Save the National Partnership on Homelessness (NPAH)

NFAW is supporting the open letter to the Prime Minister to secure an extension to the NPAH on Friday at COAG. Use the hashtag #SaveNPAH when posting online.

VET Reforms – Joint Statement NFAW and Women in Adult and Vocational Education (WAVE)

On the final evening of Federal Parliament 2016, very important policy changes to student loans for vocational educational and training (VET) were enacted, through the VET Student Loans Bill 2016 –read more

White Ribbon Day – Emmar Husar speaks out in the House of Representatives





Community leaders, especially, speak as advocates about domestic violence, but rarely as victims.

Mr Speaker, I would like to do something a little different today.

In my first speech in this place I said 29 out of my 36 years of life had been affected by domestic violence.

I am a survivor of family violence, and it has taken me a long time to overcome the trauma of that to be where I am today.

I know there are a lot of women out there who suffer in silence. Today I stand in solidarity with survivors, with those women afraid to speak, and I will use my story, told in this place to advocate for the change we need.

I will use the eve of white ribbon day as an opportunity to shine a light into the darkest corner of my own life.

The first 13 years of my life was marred with physical domestic violence, committed towards my mother, at the hands of my always drunk-when-abusive Father.

My Dad was the son of a World War Two German soldier who committed many acts of violence against his wife and against his seven children. My father had been raised in a house where violence was the accepted norm and at a time when society said these were private matters.

Whilst the blows that landed on my mother during my childhood didn’t land on me physically “ they may as well have. The trauma inflicted was the same. I recall it vividly and in great detail.

Each episode of this violence over my 13-years was different but the aftermath was always the same: Dad would apologise, promise to be different, and that would work for just a short time.

One evening, at the end of another round of abuse, Dad launched the family dinner of that evening at the wall.

The stain remained on that wall for a very long time “ the stain in my heart would linger much longer. Mum then bundled my sister and I into the family car and fled.

We would go to the refuges in our community, until, after so many years and so many incidents, my father knew the locations and we were not safe there anymore. We then shifted to staying in hotels, which were located above pubs where the people below were loud and sometimes their noise would spill into the streets, waking me and reminding me that I wasn’t in my own bed, in my own home.

I was in a foreign place, because I was not safe.

One night, when Mum was hurrying to get my sister and I out Dad had removed and smashed the distributor cap from the car rendering it useless and us trapped. The Police fetched us this time.

I still remember sitting in the Police station well into the early hours of the morning and the officers in Penrith police giving us pink milk while we waited. The police did their best.

Again, after this event my Mum returned home.

We know why women return time and time again even when their lives are massively disrupted along with their children’s, and I hope that the blame that was launched at my Mum during the 90’s for not leaving, is no longer part of the “solution” around domestic violence and I hope the questions of “why doesn’t she just leave” quit being asked.

Eventually, though, the courage rises up, services step up and women stand up. Finally leaving. But not before one last terrible incident.

There were 13-police cars the last time physical violence affected my childhood. But this was the end of the physical violence, once and for all. Whilst the physical part ceased other abuse around finance and control ramped up.

Sadly, the wheel of domestic violence continues to affect my life as a grown woman, with children of my own. The last 16-years of my life have been and continue to be affected by domestic and family violence.

In the limited time I have left, I would like to thank Opposition Leader Bill Shorten for his continued support of my current situation, his understanding, and the support he provides to me. I would also like to thank my caucus colleagues and staff who know my story, who don’t judge me and continue to provide support.

I would like to acknowledge the Penrith Women’s Health Service who have been providing services to my community for 30-years, including to my Mum then, and to my family now.

Sometimes in my experience I have found that, mostly, victims don’t talk about domestic violence because other people don’t talk about domestic violence.

For many years I was embarrassed and ashamed. I know that I shouldn’t be but I am.

I hope that today, I have lent my voice, my story, and my passion for advocating change, to the choir of the white ribbon movement who call on us to stand up, speak out and act.



ACLW PPL Petition

See over 600 Signatories & comments to this Petition

New analysis from the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association

New mums working in retail for employers like Bunnings, Woolworths and Coles will be thousands of dollars worse off under the proposed ppl legislation:




Will NXT really protect our PPL? – The Parenthood Campaign Update

There have been over 12,000 people join our campaign to save paid parental leave with over 4,600 individual emails sent to each member of the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) urging them to stand up and protect our PPL.


