Being a single mother comes with many joys and challenges.

Single mothers in Australia vary widely in life experiences, age, cultural background, education and financial security, but in common, we are all doing our best to provide a good life for our children and ourselves. Some single mothers are sole parent for 24 hours a day without many breaks in the year. Others have shared custody and parenting arrangements that range from amicable to contentious. Many single mothers work and are financially independent, while others rely on government support. Whatever their circumstance, CSMC works to ensure the voices of single mothers and their children are heard, respected and valued.

The Council of Single Mothers and their Children is by, for and about single mothers and their children. In 1969, a group of single mothers determined to change the social, economic and legal discrimination against ‘unwed mothers’ and their children. They started CSMC in Melbourne, and the rest is history. We have come a long way… but many single mothers still struggle to find the support they need so they can provide well for their children. CSMC continues to unite single mother families, represent their strengths and capabilities, and fight for their rights.

Join us and share the joys and challenges of being a single mother. Membership is free for single mothers. Click here for membership

Single mothers, like other parents, are raising the future generation. They deserve flexible work options and affordable childcare, secure and sufficient incomes, appropriate housing, and respectful and supportive treatment from Human Services. CSMC is committed to ensuring these basic requirements, and more, for single mother families.

CSMC welcomes individual supporters and organisational members

  • 14% of Australian families are sole-parent headed, over 80% by single mothers. That’s 765,000 single mother families in Australia (ABS 2016)
  • 1 in 6 families with children under 15 are headed by single mothers
  • We are your neighbours, colleagues, sisters, mothers and friends.
  • Australian leaders successfully raised by single mothers include Bill Shorten, Penny Wong, Anthony Albanese, Kevin Rudd
  • Notable Australian single mothers: Susan Alberti, Sarah Hanson Young, Meshel Laurie, Eva Cox, Peta Searle, Carmen Lawrence, Elle Macpherson

The Council of Single Mothers and their Children acknowledges we are working on the lands of the Wurundjeri people and we pay respect to Elders past and present.

This website has been redeveloped thanks to a grant from the R.E. Ross Trust which also generously supports financial aid for single mother families in distress.

Our services supporting single mother families in general and in particular, the solo parenting and education and training resources for both mothers and children are made possible due to the Victorian government Department of Education and Training.

Thanks to all the individuals and organisations assisting our work.

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information and referrals

Information and links on topics relevant for many single mothers are included here to support busy single mothers find out answers to questions they have and challenges they face.