian fathers become ‘fathers of excellence’. To complete this program on a national basis we need to see a substantial increase in provision of funding.
The Fatherhood Foundation is working towards a third Fatherhood, Marriage & Family Forum at Parliament House, Canberra later in 2007. The Fatherhood Foundation is seeking to link in with other organisations both here and overseas to promote the restoration of fatherhood in Australia. Children need fathers and mothers. Strong families will guarantee a strong nation. The Fatherhood Foundation seeks to partner with families, the community, business, church and government to make this happen. Our children deserve the best fathers in the world. Together we can do it!
Fatherhood Foundation Board Members
Warwick Marsh - President
Warwick has been married to Alison since 1975. They have five children aged between 26 and 14 years. Warwick is also on the board of Australian Heart Ministries (AHM), the Illawarra Pastor's Network and the advisory board for Music-Oz. He is the convenor for the National Prayer Council and an active committee member for the national Day of Thanksgiving. These are all community based non profit charitable organisations. Warwick's background is in the building construction industry as an employer and employee.
Warwick is a public speaker, writer, musician, minister, producer and TV director. He is a member of ACAN and the Australian independent Record Association. He was formerly vice president of the Wollongong FGBMFI from 1981-1990. Warwick was also the national coordinator and a founding board member for the Praise Corroboree 1996-98, an Aboriginal reconciliation prayer movement.
In 1998 Warwick received the FOL Fatherhood of the Year Award and in 2001 was awarded a centenary medal by the Governor General for 'service to musical leadership for youth and the Aboriginal community, both in Australia and internationally'.
Alison Marsh - Vice President
Alison is co-founder of the Fatherhood Foundation and is also on the board of Australian Heart Ministries. By profession she is a teacher and has taught in both public and private schools. She and Warwick have five children, four boys and one girl. In 2002 Alison received the FOL Motherhood Award in NSW Parliament. She and Warwick are advisors to the board of Cedars Christian College and are the longest serving parents at that college. Together they have a background in business but have worked full time in the non profit sector since 1990. Alison is a teacher, writer, singer, musician, minister, member of Toastmasters International and public speaker. She has a passion to encourage women in their role as wives and mothers.
Geoff Moses - Treasurer
Geoff Moses has been married to Cathy since 1992. They have two children, 12 and 10 years of age. Geoff has a degree in Information Technology and Communications and has worked as manager for Westfield Parramatta and a MacDonald's restaurant. He is the director of Flowstone Marketing: a management, business solutions and consulting company.
In his capacity as Board Member of the Fatherhood Foundation Geoff consults in fundraising and business advisor having gained much experience as a past board member and manager of the Children's Ward Appeal Fundraising Committee, Illawarra Area Health Service. He is also president and director of Living Sound 94.1 FM Community Christian Radio Station, Illawarra, a board member of Australian Heart Ministries and advisory board member of Cedars Christian College, former board member/director of Lighthouse Christian Care and Lighthouse Community Care Ltd, a DGR status benevolent church charity.
Phil has been married to Catie since 1984 and they have two children, 21 and 19 years of age. Phil is currently the managing director of Australia's largest bicycling publishing company in Australia, 'Bicycling Australia'. He was the founding organiser of 'The Challenge' Bike Race, raising funds for the drug rehabilitation charity Teen Challenge NSW with a goal to raise one million dollars over a ten year period. The Challenge has reached a halfway point of half a million dollars for this worthy cause. Phil was a founding member of the Cycling Promotion Fund 1999, founded business group 'God's Business', is a board member of Wollongong Combined Churches Education Board, board member of Australian Heart Ministries, Lighthouse Church, Port Kembla Chamber of Commerce and member of Toastmasters.
Phil Latz is a man of high standing in the Australian sporting community and actively committed to the local Illawarra community at many different levels.