Yesterday we learnt that the Xenophon Team intended to keep the pre-election commitment they had made with Fair Agenda that, if elected, they promise to ‘vote to protect the current paid parental leave system and oppose any diminution of the current system’.

However, we also learnt that whilst they “won’t support the legislation as currently proposed” they do intend to negotiate with the government to amend the legislation to achieve a “fairer” and “more equitable” scheme.

NXT may suggest that a woman’s access to the government PPL be means tested based on her household income (so taking into account what her partner earns) rather than based on her individual income (as is currently the case capped at $150,000).

Means testing on household income would completely alter the concept of paid parental leave – no longer would it be a work related payment but a social welfare payment.

But we’ll have to wait until the end of the week to find out what a fairer more equitable paid parental leave scheme would look like for the Xenophon team.

Given Australia currently has the least generous PPL scheme in the world any move to improve our PPL is definitely a step in the right direction – but we have to be careful that any proposed changes do not then undermine PPL and what it was designed to do.

So I’ve amended the email you can send to the NXT team to help remind them of the following as they negotiate on PPL with the gov’t –

  • Paid parental leave is not social welfare – it is a work related payment that recognises a parent (who in most cases is mum) HAS to take a period of time away from work to have, care and bond with a newborn baby and so shouldn’t be financially disadvantaged for doing so
  • The financial support the government’s PPL provides women not only helps them to afford the time they need to be with their baby, it also keeps them connected to their workplace, assisting with their eventual return to work (hence it’s a productivity measure not a welfare measure)
  • Any amendment to the government’s PPL scheme that would limit or reduce access for any woman who is currently entitled to receive PPL, would be seen as a broken election promise given their assurance that they will ‘vote to protect the current paid parental leave system’.

Our fight to save our PPL is still a way from being over, despite promising comments from the Xenophon Team. So we need to keep the pressure up on NXT urging them to protect the PPL 80,000 parents currently have access to and depend on.


Mr Turnbull is counting on the three NXT Senator’s to make cruel and unfair cuts to our current PPL scheme in the name of budget repair and “fairness”.

But there is nothing fair about taking paid leave entitlements away from hard working Aussie mums – no matter who their employer is or what their partner might earn.

Let’s keep up the great work!

– Jo at The Parenthood
The Parenthood · 22 Petrie Tce, Petrie Terrace, Queensland 4000, Australia

You can also keep up with The Parenthood on Twitter or Facebook.

NFAW Annual Dinner – Tuesday 29 November 2016

More than 60 of us enjoyed meeting each other and listening to Barbara Deegan speak about the impact of increasing casualisation of the Australian workforce. More and more employees are being engaged on short term contracts which reduce their benefits and access to leave and mean that it is difficult for them to qualify eg for mortgage loans. While regulations apply, enforcement and monitoring is constrained because of limited resourcing for the Fair Work Ombudsman.


Protect our Paid Parental Leave!

WHO and Australian child and maternal health authorities recommend 26 weeks. The current scheme facilitates that by setting a minimum of 18 weeks (paid for by the taxpayer) as a floor under workplace entitlements.

The Government wants to change that to effectively 18 weeks maximum. Women will be forced back to work early through financial stress, doing harm to themselves and the baby. To cap the situation, there is minimal available affordable child care for infants.

NFAW asks you to write as soon as you can to Senators of every Party – Greens, Labor, NXT, Lambie, Hinch….


Read more about the Call to Protect Paid Parental Leave 

View an Analysis of the impact of the government’s cuts to paid parental leave from the Women and Work Research Group at the University of Sydney

The Conversation – Paid parental leave plan ignores economics of well-functioning families

Buzzfeed – What Young Women Need To Know About Government Attacks On Parental Leave

NFAW calls on government to fund Time Use Survey

The Government has responded, noting the ABS Gender Indicators as an ‘invaluable resource’. The letter from Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, Minister for Employment and for Women, is here.

NFAW makes a submission to the Fair Work Commission on family and domestic violence leave

The submission supports the ACTU’s claim for inclusion of a family and domestic leave clause in modern awards.