Big Fish Events and Meetings

Launch of report on the Parent Peer Support Project (PPSP)

This report was launched on Tuesday 18th May 2021. The launch was held at the Brennan Room, Callaghan Campus, University of Newcastle, and other people attended via Zoom.

Parent Peers and the project coordinator reflected on their experience of the project and talked about how it transitioned into the new FISH support and advocacy service.

In 2018 FISH (in partnership with Life Without Barriers and Family Action Centre) presented an event on poverty and intersections with the child protection system. Overall the event was a great success. It signified a great level of dedication and determination by all involved to shine a light on child protection issues and inequalities that work counter to family inclusion and the safety and best interests of the child.

Professor Alan Hayes

Professor Alan Hayes (Distinguished Professor of Family Studies, University of Newcastle and Director of Family Action Centre) began with an introduction to poverty and child protection within the Australian context.

Professor Brid Featherstone (right) and Jessica Cocks FISH convener (left)

Professor Brid Featherstone (Head of School of Social Work at Huddersfield University, England) shared her research findings into child welfare inequalities with a particular emphasis on how families in poverty experience the child protection system in England. Read about Professor Featherstone’s research project here.

Felicity Kime (FISH Parent Leader)

Felicity Kime (FISH Parent Leader) shared her lived experiences of the child protection system and provided invaluable insight from a parent’s perspective.

Panel Session

The event concluded with a panel session facilitated by Jessica Cocks (FISH Convener), and included FISH parent leaders, a carer, a caseworker, people with care experience and Professor Featherstone.

Big FISH Meetings

Occasionally FISH holds meetings in the community. These meetings are an opportunity to hear about the projects we are working on and to meet with other parents and workers who are interested in family inclusion.

In past meetings we have had lots of parents attending for the first time who have shared their experiences. We have also had carers attend which is vital to improve family inclusion.  

Our worker presenters come from a diverse range of sectors including child and family law. For example, Neisha Shepherd, an experienced care and protection lawyer, provided ideas and information about navigating the legal system as a parent. Information is power!

At another meeting we networked and had the opportunity to hear about the importance of listening to parents when domestic violence is an issue. Who knows best about the impact and experience of family violence? Families experiencing family violence!

Parents, carers and workers get to share their experiences and knowledge and empower one another for change.

Gillian Calvert OA, the former Commissioner for Children and Young People and current board member of Life Without Barriers