The Australian Family Lobby

Following on from yesterday, we (me and various other people behind the scenes) have created The Australian Family Lobby.

Also on twitter – @austfamilylobby

At the moment it’s just a website and an arbitrary list of pro-family policies (like gay marriage, access to IVF and equal parental leave) that probably could do with some tinkering, but there’s much more to come.

One initial step is I want to put up a series of pieces by people on what family means to them. People from traditional families, like single parent and gay and lesbian families, and people from non-traditional families, if someone can tell me what one of those is.

Keri has written an excellent post on what family means to her.

I want to put that post, and other contributions from Australians in all sorts of families, in a special and prominent section on the Australian Family Lobby site.

Please email the AFL at if you’d like to share what family means to you.

17 responses to “The Australian Family Lobby

  1. Some very quick feedback (and it could be the ancient, steam powered standard issue browser I am using) but the grey text on the sky blue background is very difficult to read.

  2. Good one jeremy.

    I have been thinking about this, and I think that it might be important at some point to also include the “Pro Family” families real concerns. The one’s that actually are based on love for their family members – they don’t necessarily the lobby groups public stance. I know you were making that point at the start of your post yesterday, I just want to reinforce it.

    Because i think its important to separate the political mischief from peoples genuine hopes and fears for the future (and present) of their loved ones. That is where the dangerous power of that lobby comes from. The ability to manipulate those fears and associate that lobby’s “brand” or cause with addressing them.

  3. Good point, and I’ll have a think about that.

    PJH – are you using internet explorer 6 by any chance? It’s a known problem with the fact that version of IE is not properly web compliant, but we’re trying to come up with a workaround. It should be black text on white, and is on all the browsers I’ve tested it with.

  4. Yeh I’m using IE 7. Not by choice mind. I’ll check it out when I get home.

  5. Seriously, if you guys would like to write about what family means to you for the site, that’d be great.

  6. I’ll have a go.

  7. Well it think its a real good thing to try and make “family values” stand for homophobia also even if your not married we are all part of a family, ie parents

  8. Ok, Family Funsters, unpack this:

    IVF will make them happy (so long as the result is right), and termination is wholly within their rights according to you guys, so is this OK?

  9. No, sex selection isn’t okay with me. Clearly there needs to be a rough gender balance in the population and people picking the sex of their child results in an imbalance (see: China).

    Of course, if they wanted to sex select their child and didn’t require IVF there’s nothing stopping them right now – the only way would be to make abortion illegal, which puts women’s lives at risk. Oh, and prevent them having children overseas – any ideas on how that could be done?

    It’s one of those things that should be discouraged but the government can’t actually stop without creating a much worse problem.

  10. Excellent stuff, Jeremy. The appropriation of the notion of family by the forces of darkness is something that’s been pissing me off for some time now, but I hadn’t really given it much thought until you raised it here.

    I love my convoluted, twisted and extended family to bits – but it doesn’t in any way resemble the kind of sodality that the various “family” appropriators so trenchantly promote. What a great idea!

  11. I completely agree with the idea of reclaiming the term with more inclusive and tolerant vision….with one caveat. There is the danger of the ‘glittering generality’ – a totally positive, unrealistically so, conception that glosses over tensions and conflicts that are also part of that thing called family. I only note this as the religous/right construction is so clearly guilty of this.

    (and I note that congratulations are in order for Jeremy and Keri – will Polly be best-cat ?)

  12. That’s true, and is why our description encompasses families where things have not gone to the original plan – divorced families, reformed families, large combined families of step parents and so on.

    By the way, anyone who’d like to help build this thing, please email the AFL at to be part of the initial discussions.

  13. Right, well, generally I’d agree with you on sex-selection … but neither of us are ethicists, just thoughtful laypeople who come to our own judgments … which is fine, but you always tell us to defer to experts when it comes to matters of law. Which makes me wonder why you’re particularly qualified to hold forth on this as (presumably) executive director or what have you of this new lobby group?

  14. What qualifications does one require to have an opinion on the subject of families? A family? Got one, so there we are.

    Or is there some Bachelor of Families degree I should’ve done at university?

  15. @Shabadootwo

    99% of lobby groups are set up to make money for the person/business/industry that sets them up with the person in charge getting a high paying job to either while running the group or later/earlier as a “consultant”

  16. @Shabadootwo

    Well that strawman crumbled pretty quickly. Must be time to bring up the guy who wants to marry his goat.

    The rest of us will stay on topic.

  17. Thinking and writing seriously about what my family means to me is a bit of an eye opener… by the end of the day I’ll send you something.

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