I rise today to speak about a group named Dads of Adelaide, a group dedicated to connecting fathers and promoting positive fatherhood. The group was established by Chad Habel, a passionate father, who recognised the lack of support groups for dads in Adelaide. Chad was inspired to fill the gap and provide a space that promoted social connectiveness and community support.
After reading an article about the importance of support groups for dads, Chad discovered the not-for-profit community organisation Dad’s Group Inc. This organisation connects dads on a national level with other local dads. Chad discovered that over 50 support groups existed nationally but no groups had been created in South Australia. After contacting the CEO of Dad’s Group Inc, Chad established Dads of Adelaide as a sub group.
Dads of Adelaide was set up approximately three months ago. It currently has 87 members and they are hoping to further expand in the future. They meet fortnightly at the Botanic Gardens to connect with other fathers. Most importantly, this group encourages fathers to bring their children to the meet ups. Involving children in their activities supports their important value of promoting engaged fatherhood.
When I had my first child, it was unheard of for a father to be present in the delivery room during the birth of their child. There was a typical perception that women were the carers of children and men were the providers. Whilst some of these gender stereotypes have still carried over to the present day attitudes are changing. It is important that groups like Dads of Adelaide are out there trying to break down these gender roles and promote an equal parenting relationship.
Today, fathers want to be more hands on from the moment their baby is born. Children who have actively involved fathers are more likely to be emotionally secure and have better social connections. Research demonstrates that involved fatherhood is linked to better outcomes for a child’s wellbeing, cognitive development, educational achievement, and self-esteem.
There are no doubts that fatherhood is a rewarding yet challenging role. There are many parent support groups, but primarily they are tailored for mothers. Fathers can often feel isolated and unsure where to turn to for help. Dads of Adelaide is an important support group that helps foster positive relationships between fathers and their children. It allows fathers to connect and share their challenges and positive experiences about fatherhood. This support network also plays a vital role in improving men’s health, preventing family violence and reducing isolation and suicide.
Next year the group is hoping to further expand their membership and obtain support from other stakeholders so they can run an event named Man with a Pram. This family event was successfully held in Ringwood, Victoria, and aims to raise awareness and engage new fathers and families. It involves fathers going for a pram walk together to showcase involved fatherhood to the community. It would be great for such an event to occur here in South Australia.
I acknowledge the efforts of the Dads of Adelaide group and I strongly encourage other dads to join and become involved. I wish this group the very best for their future and I hope that we see more groups like this throughout South Australia.
If you are interested in becoming involved please contact Dads of Adelaide: