It dropped like a bomb on the town

CSMCFederal Politics

“I want people to know what the Indue card is really like” Anna is a single mother of three children, nine, seven and four. They live in Ceduna where she, along with most other people receiving some form of social security payment, had to switch to the Cashless Debit Card trial. “I’ve been on it since pretty much the beginning,” Anna told us when we spoke to her on the phone. The Indue card, as Anna refers to it, “makes life as a single mother more difficult than usual. You just lose any control in your life. You can’t even … Read More

The end of one year, the start of another…

CSMCFederal Politics

As the financial year ends, CSMC is celebrating having balanced the budget in 2016-2017, as small organisations do, and is scrutinising our budget for 2017-2018 to ensure that every dollar is put to work. As I also reach the end of my first year as CEO, I am delighted to have achieved this breakeven point. Even with this positive financial outcome, we are urgently raising funds to contribute to our emergency relief fund in order to manage the unprecedented need. Additional funds are needed to assist single mothers overwhelmed by a high energy bill or school costs, an unexpected crisis … Read More

Budget 2017 and why ‘A fair chance for every child’ still matters so much

CSMCFederal Politics

The 2017 Federal Budget is a big improvement on the low-tide mark of Liberal’s awful 2014 budget; however, some measures will have a marked impact upon single mother families who are receiving welfare support. Others will affect all those with low and insecure incomes. Interestingly, few articles or discussions have considered the impact of these measures on children. Therefore, we are adding our voice to the mix to consider what this budget might mean for both single mothers and their children. Single mothers are parents. Obvious as that sounds, many don’t always see it this way. Certainly, governments of both … Read More

Musings of a Single Mother on Mother’s Day

CSMCFederal Politics

‘Ohhhh, that must be so HARRRRD…’ These are typically the first words out of someone’s mouth when I tell them that I am (*gasp*) [wait for it] a SINGLE MOTHER [da da daaaaarrrrrrrr]. Faces like this usually accompany the statement: Mother’s Day has caused me to reflect on excessive, well-meaning sympathy like this. As I reflect, I am competing with Ever After High blaring on the TV in the background, and my five-year-old daughter (who is going through a developmental stage where she verbalises her every thought) trying show me which La La Loopsy doll she wants for her next … Read More

Just don’t tell them you’re a single mum – the advice I ignored

CSMCFederal Politics0 Comments

Fiona McUtchen shares her perspective on being a #proudsinglemother this International Women’s Day International Women’s Day holds special significance for me this year.  2017 being the 10-year anniversary of when I sat a panel interview for my first professional job as an Entry Level Organisational Psychologist with Chandler Macleod. The interview was held just one floor down from where I write this story now. A few months into starting in the role, my manager told me something that has stayed with me to this day. He told me the reason he was compelled to hire me was not because of … Read More

Just don’t tell them you’re a single mum – the advice I ignored

CSMCFederal Politics

Fiona McUtchen shares her perspective on being a #proudsinglemother this International Women’s Day International Women’s Day holds special significance for me this year.  2017 being the 10-year anniversary of when I sat a panel interview for my first professional job as an Entry Level Organisational Psychologist with Chandler Macleod. The interview was held just one floor down from where I write this story now. A few months into starting in the role, my manager told me something that has stayed with me to this day. He told me the reason he was compelled to hire me was not because of … Read More

CSMC in the Year of the Rooster

CSMCFederal Politics

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 … Read More

Christmas connections

CSMCFederal Politics

Feeling the pressure? Parents often go into overdrive at Christmas, worrying about how many presents to buy and how much they should spend. They plan how to celebrate with food, gifts, decorations and how to mesh siblings, multiple sets of parents, all the kids and pets. In single parent families, the vibe is similar but more intense with more at stake. Saving to buy presents for kids, particularly for families on Newstart, is a kind of torture. Our kids get so used to the ‘no, we can’t afford it this week’, that their expectations are low, but still they hope … Read More

The stubborn poverty facing single mother families

CSMCFederal Politics

The recently released ACOSS Poverty in Australia 2016 report tells us what we already know: lone parents, 84% of whom are single mothers, have the highest prevalence of poverty of all family types, and have done for long time. In fact, the report tells us that one third of lone parent families (34%) are living below the poverty line of 50% of the medium income. This means that 41% of children in lone parent families are in poverty (compared with 12.5% of children in couple households), an increase over the past 10 years (or more).   This leads to the … Read More

‘Basics’ are the new luxury

CSMCFederal Politics

Excerpt from the National Council of Single Mother’s Submission to The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill September 2016 Successive Governments have made decisions that have resulted in reducing the main income of sole parent families – the same families who are in the most need and would have an immediate benefit with a hand up rather than increased harm. Irrespective of which ‘lens’ is applied to measure hardship such as the ACOSS Poverty Report or The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey (Hilda) it is sole parent families, 88% are headed up by a mother, who … Read More