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Monday, 2 May 2016
Page: 4139

Mr SUKKAR (Deakin) (16:42): Recently, I was very pleased to have the opportunity to join with the mayor of Maroondah, councillor Natalie Thomas, to launch Ringwood's Man with a Pram initiative, an event that aimed to break the record for the most dads with a pram to walk a mile. The event ran, on a very sunny Saturday morning, with a final total of 104 dads taking their kids in a pram on a 20-minute stroll between Ringwood's Newtown Square at Eastland and the recently opened Aquanation leisure and aquatics centre. The day included a range of really exciting activities and breakfast beforehand, and there were AFL guests there as well to keep everybody entertained.

More importantly, the Man with a Pram initiative is one driven by Dads Group Inc., one of the really outstanding new community organisations to have flourished in the electorate of Deakin. Dads Group, led by a good friend of mine, Tom Docking, aims to build and strengthen support networks in our community for new fathers. They are achieving this important aim through the establishment of a range of programs. As Tom often says to me, the support network for new mothers is pretty strong but for new dads, often, there are not the opportunities for new fathers to come together. I want to commend Dads Group for the Man with a Pram initiative. It was a great morning and I look forward to many more to come.