Global experts unite to build strong families, capable communities

Monday, 30 April 2018

International experts and collaborative partners who share the vision of supporting, developing, and sustaining strong families and capable communities around the world will unite in Newcastle next week for the 3rd Family and Community Strengths International Symposium.

family and community strengths

Hosted by the University of Newcastle’s Family Action Centre, in conjunction with ABCD Asia-Pacific,  a network of Asset-based Community Development practitioners, the two day symposium will welcome approximately 100 delegates from Indonesia, India, USA, and New Zealand, as well as from around Australia, and explore innovations and new directions for strengthening global families and communities.

Associate Director of the University of Newcastle’s Family Action Centre, Dr Deborah Hartman said the symposium would facilitate conversations for change.

“This symposium will encourage global conversations between practitioners, academics and policy makers, allowing them to understand each other’s strengths and constraints and work together to solve some of the seemingly intractable difficulties many families and communities face.”

Professor Alan Hayes, AM, Distinguished Professor of Family Studies and Director of the Family Action Centre will deliver the keynote address at the opening of the symposium.

Professor Hayes said families within communities around the world were facing various challenges including economic and structural change; family violence; and children’s early development and educational needs.

“Some of the other issues facing families worldwide are lack of access to, and engagement with, family and community services for all family members, particularly fathers; and a lack of coordination in addressing the major risk factors for health and social issues within families and communities.

“Together we will unpack the challenges, draw on our strengths and ignite solutions to the complex problem facing families and communities across the globe.  “We will explore what’s working well, where and why; we will tap into the latest research and we will celebrate and discover ways we can collaboratively move forward with supporting families and communities,” Professor Hayes said.

The symposium, which will run on Monday 30 April and Tuesday 1 May, will include an anniversary cocktail event, to mark several anniversaries for strengths-based family and community work.

The cocktail event will celebrate the 5th anniversary of the first professional Master of Family Studies, developed at the University of Newcastle and conducted by the Global Consortium for International Family Studies; the 10th anniversary of the Asia Pacific Network for Asset-based Community Development; and the inauguration of the Network of Indonesian and Australian Family Studies.

The 3rd Family and Community Strengths International Symposium will run from Monday 30 April-Tuesday 1 May at Newcastle City Hall and the University of Newcastle’s NeW Space.

* HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.

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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.