Australia

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Australia

Australia

Mothers’ Union Australia was established in 1893 at Cullenswood in Tasmania. It supports parents in many ways and also works to tackle issues on homelessness, poverty, social issues such as bullying in schools and the workplace, gambling issues, depression and suicide particularly in areas affected by bushfires, drought and floods. The gap between rich and poor in Australia s widening and although unemployment is low by world standards, it affects mainly the young and those who have been retrenched in the decade before retirement. There are still areas of significant poverty, particularly amongst indigenous people. 

Much of the work of assisting these people comes via government-funded voluntary organisations. Mothers' Union Australia is a member of Anglicare Australia , one of the largest of largest of these organisations and Mothers' Union members frequently work with their local  Anglicare agencies in assisting these people. 

Mothers' Union Australia has a presence in each of the 23 diocese, but the size varies greatly. For example, in the Diocese of the Northern Territory there is just one branch in Darwin with 20 members. The closest branches to them are several thousand kilometres away, but technology assists in maintaining contact. Despite their size, they are still able to support the work of Nungalinya College, the indigenous theological training facility in Darwin and have their annual fun day. 

At the other end of the spectrum Brisbane Diocese has 67 branches, five Caritas groups and 60 diocesan members who are predominantly scattered out through the more isolated western regions of the diocese. Twice a year the Mothers' Union Diocesan Council meets at one of the closer regional towns and every two years a group of diocesan executive members spend a week or so visiting the more far flung branches and usually a couple of parishes with no Mothers' Union branch, to encourage and support members.

Mothers’ Union Australia is very active in supporting parents and run a Parenting Programme across the country. Mothers’ Union Gippsland members recognised the need families had in helping them raise their children and so, working with local schools, hosted a Family Forum. It focussed on ‘The five most pressing concerns from parents in 2012’. Teachers, carers and parents attended the evening which highlighted topics on sleep, alcohol, resilience and happiness and gave people ideas and ways to address these concerns.

Mothers’ Union members: 7,000