18 October 2011

Experts from government will attend presentations by the nation's leading researchers on families and family policy at a two-day workshop, Family, Work and Well-being over the Life Course, at The University of Queensland, held on October 20–21.

The University of Queensland's Australian Research Council Professorial Fellow Janeen Baxter is a co-convener and will also present at the workshop hosted by the Institute of Social Science Research and the School of Social Science.

Workshop presentations will address the policy implications of the huge changes in the structure of the family in the past 30 years including the age women have children, age of marriage, working patterns over a person's life, and shifting social and gender attitudes.

In this time, says workshop co-convener Dr Belinda Hewitt, "...women entered the workforce at unprecedented rates, men's employment hours and wages declined, and many households came to depend on dual earnings".

"At the same time, social attitudes about gender became more liberal, leading to greater acceptance of personal and financial independence for women, but within a context of continuing policy support for the male breadwinner ideal.

"The ultimate goal of the workshop is to shed light on the changes that have taken place, and to consider whether they are enduring or temporary, what is driving them and the implications for policy in the future."

Representatives from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) and the Sex Discrimination Commission will attend the Academy of the Social Sciences (ASSA) funded workshop whose mission is to promote Australia's social science research excellence.

Media: Dr Belinda Hewitt on 07 3346 7472 or b.hewitt@uq.edu.au.