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Thursday, 31 August 1972
Page: 656

Senator GREENWOOD (VictoriaAttorneyGeneral) - by leave - It gives me great pleasure to announce that the Commonwealth Department of Social Services with the full support and co-operation of the State departments concerned with social and child welfare has commissioned a family research project. The project will be conducted by the School of Social Work within the University of New South Wales. This is the first project of its kind sponsored by the Department of Social Services and will be undertaken over a 3- year period.

The project arises from the longstanding and widespread concern felt in Government and voluntary agencies and the general community over what appears to have been a large increase in the number of deserted wives and unmarried mothers seeking assistance from community agencies. The areas to be included in the study will include the incidence, causes and consequence of family breakdown; the emerging new family patterns and structures; and community services available to the Australian family. The need for such a research project was discussed and agreed upon at the annual meeting of State Welfare Ministers and the Minister for Social Services held in Brisbane last June. While the project will be nationally oriented, it will include a series of specific studies in selected States and regions.

The project will be under the general direction of a steering committee headed by Professor R. J. Lawrence, Professor of Social Work and head of the School at the University of New South Wales. Other members of the steering committee will be Mr M. Wryell, First Assistant DirectorGeneral, Commonwealth Department of Social Services, Mr W. C. Langshaw, Under Secretary of the New South Wales Department of Child Welfare aud Social Welfare (who will also be representing equivalent Departments from other States) and Mr A. S. Colliver, Senior Lecturer, School of Social Work in the University of New .South Wales. Advertisements for staff for the family research project will appear within the next 2 weeks in the national Press.

The study will have great significance for the long term development of Australian social welfare. Although the project is expected to extend over 3 years, each phase of it will be marked by the productive research bulletins, which will be made available to interested persons and groups. I am sure that the Senate will be interested in the work lo be undertaken in this project, which I am certain will make a significant contribution towards our objective of developing in Australia a social services, system which is balanced, efficient and humane.

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