Mark has been married to Diane since 1983. They have three children, 19, 17 and 14 years. Mark is currently the operations manager and deputy CEO and board member of Warrigal Care. He is responsible for over 520 full time staff and 250 volunteers with a 23 million dollar turnover and over 350 million dollars worth of assets. Mark is chairman of the ACS Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Advisory Committee and chairman of the Wollongong City Council Aged Accommodation Taskforce. He has been a member of the Australian Institute of Management (AIMM) since 2000. Mark has a Bachelor of Social Science (Welfare) from Charles Sturt University, a Graduate Certificate in Arts (Public Administration), University of NSW and is currently studying for an MBA, majoring in law. Mark has worked for the Department of Family and Community Service and DoCS from 1989 in numerous management roles up to the level of Regional Director of Disability Services in Sydney before his current position with Warrigal Care. Mark's past roles include founding board member of the Illawarra Citizen Advocacy 1989-1991 and chairman of Cedars Christian College board 1996-2005. Currently Mark is on the board of Australian Heart Ministries and is chairman and company director of Lighthouse Church and Lighthouse Community Care.
Ron has been married to Margaret since 1979. They have five children, aged between 24 to 16 years. Currently Ron is the director of Outback Management Concepts based in Broken Hill NSW, a business consulting group he founded in 2002. Ron has over thirty years experience in local government and business to draw upon as well as numerous courses and accreditation in management, quality control, health and building surveying, workplace training, and a graduate diploma in local government management, Charles Sturt University. His last position with local government was as director of Environmental Services.
From 1999-2002 Ron was general manager for the Line of Lode Heritage Project. This multimillion dollar project won three national awards, including the Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design. Ron has been a past director of Broken Hill Aero Club, Barrier Trading Export Pty Ltd, Barrier Business Services Pty Ltd and Silverlode Technology Pty Ltd. He is currently on the board of the Outback Community church based in Western NSW.
Advisors to the Board
Dr Bruce Robinson
The Fatherhood Foundation is a harm prevention charity dedicated to prevention and the control of behaviour that is harmful or abusive to the life of human beings.
Fatherlessness has been shown by the social sciences to contribute to an increase in child poverty, child sexual abuse, child physical abuse, increased levels of child mortality between conception and birth, child emotional abuse, child physical abuse, child and adult drug abuse, child and adult increase in suicide, child and adult self harm and much other destructive and abusive human behaviour. Therefore the principal activity of the Fatherhood Foundation is the prevention of such abusive human behaviours by the promotion of excellence in fathering, which shall henceforth be taken to mean:
Fathers who are, in word and deed, responsible, involved, protective, loving and committed to the well-being of their children and their children’s mother.
Children are the most vulnerable members of our society.
The Fatherhood Foundation believes that when a child is conceived, a father and a mother also come into being. The child in the womb needs the full protection of both its mother and father. Mothers need maximum support and encouragement throughout their pregnancy. The best person to provide that support is the father of her child. Scientific research into hormone levels shows that a father's hormone levels rise and fall with the mother's hormone levels to sustain greater levels orf nurturing and care both before and after birth. The Fatherhood Foundation believes that the birth of a child is a wonderful miracle. The birth of a baby is often described as a deeply emotional and spiritual experience by fathers and mothers of all nations and of all religious beliefs. The Fatherhood Foundation believes that the creation of life is both a natural and spiritual act. Conception takes place when a man and women make love through sexual intercourse. Therefore we believe that sexual intercourse is both a natural and spiritual experience and should be honoured and respected by all. Sexual union is not a commodity to be bought and sold at will, but a beautiful expression of committed love between a man and a woman deeply in love.
The Fatherhood Foundation believes that committed marriage is the best way to protect and channel that love, which is capable of producing a child. We believe that marriage is the intimate, loving covenantal partnership between a man and a woman for life. Children have a mother and father for life. Marriage is the best way to protect a continuous and warm relationship with a child's mother and father throughout the life of a child. The Fatherhood Foundation believes that marriage is a greater social good that protects and benefits children and the whole community. Successful loving marriages decrease the likelihood of child sexual abuse, child physical abuse, domestic violence against women, mental illness in children, infant mortality and child health outcomes, child poverty and the likelihood of children engaging in criminal behaviour of drug abuse. Marriage is the foundation for the family, where children may be born and grow in security and love. Every child has a right to both a mother and a father and this right is only truly enjoyed by the child when a man and woman live in a committed marital relationship in mutual respect with fidelity.
The Fatherhood Foundation believes that every child has the right in the event of divorce or parental separation to equal contact with both the mother and the father unless there are proven mitigating circumstances. Family law should provide and reflect this right to protect the best interests of the child.
