International symposium on children and communities in Australia

Crawford School of Public Policy | Children's Policy Centre

Event details


Date & time

Thursday 13 March 2014 to Friday 14 March 2014


Springbank Room, Level 1, JG Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU


Dr Sharon Bessell, ANU; Dr Tobia Fattore, Macquarie University; Dr Susann Fegter, Goethe-Universität, Germany; Dr Claire Freeman, Otago University, New Zealand; plus many more.


Tshoki Khandu
6125 4387

What makes a community a strong, supportive place for children?

Children are often assumed to benefit from strong communities. Yet we know very little about children’s views on what makes a strong, supportive community or about children’s place and roles within Australian communities. Over the past four years, the Children, Communities and Social Capital research project has explored in depth what children in middle childhood (aged 8-12) think about their communities, how they experience ‘community’ on a daily basis and what vision they have for their communities. Children spoke about the importance of relationships, what makes a community safe, the problem of adult overuse of alcohol, inclusive and exclusive places, and the difference that resources make. The findings provide important insights into communities from a child’s standpoint, and how they might be improved.

This symposium aims to contribute to providing a child-centred answer to the question of what makes a community a strong and supportive place for children. It will present the findings of the Children, Communities and Social Capital research and extend the conversation to similar research undertaken in Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Germany. The National Children’s Commissioner, Megan Mitchell, will launch the research report during the symposium.

Symposium speakers include:

  • Dr Sharon Bessell The Australian National University
  • Dr Tobia Fattore Macquarie University
  • Dr Susann Fegter Goethe-Universität Germany
  • Dr Claire Freeman Otago University, New Zealand
  • Anne Hollonds CEO, The Benevolent Society
  • Dr Suzanne Hood Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY)
  • Professor Colette McAuley University of Bradford, UK
  • Professor Jan Mason University of Western Sydney
  • Dr Gerry Redmond Flinders University
  • Dr Lyndall Strazdins The Australian National University
  • Larissa Tuohy Communications Manager, ChildFund Australia
  • Leesa Waters Deputy CEO, National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN)

This symposium is presented by the Children’s Policy Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, at The Australian National University, in partnership with University of Western Sydney, The Benevolent Society and the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN). This research is funded by an ARC Linkage Grant. Linkage partners are ANU, the University of Western Sydney, The Benevolent Society and NAPCAN.

Registration is essential, please register separately by day one or day two via

Updated:  17 July 2019/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team