Planning for 2017
CSMC staff and Board have invested time in looking at key areas where we might be able to make a difference. We are a small organisation, with a limited staff and budget; despite this, we support single mothers in Victoria and across Australia including staffing our support line 9.30am-3.30pm Monday to Friday.
We have 2,500 members and this means a lot of stories and diverse single mother family situations. The lived experience of single mothers is particularly valuable at a time where the Federal government is running attacks on everyone on welfare payments and when we and many other community organisations are fighting back.
We were lucky to have Cath Smith, an experienced facilitator and strategist work with us to plan the outlines of our future focus. We will be putting a detailed plan to members soon, but the areas for focus are:
- Our children’s well-being and education
- Income security
- Safe and affordable housing
- Flexible work options
- Legal protection
- Single mothers’ mental health, well-being and connections
We want to profile the success stories of single mother families, not just tell how hard it is. The often wildly incorrect media representation of single mothers does nothing for our reputation and earns us little respect. While it is true that 40% of the children who live in poverty in Australia are in single parent families, it is also true that single mothers:
- find work where they can
- are incredibly imaginative about starting up businesses they can run from home
- parent successfully with few resources; many of our older members have raised kids who have graduated from TAFE, university and apprenticeships and are now successfully contributing to Australian society
- Come from every background including Indigenous, long established and recent migrant communities and among us have many skills and capabilities
- Raise children who feel loved and wanted despite the hardships the family faces.
So in 2017, the Year of the Rooster, CSMC is planning to broadcast the voices of single mother families and to work with other organisations to increase the impact of our actions and our reach. We will be asking members to engage more with us through stories and actions for change. Get ready world – we are coming.