The Fatherhood Foundation believes in and advocates for gender equality. However we believe that each gender is unique and special and we affirm that difference. The Fatherhood Foundation believes in the need for gender advocacy. We believe that responsible gender advocates should recognise the uniqueness of each gender and the complimentarity of the male and female of the species. The Fatherhood Foundation believes in the need for gender reconciliation and affirms that committed, loving caring and covenantal marriages are the highest expression of gender reconciliation. The Fatherhood Foundation believes that there is a natural tension between the male and female gender and it is in a committed marriage between a man and a woman that this tension is continually resolved in a loving and gracious way. Children learn conflict resolution by observing their mothers and fathers resolve the gender conflict that naturally occurs in a committed loving marital relationship. Successful marriages between men and women help girls and boys confirm their own gender and avoid gender disorientation that can occur in formative years.
The Fatherhood Foundation believes that as the conception and birth of a child is both a natural and spiritual experience. As birth is a natural and spiritual experience so is fatherlessness both a natural and spiritual problem. The problem of fatherlessness in our nation can be solved if we, as groups and individuals, work together for the common good. The greatest resource this country possesses lies in the families of our nation. At the same time, the strength of our families depends on the quality of the relationships between its mothers and fathers. The quality of the relationships between mothers and fathers and their children will determine the destiny of Australia. The future of Australia lies in the character of her children. Equipping and supporting fathers and mothers in their relationships helps ensure that our children have the best possible future.
The Fatherhood Foundation believes that every child has the fundamental right to both a mother and a father. The best way to secure this right is to establish a loving and stable marriage between a man and a woman for life. This long-term relationship facilitates the rights of grandmothers and grandfathers to continued access and valuable input into their grandchildren.
The overwhelming conclusion of current social science research has shown that the best environment for children is a two heterosexual-parent household. The best way to ensure strong families is to support strong marriages. This traditional family unit - a loving father, mother and their children - is the best way to nurture, educate and protect children. This is the best social security system the world has ever known.
However for a variety of different reasons, many fathers do not find themselves in a marriage relationship. Therefore irrespective of their marital status, we want to support all dads to fulfil their role as effective fathers.
Fatherlessness can be defined as the absence of an active, positive father-influence in the lives of children. Fatherlessness is both a natural and spiritual problem. It needs strategic and synergistic partnerships that should involve government, business, church, community, faith-based and secular charities and many others working together to strengthen and support Australian fathers.
The founders and members of the Fatherhood Foundation acknowledge that Australia's constitution and governmental system is framed on its Judaeo-Christian heritage. The Judaeo-Christian heritage of our legal system dates back to Great Britain's Westminster system of government which bases it history on the Magna Carta, King Alfred the great and ultimately takes it's foundation from the Old and New Testament.
Australia's constitution, which dates back to our Federation in 1901, states in the preamble 'Humbly relying on the blessings of Almighty God'. The Fatherhood Foundation is a faith based charity and as such the original and amended constitution of the Fatherhood Foundation and its founding members and board members openly declare the same, ‘humble reliance on the blessings of Almighty God’. The Fatherhood Foundation’s constitution is predicated on the same biblical belief system, that is, the foundation for our Westminster style of government. The Ten Commandments form the basis for Australia’s legal system and high ethical standards of public accountability. Therefore it is to be noted that the core beliefs of the members and board members of the Fatherhood Foundation and the constitution of the Fatherhood Foundation are by description Christian and based on a biblical world view, which uphold the highest level of honesty, transparency, humility and accountability at all times in all business dealings in all human relationships.
Our goal is to glorify our Father in heaven in all we do and say and inspire those around us to know His love by the example of our lives. Our mentor and example is the Lord Jesus Christ who we believe to be the author and finisher of our faith. Jesus Christ came to this earth to serve and not to be served and we as the founding members of the Fatherhood Foundation proclaim our desire to follow in his footsteps of service for our fellow man, but at the same time we acknowledge our inability and weakness before all men. We invite comment, evaluation and scrutiny of all the activities of the Fatherhood Foundation to ensure that the highest standard of ethics in all dealings is both upheld and achieved at all times.
© Copyright Fatherhood Foundation 2002-2011. All rights reserved. (ABN: 63 563 020 918).
The Fatherhood Foundation is a Harm Prevention Charity listed under Subdivision 30_EA of the Australian Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 with Tax Deductible Status (DGR) for donations.